Peyton Manning thought a Baltimore reporter called Ed Reed "one of" the NFL's best safeties.
"I was going to correct you," Manning said. "He is the best safety in the league, and has been really for this past decade."
Reed, 34, is getting long in the tooth by football standards, and his tackling has been criticized. But he still commands a lot of respect around the league for his coverage skills, including from one of the game's elite quarterbacks.
The two masters of the mental game will lock horns once again Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
In anticipation of the showdown, Manning was asked by a reporter about what makes Reed so good.
"Shoot, you can kind of go on and on: unbelievable ball skills, unbelievable range, great hands," Manning said.
"You can tell what kind of athlete he is because of what he's done once he's got the ball in his hands, returning them for touchdowns. Smart player, the list goes on and on."
Manning has seen Reed's skills first hand. The past two times they've faced each other, Reed has come away with an interception.
They both came in 2009. On the pick during the regular season, Reed came over the top when Manning effectively pump-faked the Ravens cornerback. The throw was a bit too long and Reed capitalized. In the postseason, Reed undercut a sideline route. It would have been a game-changing play had Reed not been stripped from behind during his return.
Reed was asked about what makes Manning dangerous and he* *showed similar respect.
"Most deadly part of Peyton is that he gets the ball every play," Reed said.