BostonHerald.com – Blogs: Rap Sheet» Blog Archive » Vince Wilfork waxes poetic about former Hurricane teammate Ed Reed
Vince Wilfork and Ed Reed were teammates at the University of Miami. They were Hurricanes together for two seasons. As crazy as it may sound, Wilfork said he didn’t fully grasp how great a player Reed was until later on.
“I was young, but I didn’t really understand how great he was,” Wilfork said. ”I knew he was good, but I didn’t see it until he got to the NFL, and I see him making the exact same plays and hear people talk about them. The guy is just one hell of a player, on and off the field.”
Wilfork then talked about how terrific Reed was in the film room, as good as many coaches.
“he can break down film probably as well as a coach, and then put it on the field,” Wilfork said. ”I had a chance to witness it firsthand.”
Wilfork recalled a specific play against Boston College, when Reed came away with an interception, literally taking it out of the hands of teammate Matt Waters and running it back for a score. he also told the media about the time Reed blocked a punt with a separated shoulder.
“He’s gonna give it his all,” Wilfork said. “He’s just a smart, tough football player, physically and mentally. he knows the game, he has a nose for the ball. I’m glad he’s not an offensive player, but I’m pretty sure he could be able to play that side too, because his ball skills are amazing.”
This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 at 1:15 pm and is filed under Playoffs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
BALTIMORE — In the midst of all the excitement, the high-fivesand the fist pumps near the Ravens’ sideline, the sight of Ed Reedwas unsettling.
Baltimore’s gritty 20-13 win over the Houston Texans in thedivisional round of the playoffs Sunday earned them a trip toFoxboro and the AFC title game. but the Ravens may be forced toface Tom Brady and the Patriots without their star safety.
On Houston’s final play of the game, rookie quarterback T.J.Yates threw the ball into a crowded end zone and when the swarmdispersed, Reed was left struggling to walk. but his left ankleinjury was the least of his, or the Ravens, concerns.
“I’ll be all right,” said Reed, who had to be helped off thefield and stood on the sideline hunched over. he told reporters herolled his ankle and “pinched it real bad” after batting awayYates’ attempted Hail Mary. “I’ll go get treatment and I’ll beready to go.”
The Ravens will need every healthy body _ particularly Reed’s _to slow down new England’s arsenal of potent tight ends andreceivers. Baltimore also will need to put forth a better offensiveattack than the one that netted just 227 total yards Sunday.
“I always say, there’s a right way to do things, a wrong way todo things and there’s just the Raven way of doing things,”linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “It wasn’t pretty, but hey, we’renot really a pretty team.”
Texans running back Arian Foster had another breakoutperformance, rushing for 132 yards and racking up 22 yards on fivereceptions to become the first player to rush for 100 yards in theplayoffs against the Ravens. but Foster, who ran for 153 yards lastweek against Cincinnati, couldn’t carry Houston by himself.
The Texans dug themselves a 17-3 hole in the first quarterthanks to a muffed punt return by Jacoby Jones (which was recoveredby Baltimore) and Lardarius Webb’s first of two interceptions onYates.
Webb later picked off the quarterback with 7:21 remaining to tieReed and Duane Starks’ franchise record for interceptions in aplayoff game.
Houston made it 17-13 on a 1-yard Foster touchdown run in thesecond quarter, but the Ravens’ stifling defense eventually got toYates, who finished 17-for-35 for 184 yards and threeinterceptions.
And although Joe Flacco’s numbers (14-for-27, 176 yards, twotouchdowns and five sacks) weren’t that impressive, the Ravensquarterback didn’t throw a pick.
“For Joe to come in and lead us to the playoffs the last fouryears _ if that was anybody else, you’d praise him,” Baltimore’sRay Lewis said. “Joe Flacco has done a heck of a job putting us inthe positions to go and win.”
With 1:51 left, Reed intercepted an ill-advised deep pass fromYates to Andre Johnson just in front of the end zone, effectivelyquashing any hope of a Texans comeback.
But coach John Harbaugh, whose younger brother John will coachthe 49ers against the Giants in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game,didn’t seem overly concerned about the injury.
“He seems like he’s in pretty good shape,” he said. “Ed’s atough guy. And that’s who Ed Reed is.”
Ed Reed Criticizes Joe Flacco, Says Quarterback Must Improve to Beat Patriots – Daily Blend – NESN.com
It doesn’t take an NFL expert, or say, one of the best NFL safeties of all time, to note that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is mediocre at best. But when that great safety is Flacco’s own teammate? He’s probably better off keeping that opinion to himself.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, he didn’t, as Ed Reed told Sirius NFL Radio that he didn’t like what he saw out of Flacco against the Texans on Sunday.
“They had a lot of guys in the box on him and they were giving it to him,” Reed said, as quoted by the Baltimore Sun. “I think a couple of times he needed to get rid of the ball. It just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense. I don’t know how much of [that was] the play calling … but it just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense, you know, of times past. It was just kind of like they [were] telling him [what] to do — throw the ball or get it here, you know, get it to certain guys.”
Reed, 33 years old and a veteran of 10 NFL seasons, said that type of play won’t cut it against the Patriots, who had the 31st-ranked passing defense and the second-worst passing defense in the history of the league.
“He can’t play like that,” Reed said. “One specific play that sticks out to me was when Ray Rice came out and got pushed out of the backfield and [Flacco] still threw him the ball and he had Torrey Smith [open] on the outside. I can see that sitting on the sideline or sitting in the stands. You don’t know what someone else is seeing.”
Flacco, who turned 27 on Monday, has an impressive 5-3 record in the playoffs, but the impressive numbers end there. in those eight games, his average stat line looks like this: 14-for-26 (53.8 percent), 153 yards, 0.75 TDs, 0.88 INTs.
Against Tom Brady – whose playoff averages are 23-for-36 (63.8 percent), 239 yards, 4 TDs, 0.85 INTs and is coming off a six-touchdown performance in the divisional round — Flacco will likely need to be a whole lot better.
There are many who doubt the Ravens’ signal-caller will be able to answer that challenge. at least one teammate can be counted among them.
Photo of the day
Should the safety be critiquing the quarterback before a playoff game? Is this some sort of wild motivational tactic or just plain stupidity?
Quote of the day
“We want leadership. Leadership is important. we want strong leadership, and we want someone who shares his vision in this new era of Colts football. we want the best man and the best leader and the man that gives us the best way to go.”–Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, on who he wants to replace the almost-always silent Jim Caldwell as head coach
Tweet of the day
First, Shawn Thornton scores on a penalty shot, then the next week, Daniel Paille looks like a superstar with a backhand goal on a breakaway. What’s going on?
Video of the day
While Joe Flacco is worried about impressing his teammates, Tom Brady will be worried about keeping his pants dry.
If running backs Ray Rice and Arian Foster and linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Cushing counteract each other during the Baltimore Ravens' AFC divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans, this clash could come down to the quarterbacks.
And that's where Baltimore definitely holds an advantage with veteran quarterback Joe Flacco over Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates, according to former Ravens and Texans wide receiver Derrick Mason. Mason has a unique perspective on the AFC North and AFC South champions having played for Baltimore for six years until being cut in July and for the Texans before being released in December.
"both teams are very good defensively, both teams run the ball very effectively and both will need to throw the ball effectively," Mason told the Times in a telephone interview. "Baltimore has an edge on that one because Joe has more experience than T.J. With Andre Johnson being back, that's a plus for the Texans. I think it will be a good contest. a lot of people might be overlooking the Texans because this is their first time in the playoffs and they don't have a lot of big games other than Arian. I think people will be surprised by how well they play and match up."
A fifth-round draft pick from North Carolina who began the season as a the third-string quarterback before season-ending injuries to starter Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinart, Yates is coming off one of his best performances.
He completed 11 of 20 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown pass to Johnson, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury during the Ravens' 29-14 victory on Oct. 16.
In six regular-season starts, Yates completed 82 of 134 passes for 949 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
"T.J. is very poised and calm and tough," Mason said. "he played a lot better this last game. I think it was his best game of the season. he looks like he's rejuvenated for the playoffs and ready to go."
Flacco has won four of seven career playoff games, passing for 3,629 yards this season for 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and an 80.9 quarterback rating.
He's the first starting quarterback in NFL history to make the playoffs in each of his first four seasons and became the third quarterback ever to start a playoff game in each of his first three seasons, joining Dan Marino and Bernie Kosar.
He's 44-20 all-time, never missing a start.
"I think he's done a good job at really not regressing this year," said Mason, who was one of Flacco's favorite targets along with tight end Todd Heap before both were jettisoned from the roster in July. "He's had some success in the prior three years, but he didn't allow himself to get satisfied. he wants to get better. he got better this year."
And Flacco's trademark stoic personality hasn't changed, only displaying emotion or revealing his sense of humor on rare occasions.
"You can see his maturity," Mason said. "Joe don't get too high or too low. he doesn't get too excited. he might fist-pump here and there, but he won't let himself get out of control. Joe is Joe.
"he reminds me so much of Eli Manning. he doesn't get excited unless he throws a touchdown pass, for the most part. he just goes out there and does his best."
Mason has witnessed a lot of growth from Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith since he worked with him at an informal players-only practice at Towson University during the NFL lockout.
Smith has gained confidence in his hands, catching 50 passes for 841 yards and seven touchdowns to break the Ravens' rookie scoring record.
"I've seen a guy that got better as the season went on," Mason said. "As he started to get more comfortable, he started to get a lot better. You could see he started to become the X-factor in the passing game. everybody understands that Anquan Boldin will get his and work the middle of the field, but Torrey became important.
"he opens up the game. all he needed was confidence. he had a couple of games where he might have dropped some balls. for the most part, he played well. he played up to expectations. When they drafted him, they expected him to come in and maybe not be the starter, but contribute right away. Ultimately, he was the starter and a good one."
Mason is extremely impressed with the Texans' third-ranked defense and how they turned it around under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips despite outside linebacker Mario Williams being lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
The Texans climbed from 30th in the league a year ago to second in the NFL in total defense this season, building around linebacker Brian Cushing, cornerback Johnathan Joseph, defensive ends J.J. Watt and Connor Barwin and safety Danieal Manning.
"Look at them on defense," Mason said. "this team has stayed the course. they stayed good even when the team got tired mentally and physically. The defense has consistently been the best in the NFL, no glaring flaws.
"this team really can't be overlooked. I know Baltimore isn't overlooking them. a lot of people outside of Houston might be, maybe even some of the Baltimore fans because Baltimore has been a dominant team for so long. this Texans team, though, they play as a unit."
Mason, 37, knows what it's like to be an older player and be questioned about whether his longevity is an asset or a detriment.
The two-time Pro Bowl selection. was surprised to be cut by Baltimore then discarded by the New York Jets and traded to the Texans before being released again, eventually deciding to retire.
Now, Lewis, 36, and free safety Ed Reed, 33, are drawing criticism for their recent play.
Lewis hasn't been as active in pass coverage since missing four games with a right turf toe injury earlier this season and his tackles haven't been quite as emphatic as the past.
Reed has had trouble tackling primarily due to a shoulder injury and a nerve impingement in his neck.
Mason expects both Lewis and Reed to get the job done in the postseason one more time.
"There's always going to be critics," Mason said. "As you get older, it takes your body a lot longer to come back around. With those two guys once the playoffs start, it's a different world. You can see during the season they weren't close to 100 percent. You can see it. I saw it. Watching Ed, I saw it mainly in his tackling and ability moving around the field. I've talked to Ed and he's expressed to me some of the things that are bothering him.
"You can see why it wasn't Ed Reed intercepting the ball. He's been injured. He's a warrior. He's going to fight through it. I would rather have Ed at 75 percent or 80 percent than someone else at 100 percent."
Reed still intercepted three passes to finish second on the team behind cornerback Lardarius Webb.
And Lewis led the Ravens with 95 tackles.
"I would rather have Ray out there than not out there," Mason said "once the playoffs start, you play through all those nicks and bruises. Ed and Ray had an opportunity to rest and those two guys will be ready. they will be amped up for a playoff game."
Mason declined to make a prediction on the final outcome.
"I've got a lot of friends on both sides and in both cities," Mason said. "I predict it will be a good football game."
Aaron Wilson is the Ravens beat reporter for the Carroll County Times: .