USA TODAY Sports
We reach out to SB Nation's home of the Ravens, Baltimore Beatdown, to get some inside perspective on future Hall of Fame safety, and hopefully future New Orleans Saint, Ed Reed.
One of the all-time great Ravens, Ed Reed, has the opportunity to hit the open market this off-season. Considering the Saints are moving to Rob Ryan's 3-4 scheme this coming season, Who Dat Nation would love nothing more than to see the Louisiana native come home to finish his career.
Baltimore Beatdown's Bruce Raffel shares some insight on what Reed has meant to the Ravens and what he could mean to the Saints. We greet him from the home of the Ravens recent triumph, and yeah, sorry about the lights.
Wallace Delery: So Bruce, how much does Reed still have left in the tank?
Bruce Raffel: The thought is that while Reed cannot tackle much anymore due to an injured neck and shoulder, he is still the game's best centerfielder and his mere presence causes opposing QBs to throw away from his side of the field. Thus, the tank still has gas in it. How much is anyone's guess.
WD: Certainly the Ravens would be looking for a hometown discount should they wish to re-sign Reed. How large a contract is Reed worth signing to?
BR: It doesn't appear Reed is looking to give the Ravens a discount and any price they pay will affect their salary cap, especially with the need to pay QB Joe Flacco. Hopefully, the team's front office can work out a short but multi-year deal to limit the cap hit, as no one in Baltimore wants to ever see Reed wear another NFL team's uniform.
WD: What are the most important intangibles Ed Reed brings to the team physically and emotionally?
BR: As mentioned above, his ability to read offense's makes the opposing QB locate Reed prior to the snap and then do their best not to throw to his side of the field.
WD: The Ravens have had one of the NFL's greatest motivational leaders in Ray Lewis, overshadowing other greats like Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs. What type of leader and motivator has Reed been during his career in Baltimore?
BR: Reed obviously took the backseat to Ray, but reportedly is sought out by his teammates and is a very vocal leader in the clubhouse, on the sidelines and in the classroom, mentoring the other defensive backs in watching tape.
WD: Could Ed Reed, at this age and stage in his career, make a big enough impact to lead the NFL's worst statistical defense to the level of "good enough?"
BR: In my opinion, no. Football is the ultimate team game and while the other free agents who have left the Ravens were not nearly of his caliber, Reed is on the downside of his career and would need a solid nucleus around him in order for his role as more of a deterrent and centerfielder for overthrown balls to make a significant impact.
WD: Do you want Ed Reed back in Baltimore next season and if so, under what circumstances?
BR: Absolutely, but at the right price. There were points during last season that Reed was almost a liability in coverage, taking too many chances and being caught out of position. His tackling skills basically suck and he has been hit with too many personal fouls penalties for hits on a defenseless player. However, his role is well defined on this team and with the other players next to and in front of him, he fits in well and could be productive in the team's defense, as long as he doesn't hold the team hostage for a ridiculous contract.
WD: Okay, I know this has been like asking for your permission to date someone you haven't even broken up with yet. We here at Canal Street Chronicles appreciate your time. Thanks and congratulations on the Super Bowl title.
BR: Hey, thanks for helping us feel like the home team by mostly getting behind the Ravens as fans to root against the 49ers. It was a great game, regardless of the lack of electricity and of course, New Orleans is the perfect place for a Super Bowl
Who Dat Nation, what are your opinions and thoughts on Ed Reed? Leave your insights below!