The Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl champions. Ed Reed is finally a champion.
In his career, Reed has been selected to nine Pro Bowls, was named the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and has the NFL record for the two longest interception returns (106 yards in 2004 and 108 yards in 2008). He also holds the all-time NFL record for interception return yards, currently at 1,547 yards. With an interception in the Super Bowl, he has tied the postseason record with 9 career interceptions.
That is just getting us started. You see, I love Ed Reed. He is my favorite Miami Hurricanes player ever, and would be near the top of any list of athletes I’ve enjoyed watching play. I love his attitude. Love his leadership. Love his skill. Love his intelligence. Love his aggression. I think you get the idea.
I love the fact he finally added the one missing element to his incredible career. He’s got that Super Bowl ring. He didn’t need that to ask this question, but now that we are here, is he the greatest safety ever?
Ronnie Lott is probably the most common answer. Certainly, if not Lott, Reed has made a case that he is indeed the best ever. I think Reed is unquestionably become the best play-making safety, and arguably the greatest play-making defensive player ever.
Reed has scored a total of 13 touchdowns in his career: 3 blocked punts, 1 punt return, 2 fumble returns and 7 interception returns. He is the first player in NFL history to return an interception, punt, blocked punt, and fumble for a touchdown.
In just 11 seasons, he is 10th all-time with 61 (regular season) interceptions. He led the NFL in interceptions three different times. Safeties Darren Sharper and Ronnie Lott each played 14 seasons to accumulate their 63 career interceptions. Rod Woodson played 17 seasons to get his 71, but also played much of his career at corner.
Numbers aside, just like Deion Sanders not having the most interceptions, but still be considered the top cover corner ever, Reed doesn’t need to do anything else to make his case.
It pleases me as sports fan when a great, hard-working player is rewarded with a championship. It makes me happier to know its a guy I’ve admired since his college days terrorizing opponents at Miami has finally added a cherry to his sundae. Seeing him so happy after game was fantastic. Seeing one of the best players in NFL history get rewarded with a title makes me so happy.