Reed is a nine-time Pro Bowler, the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. In the wake of the Hall of Fame announcement, two of his former teammates spoke highly not of his skills or accomplishments, but of his personality and leadership on and off the field.
Former Ravens fullback Ovie Mughelli played with team from 2003-2006, earning second-team All-Pro honors in the final year. He recalled one of his first interactions with Reed during training camp as a rookie in 2003.
"Everybody was really, really rough on the rookies," Mughelli told
Glenn Clark Radio
Feb. 4. "But Ed Reed is such a kind soul that I was sitting down by myself just trying to collect my thoughts and get my mind right, and he said, 'Hey, rook! Don't think too hard. I know you're sitting with all your friends right now trying to figure out what you're going to do but it's not hard -- just play football.
"I see you out there man, and I know you're going against Ray Lewis and Peter Boulware and Adalius Thomas and Bart Scott and Ed Hartwell and all these guys, but you're here for a reason, brother! You're here for a reason! Just do what you do.'"
Lewis is often regarded as the spiritual and emotional centerpiece of the Ravens during the 2000s, but Reed's leadership ability did not go unappreciated by his former teammate.
"And it was so simple, so nonchalant, but to me that was like, 'Gosh, it's the Pope or something speaking to me about how to get my mind right,'" Mughelli said. "It really reminded me that I was there for a reason and I did have the talent to go toe-to-toe with some of these greats."
Not only was Reed a source of veteran leadership during his time in Baltimore, he kept things light on and off the field as well. Just ask former Ravens linebacker Adalius Thomas, who shared the field with Reed from 2002-2006 and made two Pro Bowl appearances with the team.
Thomas shared a moment from a practice involving linebacker Terrell Suggs that was caught by television cameras when Reed was wired for sound.
"I'm coming out to practice and Ed Reed says, 'Hey, look; if you want ribs, go to A.D.'s house. They're so good. If you need sauce, I apologize,'" Thomas said. "And they're talking about coming to my house to eat, and Terrell says, 'Everybody doesn't know what the secret is to A.D.'s sauce -- it is pork and bean juice.' And everybody starts to laugh."
Reed brought more than his personality to the field with him -- he holds the NFL record for most interception return yards (1,590) in a career, as well as the longest interception returned for a touchdown (107 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008). Reed's induction gives the Ravens three first-ballot Hall of Famers during the past six years, a notable distinction for an organization that has only been around for 23 years.
Reed will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame Aug. 3.
For more from Mughelli, listen to the full interview here:
For more from Thomas, listen to the full interview here:
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