Ed Reed is at the Super Bowl in New Orleans and getting ready to play for the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers, but many are already looking ahead to what uniform he will be wearing next season. Reed has already been linked to the New England Patriots, and he was asked about that on Thursday. His response came as a bit of a surprise, considering the situation, via NFL.com:
"I could definitely play for coach Belichick," Reed said, Fox Sports reported. "He is a great coach. I'm sure he can help me to expand my football knowledge even more as a player and as a coach, so if I'm ever able to be around him, just like I was at the Pro Bowl, it's huge."
Reed later backtracked a bit on his remark, saying that he didn't mean that he would be playing for the Patriots in 2013, but rather was complimenting Belichick. Still, it is quite the slip of the tongue with the entire world watching. It's good he made the correction, because that is likely not something that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh would like to hear.
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The safety has played his entire 11-year career with the Ravens after Baltimore drafted him with the 24th pick in 2002. He has made a name for himself for being one of the NFL's best big-play defenders, even holding the record for longest interception return in NFL history (108 yards).
New England has long been known in the Belichick era as a team that will give up plenty of yards, but come up with big plays in the red zone to limit points. Reed fits that mold, especially as he has grown older and can do a much better job covering ground in tight quarters close to the goal line.
The Patriots could use Reed, as they had trouble with the pass in 2012. New England ranked 23rd in Football Outsiders' passing defense DVOA (a measure that quantifies efficiency and adjusts for opponent). Only three teams allowed more passing yards than the Pats this past season, despite New England playing in a division with three terrible passing offenses.
In terms of interceptions, the Patriots were tied for fifth in the league, so Reed could fit right in with the defense. He has nabbed 61 picks throughout his career, including four during this Super Bowl season.