Former Baltimore Ravens star safety and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed knows he’s past his prime at 34-years-old, but he believes he has plenty to offer to the Houston Texans and can help the team reach the Super Bowl.
“Everybody knows Father Time catches up with you, but when you have the right people around you, and you understand what you’re doing in your role, you’re able to move a certain way throughout the defense,” Reed said in his introductory news conference Friday.
“I still love football. I know I can play football. It was just a matter of being somewhere that fits for me and the team. You have to know your limitations. When you come to work, whether you’re sick or you’re injured, if you can go and not hurt the team, that’s what you do. But you have to understand how you move on the field.”
Reed has appeared in 160 games (159 starts) and totaled 605 tackles with 6.0 sacks and 109 tipped passes in 11 seasons with the Ravens. He’s also the NFL’s active leader in interceptions (61) and all-time leader in interception return yards (1,541).
His 108-yard interception return in 2008 is the longest in league history and the nine-time Pro Bowler and eight-time All-Pro safety is also the only player to ever return an interception, fumble, punt and blocked punt for a touchdown.
The former 2002 first-round pick (No. 24 overall) out of Miami (FL) signed a three-year deal worth $15 million with the Texans after being courted for a week by general manager Rick Smith. The contract includes $5 million guaranteed and Reed can make another $1 million this season if he remains healthy. His maximum 2013 income is $6 million and his salary cap hit is $3.3 million.
One of the main reasons he chose to take his talents to Houston was because of familiarity.
“I (played against) these guys so many times. “I know what this team has. I know what I’m coming into as far as the mentality. There’s a goal that’s been set from top to bottom. I’ve come in to play championship football.
“There’s a growing process that we went through in Baltimore, and now I’ve watched this team throughout that growth process.”
Reed replaces free safety Glover Quin, who was the team’s top priority in free agency before signing a contract from the Detroit Lions that was too rich for the Texans to counter. Nevertheless, Reed adds some much-needed intangibles to the Texans’ defense.
“I’m all about working out and winning a championship. That will never change. Mr. Bob (McNair) knows, and Rick knows they’re getting a championship effort every time.”
Reed added that he expects a pretty seamless transition into the Texans’ system and is excited with the opportunity to help improve the Texans’ organization. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips also shares the same sentiments.
“Anytime you can add a great player, it’s going to help you,” Phillips said. “His knowledge of the game will rub off on the other players.
“I think his study habits and great feel for the game really will influence our younger players. This is a guy that just won a Super Bowl coming here and saying, ‘I want to win another championship here.’ I think he’s going to energize everybody.”
Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com. He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website. Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter. Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!