Reed picks off Nov. honor as best defender in AFC

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Safety had interceptions in three straight games

December 02, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Safety Ed Reed was named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Month for his three-interception, 24-tackle performance in November.

The award further cements Reed's status as the front-runner to be named Defensive Player of the Year.

"It's just another accolade," Reed said. "We play this game to achieve goals. You set goals for yourself, and I'm grateful for it. I'm definitely blessed to be in this position just to be having fun and playing the game the way I love."

The stretch of games last month was perhaps the best of his three-year career.

Reed set an NFL record with a 106-yard interception return for a touchdown to seal a victory over the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 7, starting a streak of three consecutive games with an interception. His interception a week later in the end zone against the New York Jets turned the tide of the game and set up the Ravens' first touchdown, shortly before halftime.

Reed has six interceptions for the year.

Name game

For the second time this season, coach Brian Billick, 50, has confused one player from a team he is facing with another player in the league.

Yesterday's gaffe came at the expense of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Peter Warrick, who is on injured reserved with a shin injury.

"They've had some injuries," Billick said. "They lost [Tony] Williams in the Denver game; Warrick Dunn, who is a big part of their package obviously."

Dunn and Warrick both attended Florida State, but Dunn is a running back with the Atlanta Falcons who has 642 rushing yards this season.

Unlike the last time when Billick confused Jets running back Curtis Martin with Jamie Martin, the coach was not called on his mix-up.

Backing Willingham

Disappointed to see his friend and former colleague Tyrone Willingham fired after three years at Notre Dame, Billick questioned the wisdom of the move yesterday.

Willingham and Billick coached together at Stanford (1989-1991) and the Minnesota Vikings (1992-1994).

"God bless them, I hope they find a good replacement because Ty is going to be just fine," Billick said.

Next for Ravens

Matchup: Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) vs. Ravens (7-4)

Site: M&T Bank Stadium

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 13/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line: Ravens by 7

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