Yes, play it smart

FACEOFF

faceoff: should the ravens rein in ed reed's risky returns?

January 01, 2009|By Kevin Eck

I'm sitting in my living room watching a Seinfeld rerun as I ponder one of life's great questions: Should the Ravens rein in Ed Reed's risky returns? Unlike the debate over the legitimacy of the ample charms of Jerry's girlfriend Sidra, the answer to this one is rather obvious: Absolutely.

Reed actually reminds me a lot of Jerry's girlfriends on the show. Wait, I don't want you to get the wrong idea - not that there's anything wrong with that. What I mean is that Reed has a lot of terrific qualities, but also one glaring flaw that tarnishes the whole package. With Jerry's girls, it was man hands, an annoying laugh or always wearing the same dress. With Reed, it's his exasperating habit of trying to lateral the ball after he has made an interception or recovered a fumble. All too often, the ball ends up on the ground and up for grabs.

I know, I know, it's just Ed being Ed, you have to take the good with the bad, yadda, yadda, yadda. Nonsense. There's no denying that Reed's talent is real and it's spectacular. He makes plays that few others in the NFL can. But the truly great players are also smart players, and sooner or later, Reed's recklessness with the ball is going to cost the team a win.

With the playoffs starting this weekend, someone - whether it's Steve Bisciotti, John Harbaugh, Rex Ryan, Ray Lewis or The Soup Nazi - needs to sit Reed down and make him understand that he has to play with discipline and self-control because there is no margin for error.

In other words, Reed had better become master of his domain, or it could end up ruining Festivus.

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