Ravens safety Ed Reed travels to Louisiana to be with family after brother's disappearance

January 10, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Ravens free safety Ed Reed is in Louisiana with his family, dealing with the disappearance of his younger brother on Friday.

Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that there is no timetable for Reed's return as the team prepares for Saturday's AFC Divisional playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

"We've left that up to Ed," Harbaugh said. "I know that Ed knows this team inside and out. We haven't talked to him yet today. So I think it's going to kind of depend on the circumstances down there, what he feels he needs to do with his family. But we'll give him a lot of leeway."

Reed, who was recently invited to his seventh Pro Bowl, made four tackles in the Ravens' 30-7 defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's AFC wild-card round despite news that 29-year-old Brian Reed had jumped into the Mississippi River Friday morning to elude police.

Authorities near St. Rose, La. — Reed's hometown — had yet to find Brian Reed, who, according to his mother Karen Reed, has had a troubled history with drugs and alcohol.

Police said Reed was trying to escape officers who thought they had stopped a stolen car, but the family said Reed was driving one of his brother's cars. His mother said authorities had found her son's jacket and shoes.

Reed, who was awarded a game ball by the team and dedicated that same game ball to his family, said he played Sunday in memory of his brother and invigorated by the support of his family in Louisiana and his family in the Ravens.

"Just keeping God first and having faith and hope," Reed said after the win against the Chiefs. "Knowing that there's a bigger picture to life than what we've got going on here. This is a child's game that we play, and like I said, these guys helped keep me focused and keep my head in the right place. Talking to my mom and dad, knowing that they're being strong right now."

Rushing Roethlisberger

Back on Dec. 5, Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata broke Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's nose with an inadvertent left-handed blow to his face.

Ngata didn't get flagged, but he was fined $15,000 afterward. Despite the disciplinary action, Harbaugh said the defense won't alter the way it attacks quarterbacks, especially one as large as the 6-foot-5, 241-pound Roethlisberger.

"[W]e're going to try to get after him like we always do," Harbaugh said Monday. "It's going to be real important, and he knows that. That's a key to stopping him. You've got to get him down. You can't let him extend plays, and if he does extend plays, you've got to cover those guys, and that's easier said than done."

Clock control

The Ravens' display was even more impressive considering that the offense dominated the time of possession, holding onto the football for 41:44 against Kansas City.

The Ravens went 9-1 in the regular season when they owned the advantage in time of possession — a factor that could play a significant role against the Steelers' stingy defense.

"It all kind of goes together," Harbaugh said. "Time of possession is a reflection of moving the chains and getting first downs, number of plays. We were in no-huddle at times and sometimes we bled the clock. We used a lot of different tempos on offense. I thought we did a good job of managing that. Didn't have the false-start penalties. All those things that contribute to doing those things well probably show up in the number of plays that you have and in time of possession, and it's a very important factor of controlling the game."

Showing poise

Harbaugh said the team has submitted to the league office film of Chiefs inside linebacker Jovan Belcher's helmet-to-helmet hit on quarterback Joe Flacco and defensive end Tyson Jackson's headlock on tight end Todd Heap.

While displeased by the absence of penalties on those two plays, Harbaugh said the team's self-control and decision not to retaliate was another sign of the players' development.

"I thought our guys did a good job of keeping their poise," he said. "From that perspective, I was proud of the way they kept their poise and for the most part, walked back to the huddle. We encourage them to do it — you can only take so much sometimes — but I thought they did a good job of not getting penalized."

Ngata played through injury

With zero tackles against the Chiefs, Ngata registered his first zero-tackle contest since Dec. 13, 2009 against the Detroit Lions.

The thigh injury that limited the two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle in practice last week bothered him at the outset of Sunday's game, but the thigh improved as the game wore on, Harbaugh said.

"I thought it did take him a while and early on, I think he wasn't quite as explosive maybe as he is other times," Harbaugh said. "But towards the end of the game, he was, and then we were able to get him out. But he came through it well. So it looks like he's in good shape."

End zone

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