Ed Reed had a hunch on quarterback sneak

October 07, 2012|By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — — Free safety Ed Reed was fairly certain what was about to happen when Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel lined up under center at the Ravens' 1-yard line on the opening drive of the third quarter.

Anticipating a quarterback sneak, Reed pounced on the fumbled exchange between center Ryan Lilja and Cassel and advanced the recovery out of the end zone to the Ravens' 12-yard line.

It was a turning point in the Ravens' 9-6 victory Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, triggering a 10-point swing with the Chiefs not scoring a touchdown and the turnover leading directly to a Baltimore field goal.

"I knew it was a quarterback sneak," Reed said. "Me and Ray [Lewis] were yelling at each other and I saw the ball come out. It hit the center's leg. It was getting kicked around a little bit. I was just thankful to get it because one of their linemen had hit me from the left side.

"He was going to snap it so quick and that's why he probably fumbled it. You just saw it coming. I've seen it so many times with [Tom] Brady, and being that they got a Brady background. Cassel used to be with Brady [in New England]. It was just right there, the gap was open. I'm sure if he doesn't fumble that, it's a touchdown and a different ballgame."

Following an instant replay review, the fumble call was upheld. Afterward, Lilja took the blame.

The Ravens took advantage of the miscue against a team that leads the NFL with 19 turnovers, driving 80 yards in seven plays to set up Justin Tucker's 26-yard field goal to break a 3-3 tie.

"It was big, obviously," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It was huge. I thought our offense did a great job of capitalizing. It was important in the football game."

Suggs not expected back for Texans game

Injured Ravens Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs isn't expected to return for the Houston Texans game on Oct. 21, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

The source refuted reports that Suggs was aiming toward that game, characterizing it as unrealistic he would be ready or that the Ravens would risk a setback by allowing him to play. The source added it's
far too soon to know exactly when the NFL Defensive Player of the Year will return from a surgically-repaired partially torn right Achilles tendon.

The source said it's far more likely that Suggs would return sometime in November, perhaps later in that month

Suggs, who led the Ravens with 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles last season, is on the physically unable to perform list for the first six games of the season.

After the first six games, he has a three-week window to begin practicing and be placed on the active roster. If the Ravens want to, though, they could simply activate Suggs regardless of his ability to practice and simply carry him on the roster until he's ready.

It will take time for Suggs to get into optimum playing shape.

Cassel knocked out of game

An embattled starter, Cassel suffered a concussion when he got decked by Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata in the fourth quarter.

"You get hit by Haloti Ngata, you will get a concussion," nose guard Ma'ake Kemeatu said.

Cassel was on the ground for several minutes before wobbling off the field with trainers.

It was a devastating hit as the 6-foot-4, 350-pounder had a full head of steam when he crashed into Cassel.

"I knew I hit him hard," Ngata said. "I didn't think I hit him hard enough to take him out."

Before kickoff, an airplane circled the stadium with a banner calling for Cassel to be benched and for general manager Scott Pioli to be fired.

Fans cheered when Cassel got hurt, seemingly overjoyed to see backup quarterback Brady Quinn enter the game.

"That's not cool," Ngata said. "He's your quarterback. For them to cheer for him being hurt, that's just not cool."

After the game, Cassel was visibly upset.

"It was sad to see the fans cheer for somebody getting hurt," Kemoeatu said. "It's a horrible situaiton. I hope he's fine."

Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston went on a rant after the game where he criticized the fans for taking joy in Cassel's pain.

"We are athletes, we are not gladiators,” Winston told Kansas City reporters. “This isn’t the Roman Colisseum. People pay their hard-earned money to come in here. I believe they can boo, they can cheer, they can do whatever they want. But when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don’t care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel, it’s sickening. It’s 100 percent sickening. I’ve been in some rough times on some rough teams. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there.”

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