Suggs: Seeing Reed as a Bills coach ‘will be kind of weird’
Ed Reed spent 11 years with the Ravens, earning nine Pro Bowl selections and 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, as well as helping the franchise capture its second Super Bowl championship at the end of the 2012 season.
After that title, Reed left the organization that used its 2002 first-round draft pick on him and split the 2013 season with the Houston Texans and New York Jets before retiring. He will return to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday as an assistant defensive backs coach for the Buffalo Bills, who are helmed by Rex Ryan, Reed’s former mentor.
The impending sight of Reed on the sideline and in a headset as a coach has already flummoxed Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
“It will be kind of weird,” Suggs said. “It’s going to be kind of weird to see Superman in street clothes. I guess he’s Clark Kent now. … But we have a job to do, man. We have to get down to business. Before the game, it’s probably going to be, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ After the game, if it goes according to plan, there’s going to be a little love. But if not, it’s going to be a little weird, too. It’s going to be weird, but we’ll get over it real fast.”
Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who played two seasons with Reed, sounded surprised when informed that his former teammate is now a Bills coach. But Smith said there won’t be much sentimentality before or during the game.
“He’s a friend, but he ain’t playing. So it doesn’t really matter,” Smith said. “He was playing for the Jets when he came back and we played against him [in the Ravens’ 19-3 victory Nov. 24, 2013]. He’s been gone for a little while now. So it’s not going to be a big deal.” Ravens, Hester both learning: Jerry Rosburg and Devin Hester had crossed paths before, working together at a Pro Bowl. But since the Ravens signed Hester to a one-year deal with a $1 million base salary and a $100,000 signing bonus Monday, Rosburg has developed a greater appreciation for the NFL’s all-time leader in return touchdowns.
“I’ve learned a lot from him and what he looks for, what his style is, how he likes to approach the game [and] what his preparation fundamentals are,” Rosburg said after Thursday’s practice. “It’s been really, really educational for me to listen to him talk football.”
Rosburg, the Ravens special teams coordinator and associate head coach, said the challenge now is to prepare the players assigned with blocking for Hester to adjust to his preferences and strengths.
“The difficulty really is having our players play with him and understanding how he plays the game — every one of these guys — especially in a punt return when the play is a work of art,” Rosburg said. “He is going to find space and go. We have to learn how to play with Devin Hester as our returner. And we will, and that’s why we’ve been working hard in practice to try to get to know one another in that regard.” Free agency was ‘nerve-wracking’ for Reynolds: Rookie Keenan Reynolds was a free agent for one day when he was cut by the Ravens on Saturday before joining their practice squad. And it wasn’t easy.
“It was nerve-wracking,” the sixth-round draft pick out of Navy said after Wednesday’s practice. “But everything happens for a reason. So I’m using this opportunity to continue to work on my craft, get better at lifting and just keep working every day.”
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound wide receiverreturn specialist had to wait 24 hours between getting waived from the roster and signed to the practice squad. During that window, his agent informed him that a few teams had called to express interest in Reynolds, who chose to stay with the Ravens.
Coach John Harbaugh said Reynolds handled the moves with class.
“He’s a pro,” Harbaugh said. “Keenan doesn’t say a lot. He listens, and if he has a question, he asks it. I’m sure if he has an observation, he’ll make it. But he understood kind of where he stood and where he needs to go and what the plan is.” End zone: Rosburg said he was not surprised to see kicker Wil Lutz signed by the NewOrleans Saints on Tuesday because he saw Lutz’s willingness to learn from kicker Justin Tucker, holder Sam Koch and long snapper Morgan Cox. “He was willing to listen, he studied tape and he worked hard and took extra days of reps, and it paid off for him,” Rosburg said. “This is one of the stories that, in my view, makes America great.” … Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot), cornerback Jerraud Powers (ankle) and rookie running back Kenneth Dixon (strained MCL in left knee) did not practice for the second consecutive day. … Tight ends Dennis Pitta (broken finger) and Maxx Williams (knee), left guard John Urschel (shoulder) and cornerback Shareece Wright (foot) practiced fully for the second straight day. … For the Bills, backup cornerback Kevon Seymour (hamstring) did not practice, and backup right guard Ryan Groy (ribs) was limited for the second consecutive day. … Former Ravens defensive end Chris Canty, who spent three seasons with the team, visited the training facility in Owings Mills on Thursday as part of his duties with the NFL Network.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell, right, talks with Bills assistant defensive backs coach Ed Reed.