Suggs: See­ing Reed as a Bills coach ‘will be kind of weird’

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS WEEKEND - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­ twit­­wardLeeSun

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.

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