So once again I have to begin a post/discussion with the disclaimer that I am a huge Ed Reed fan. Number 20 has been causing some waves this offseason – first he came out and said that he had some offseason hip surgery, from which he was only about 30-35% recovered. Then in the next breath he talked about wanting a new contract from the Ravens. That latter part of that interview was jumped all over by the local media and blogs, while I thought of it more as a non-story. Tony Lombardi at Ravens24x7 went so far as to say that it was a case of greedy journalists “selling out” Reed (I tend to agree).
However, the latest word vomit (a tip of the hat to the newly incarcerated Lindsay Lohan for that one – what, you didn’t see “Mean Girls?” Psh…you’re missing out…pre-coke LiLo, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Tina Fey…but I digress) out of Reed’s mouth is a bit more substantial, to my ears.
During an interview on 105.7 the fan yesterday, Reed said that Troy Smith would be better equipped than Marc Bulger to be Joe Flacco’s backup. Now, unless Reed is referring to the kind of “better equipped” that he would be privy to only by sharing a locker room with these guys, than that statement is absolutely ludicrous.
Bulger is “just another guy that’s been in the league and been around,” Reed said, adding that recently acquired defensive back Ken Hamlin “adds depth to the secondary.”
Marc Bulger has started 95 games in his career.
Troy Smith has started TWO.
Bulger has thrown for over 22,000 yards.
Smith has thrown for 558.
Also, Ed, Bulger has not “been around,” in the sense that he is a journeyman veteran. He has played for one team his entire career, and behind one of the worst offensive lines in football the past several seasons. The Bulger signing was widely regarded around football as beneficial to the team, and as a move that a true Super Bowl contender makes – getting some solid insurance for their young starting signal-caller.
Troy Smith was a fifth round draft pick. He was assigned a fifth-round tender this offseason, meaning that ANY team in this quarterback-deprived league could have had him for the bargain bin price of a 5th round draft pick. Hell, even his hometown team, the Cleveland Browns, whom he has practically begged to sign him for a year now, decided to go instead with the washed up Jake Delhomme AND Seneca Wallace over Smith (maybe the Browns were trying to save their fans another LeBron situation with Smith? :snicker:) NFL talent evaluators obviously have absolutely no regard for Troy Smith, so why he, and to a greater extent, his teammates, hold him in such high regard is truly a mystery.
Fortunately, it’s one that isn’t likely to bother us for much longer. Bulger WILL be the team’s backup this year, and Smith would piss and moan so much at the prospect of being #3 that the Ravens aren’t likely to hold onto him, especially considering that John Beck (another better option than Smith, IMHO) would be happy to just be on a roster in 2010. Smith could learn a thing or two from that mentality.
In the meantime, Ed Reed needs to just…stop…talking…and focus on getting better. The news today is that he expects to start the season on the “Physically Unable to Perform” list, which means he’ll miss at least the team’s first six games. The battle to replace him between Tom Zbikowski and Ken Hamlin will be one to watch this summer, much moreso than the already-decided affair that is to be Bulger vs. Smith for the backup QB job.
Well, I had hardly finished editing and posting this piece and it’s already become apparent that Ed has no plans at all to take my advice.
Talking to The Sun’s Jamison Hensley, who tracked down Reed at a kids’ football camp today, Ed has plenty more input to give:
Reed said “I haven’t had the support from the other side as you think has been there.”
Reed indicated he hadn’t asked the Ravens for a new contract this year, but that he did last year. He’s unhappy with his current deal, which has three years remaining.
“The word I got was: ‘We’re comfortable with where we’re at,'” Reed said. “Yes, you would be comfortable with the plays that I’m making on the field and paying me what you’re paying me.”
“There are six, seven players in front of me [financially] at my position that I honestly wouldn’t let hold my jock, and I don’t even wear one,” Reed said.
In not wearing a jock, Reed revealed that he has something in common with Carl Crawford.
That was my input at this point, a lame joke. Because right now, my favorite Raven is quickly approaching the necessity of a “former” in front of that title.