Ed Reed on Ray Lewis: "He's just that engine"
When talking with the media on Thursday, Ed Reed said there are a few reasons why the Ravens have played much better on defense in the post-season and earned another trip to the Super Bowl.
The biggest one involves the return of Ray Lewis and the experience that the Ravens gained and bring to the field on defense. Reed said the return of Lewis was crucial in so many ways and really helped the Ravens to the championship game.
"And obviously, when Ray came back-- he's just that engine, he's that motor that's going to go all the time," Reed said when speaking with the media. "He understands what the offense is trying to do to you when you're talking about the run game. He's calling out plays before they even happen. That's what you really miss when Ray's out."
That's something which really has given the Ravens a boost. Even if Lewis isn't the same speed he once was, he's helping to call out the right defenses and get everyone in the right spots. That's invaluable for any team, especially one in the playoffs.
"[With Lewis out], you don't have a guy that's calling the play out," Reed said. "He's seen so much football. For 17 years, he's seen a lot of football. So, Ray calling out a bunch of plays definitely helps."
But this season also has been a time of growth on defense. They've had to learn a lot this season, because so many players needed to step up due to the huge number of injuries the team suffered.
"We’ve been through a lot," Reed said. "We have a bunch of guys who’ve been through a lot, a bunch of guys who’ve stepped up, young guys that got a lot of playing time early in the year when Ray [Lewis] went down. To have those guys play early, get that experience, it really helped.”