Ed Reed’s critical comments of Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense during a Monday SiriusXM NFL Radio interview have gotten plenty of national attention over the last 24 hours.
In that interview, Reed said that Flacco was “kind of rattled a little bit” on Sunday against the Texans’ defense and he should have gotten the ball out of his hand quicker. Reed also was critical of the Ravens’ offensive line and said he thought the coaches should have incorporated backup running back Ricky Williams into the offense some more.
Today, Flacco responded to Reed’s comments and said that he’s met with the veteran safety to clear up any issues between the two men.
“It was a little funny to me. I was a little caught off guard, but it is what it is,” Flacco said. “We talked about it. It’s not really that big of a deal.
“When I first saw it, I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ But like I said, we talked about it. We’re a team around here. It’s not really that big of an issue. I don’t really take things that bad. It is what it is.”
As you might expect, the Reed story was the main topic of discussion during today’s player availability. Coaches and players were asked if they feel the headlines caused by Reed’s comments will be a distraction for the team as they prepare for the AFC championship game this week.
“It’s not an issue,” linebacker Ray Lewis said. “I haven’t heard exactly what he said, but it’s not an issue. The only issue we have as a team is going up and trying to get a big win in Foxborough because anything else that everybody wants to bring up at this point is irrelevant. And everybody in the locker room is thinking the same way.”
“We all just kind of think we need to do better as a team,” said linebacker Terrell Suggs. “I believe Ed opened the whole thing saying he didn’t play well. We just knew what we got to do to play better as a unit. That goes for all of us, not just one person.”
As for head coach John Harbaugh, he also met with Reed to discuss the comments, and came out of his discussion with the Pro Bowl safety feeling like everyone’s on the same page.
“I understand where Ed’s heart’s at, and all our guys when they say things,” Harbaugh said. “We’re together all the time. We know each other, we understand where each other are coming from. I’m sure there are some things he would have liked to have said a little better. If you look at the whole context and hear the tone of his voice, I think the message he was trying to communicate was a good message. But obviously, things could have been ... the way you read them and stuff like that, I’m sure he’s not too happy about that.”
“I understand what he’s talking about. We all try to get better, and no one’s been more critical of himself than (Reed) over the years. I think we all take a very critical approach to what we do and a very humble heart to our job and the challenges ahead. We try to make each other better the best way we can, and we move on. That’s what we’re doing, we’re moving on. We know each other, and we understand each other.”
Right guard Marshal Yanda provided an offensive lineman’s perspective on Reed’s comments.
“Ed’s Ed,” Yanda said. “I’ll tell you right now, like anything in the locker room, we’re not worried about it. I’m sure Joe’s not. I’m sure Ed’s not. I’m sure it might’ve gotten twisted up a little bit how everybody’s trying to blow it up. It’s not a big deal. Ed’s behind Joe all the way.
“Ed wouldn’t do anything to be detrimental to the team a week before we play the AFC Championship game. It’s in one ear and out the other. Not worried about it. Worried about New England. Going forward.”