Ed Reed has been fairly quiet during his rehab from offseason hip surgery, but the Ravens' six-time Pro Bowl safety held court in front of his locker today, discussing his health and his current role with the team.
Reed is on the Physcially Unable to Perform list, meaning he must miss the Ravens' first six games of the season. But apparently, he feels like he's healthy enough that he could play prior to that.
The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year said he contacted the Players Association leading up to the Ravens' season opener against the Jets, and tried to see if there was a way he could cut down the time he would need to miss.
"Last week, I called the NFLPA trying to get off PUP and all that," Reed said. "I thought I could've got it reduced. Maybe I should have called [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell. But it's all in the game. I've got to abide by the rules, and all I can do is take advantage of this time. I know these guys are going to do their jobs, and do it the way we're always taught to do it, regardless of who's out there."
Reed says he's on schedule in his rehab, but "on schedule" for him means something a lot different now than it did during the offseason.
"I was scheduling myself to be back the first game," Reed said. "But as an organization and as a player, we thought the best thing would be to give it a couple more weeks. We didn't know how many weeks it was going to take for me to get fully back, and even if it be after this six weeks. But like coach said, 'It's going to be hard to hold you back these next couple weeks.'"
The 32-year-old has been working out off to the side of practice, and spent time yesterday running sprints dragging a 45-pound weight across the ground behind him. He says his hip is feeling better.
"It's been progressing since Day One of the surgery," Reed said. "I think it's been getting better. I'm working hard. We're doing a lot of work with the trainers here and the doctor. Just keeping that conversation up and keeping that dialogue up and making sure they're communicating and I'm doing everything I can possibly do."
For now, all Reed can do is coach up his teammates and provide another experienced pair of eyes on the sidelines. Reed has been working with his replacement, Tom Zbikowski, and says he's doing everything he can to become a better coach while he's out.
"How can I get better at that?" he said. "You might see me with a notebook or something this week. But just helping the guys out in any way that I can. It's kind of harder as a player to get into the flow of the game on the sideline, so just trying to know the gameplan, see what they're doing, how they're attacking us on the one drive and then giving some tips and pointers from that."