Baltimore Ravens fans may have been worried this spring and summer about the future of Ed Reed, but that trouble seems to be going away. No.20 ended all the drama earlier this week when he claimed he will be back in the Ravens secondary this season. John Harbaugh is standing by his safety and is happy to know that the future Hall of Famer will be patrolling his secondary for at least one more season. The Ravens head coach knows he will now have Reed and Ray Rice in training camp next week, and that takes some of the worry away from him at the start of the campaign. John Harbaugh joined 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore with The Norris & Davis Show to discuss Ed Reed’s status with Baltimore Ravens this season, signing Ray Rice to a long term contract this past week, his roster concerns heading into training camp next week and his take on the New Orleans Saints bountygate scandal.
Your thoughts on the controversy with Ed Reed this offseason? He’s been throwing everyone for a loop:
“Well I read that as he is just being…he was quote unquote you know ‘retired’ from thinking about football for however many months it has been since we have been playing football. He just said before that he was always planning on playing this year and I think he’s trying to make a nuance for you. I am going to defend Ed because I am going to stand by him. He’s one of my players. I personally like him. I respect him. I think he is a good person with a good heart and that’s what you do as a coach. You stand by your guys and you may not always agree with what they say or how they say it or what they do. Most of the time I do agree with what Ed says, but not all the time and he knows that and he’s a good person. He’s trying to make a nuance point there. It’s a tough point to make a little bit and it’s hard to understand sometimes, but I’ve said all along I believe he’s going to play this year and be here and it looks like that is the case.”
One thing we do know is that Ray Rice will be here this season. Have you talked with him? Is it a good thing to have him signed and happy?
“Yeah it is. It’s good. It’s better to do it that way. It’s gotta be done in a way that…negotiations are tough. It seems like with these things the more…being a head coach in this league and getting more involved in these things to some extent it seems like these things always come down to the wire. It’s always the last minute where these things usually get done and there’s probably a reason for that and then you negotiate back-and-fourth and they probably come up with the right number in the end and it’s a great deal for Ray. It’s a lot of money up front especially for a running back. That’s a good thing. He is going to be secure for a long time. He is going to be happy. I never worry about Ray. You are not afraid to do that with a guy and you put Terrell Suggs in that category. You can put Haloti Ngata in that category. You are not afraid to do that. Ed when he signed the highest contract for a safety ever. Ray Lewis. You are not afraid to do that for guys who are motivated and are going to come to work and are going to give you everything they got anyway, so I talked to him [Ray Rice] right afterwards and had been texting before that and talking to him on the phone throughout, but afterwards he was so just so relieved, so happy, he felt so blessed. He just felt good about it and he’s ready to roll. He’s in great shape.”
Training camps starts next week. What are you really worried about when you look at this roster?
“Well I am concerned about everything. You are concerned about how practices are going to go. You are concerned about having a great practice and setting the right expectation and setting the right tone. I think the main thing is doing your job. I think as a head coach I have a certain job and I am concerned about making sure I do it well and helping everyone do their job. From a roster standpoint I am looking forward to see how these young guys step up. Everybody in the league has issues. Nobody has got the perfect roster and it seems like when you think you do and you think you have the perfect roster on paper it turns out that you are wrong. Young guys have to step up and play. I think about the offensive line a little bit like everybody else. I am looking forward to seeing how that plays out and I am excited about Bobbie Williams. I am really excited about our young guys. You have to have young players step up in this league. Gino Gradkowski had a nice spring for us and I think we have done a nice job of putting young guys in position under veteran players, so what you do is give the veteran players a chance to be who he is, to have one of the best years of his career. I think those guys are going to play well, but those guys are going to push him. Those young guys when they are ready to step in there they’ll be a good transition force to do that and you just kind of never know how that is going to turn out, but we got a lot of confidence in the old guys and young guys.”
Your thoughts on the bountygate controversy? How does it impact your team?
“It’s funny the whole thing took me by surprise. I got asked a question a few months back and I think when you relate with your team you try to do things. We try to let our guys know we are going to try to work as hard as we can and we are going to be as good as we can and we are going to try to do everything the right way and every decision that we make is going to be what’s in the best interests of the team. The amazing thing about it is when you do that…that’s 90% of the time what’s in the best interests of the players too cause it’s a team sport, but I was really shocked when I got asked a question about it and they brought up the word cheating and they used that example. I don’t think so it’s a lesson we give to all of our players and all of our kids every single day. We do onto our players what we try to do as coaches and we try to give them that message. We all in life I think try to teach our players that you try to do the right thing. What surprised me was that the point was missed. A lot of people chose to miss the point and had I been more on my toes I wouldn’t have used any examples. I wouldn’t have gone into that and I would have just kind of made the point. To me when you do something good or bad, whatever you do and whatever choices you make it’s going to come to light eventually and if you chose to run away from your mistakes they’ll catch up with you. You try to do the right thing and if you make a mistake you try to make it right and that was the point I was trying to make.”