Ravens safety Ed Reed will end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame some day, but the NFL says he needs to work on his tackling.
Specifically, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson said on Mike and Mike in the Morning that Reed, who was suspended for one game for repeated blows to the head and neck area of opposing players, has to change the way he delivers hits, learning to aim lower and not lead with his head.
“We want him to hit below the head and neck area,” Anderson said. “We’d like to see him use his shoulder. We’d like to see him wrap up in a more traditional technique. But we absolutely do not want to see head to head, shoulder, forearm to head or neck area, no real attempt to wrap, and almost going missile-like up high. We cannot have those in the game any longer.”
Anderson said that Reed, who was penalized on Sunday for a helmet-to-helmet hit, fined once earlier this year for a helmet-to-helmet hit and also fined in 2010 for a helmet-to-helmet hit, has run out of chances.
“Ed Reed, unfortunately, is a repeat offender. We put the burden on the defender to alter his target in those situations when a player is defenseless,” Anderson said.
The NFL wants players to understand that the league office is serious about cracking down on hits to the head of defenseless players, and if fines don’t get the message through, suspensions will be the next step.
“Hits to the head and neck area potentially are life altering as well as career altering,” Anderson said. “Hits to the head and neck area are our biggest concern and we are absolutely intent on getting those out of the game. We can’t defer any longer to fines as the primary deterrent. They are not effective.”
Reed has an appeal hearing today, with former coach Ted Cottrell handling the appeal. Anderson obviously doesn’t think Reed has any grounds to get his suspension lifted.