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Ray Anderson: Ed Reed needs to use his shoulder and wrap up


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.

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45 Responses to “Ray Anderson: Ed Reed needs to use his shoulder and wrap up”
  1. coutre says: Nov 20, 2012 12:51 PM

    Does Anderson still work for the league? I thought he was canned.

  2. kane337 says: Nov 20, 2012 12:53 PM

    I agree that DB’s need to change how they approach a hit or tackle so that players don’t get seriously hurt or suffer long lasting repercussions…..but it sure would have been nice if the league would have let everyone know how many hits to the head warranted a game suspension. I don’t think anyone knew it was 3 strikes and you’re suspended.

  3. axespray says: Nov 20, 2012 12:54 PM

    “has to change the way he delivers hits, learning to aim lower and not lead with his head…”
    So …. ah?
    Baseball Slide looking dropkick tackles ?
    How is he supposed to aim lower and Not lead with his head? That’s like …weird?

  4. pickensclause says: Nov 20, 2012 12:54 PM

    Paraphrased: We really need to make an example of someone to try and avoid a big settlement in the lawsuit.

  5. dboskie says: Nov 20, 2012 12:54 PM

    That was a joke. He also stated that if at the last second an offensive player changes their pad level that the defensive player is still responsible for where the contact is made. This is becoming laughable. Defensive player is accountable for 100% of the contact but only participates in 50% of the action. Nice, real nice. I am all for increased safety, no INTENTIONAL helmet to helmet contact or spearing/lauching. However, this is a game that is based off of contact. This rule needs to be changed/modified to account for an offensive player changing his pad level. If they are not going to change this, then they need to abolish the stiff arm to the face also. That is a blatant shot a defensive players head and neck area and should also be a 15-yard penalty and heck throw in a loss of down. Lord knows the defender gets penalized just for sneezing the wrong way towards an offensive player.

  6. valid1 says: Nov 20, 2012 12:56 PM

    Pure Bull****. Ed Reed has never tried tio injure a player in his life.

  7. reed20ravens says: Nov 20, 2012 12:56 PM

    so inconsistent, im not saying this just because im a ravens fan, but that year james harrison was fined a total of 100k for 3 instances in one season, he wasnt suspended until his fourth the next year. ed reeds hits were a complete different level than those

  8. JSpicoli says: Nov 20, 2012 12:57 PM

    Not Ed’s fault. He plays tackle football. Football 2.0 is missing a chromosome.

  9. nolanwiffle says: Nov 20, 2012 12:57 PM

    Anderson is 100% correct. No one in the league tackles anymore. It has become “take a kill shot and try to make the ESPN highlights.”

  10. ravenator says: Nov 20, 2012 12:57 PM

    You are a joke Mr. Anderson. Please explain to me how a 2010 violation is fair to count for in 2012. At this rate, half the defensive players will be out at leat one game given the amount of fines dished out in previous years

  11. mvp43 says: Nov 20, 2012 12:57 PM

    This entire campaign by the NFL is driving me crazy. I fully understand that they’re trying eliminate head injuries, and I agree with that to some point but to ask a player to completley change his body direction in a split second in ridiculous. They need to look at these plays on an individual basis and decipher the intent rather than just assume the worst.

    Another thing that really bugs me even more is that the NFL disregards every other position when it comes to head injuries. When a running back explodes through the line and get tagged by a LB in the head, why doesn’t the NFL flag that?

  12. azarkhan says: Nov 20, 2012 12:59 PM

    So in order to save football, the NFL has to destroy it? That sounds oddly familiar.

  13. supremekingz says: Nov 20, 2012 1:00 PM

    Define excessive.

    Giving a team an automatic 15 yard penalty + first down, and instead of leaving it there, also making the guy miss a game (and game check) which amounts to $500,000.00 PLUS now that he’s playing only 15 games this season, there’s a chance he might not reach certain incentives in his contract that could trigger more money for the guy.

    Because Ed Reed is universally known as a dirty player who intentionally tried to kill Sanders


    Man I pray Ed Reed wins that appeal! I’m boiling mad and I’m not even a Ravens fan

  14. oriolesvsravens says: Nov 20, 2012 1:02 PM

    Wrapping up and using your shoulders would not change the fact that heads will collide.

  15. tigerlilac says: Nov 20, 2012 1:03 PM

    Brandon Spikes used his shoulder (and definitely did not lower his helmet) and wrapped up Fitzpatrick and was fined $25K. The offensive player often ducks into the defensive player, anticipating the hit. The duck is what often creates helmet to helmet contact.

    The league likes to call them as they see them as opposed to what really took place on the field.

    Why didn’t the league have officials in camp and in the preseason instructing teams and players on this new policy? Because they just pulled it out of you know where.

  16. Nofoolnodrool says: Nov 20, 2012 1:06 PM

    Pollard is next and over due. Priceless……..

  17. channingtaintum says: Nov 20, 2012 1:07 PM

    He’s been fighting the urge to retire the last 2 years, and this might be the thing that sways his decision.

    Time to face the facts, the Safety position has been neutered.

  18. Just a Fan says: Nov 20, 2012 1:08 PM

    When has it been coached to hit someone with your shoulder and hope he falls down. Hitting someone does not guarantee the will go down(unless you hit them in the head). I see guys getting hit hit and spin out of it every game. Reed does it all the time. he rolls or spins of guys. It is a epidemic in this league. Big hits and not wrapping up is more exciting. I for one, am more excited by a great open field tackle, then a big hit that does result in a tackle. Maybe every team gives “bounty type” rewards to players. Pretty sure not just the Saints did.

  19. getyourownname says: Nov 20, 2012 1:09 PM

    Reed should retire. His lingering injuries don’t let him play the way the NFL wants without risk of permanent damage to his shoulder. It’s been a great career, and he may want that last big contract for next year, but his body just won’t let him do what teams will insist on seeing.

  20. crj202 says: Nov 20, 2012 1:10 PM


  21. joetoronto says: Nov 20, 2012 1:13 PM

    You have to feel for Reed.

    Here he is, at the end of an illustrious career, a sure fire 1st ballot HOF player, and the league is saying “He needs to use his shoulder and wrap up”

    Wow, how sad.

  22. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 20, 2012 1:14 PM

    Despite the recent outcry over this, I’m behind the league on this. Somewhere along the line players decided to start using their helmets as a weapon as opposed to a protective device. Tell them to all watch a game of rugby if they want to learn how to tackle without going head first. It’s easy. I guarantee if they were all forced to play a game without helmets (like the rugby players) they would learn awfully quick how to tackle by leading with their shoulder. Until then they are going to keep launching themselves helmet first.

  23. t8ertot says: Nov 20, 2012 1:15 PM

    Wrapping up in an open field is harder than it sounds. When you’re going full speed it’s hard to slow your body down. If Reed didn’t play the way he did, there would be a lot more touchdowns gived up.

    Sooner or later this league will be flag football

  24. sterilizecromartie says: Nov 20, 2012 1:20 PM

    I also love how everyone is making a big deal that Reed will miss out on $500,000 game check. It’s probably the same people that were complaining when backups who make $250K got fined $25K for an illegal hit. Back then they were all saying “The fines should be commensurate with what the players make! You can’t fine a backup the same as you would a guy who makes millions!”. Well, Reed’s fine (one game check) is commensurate with his salary. He is losing one-sixteenth on his salary for breaking the rules, just like everyone else would if they did the same thing. Just because he makes more than nearly everyone else is a moot point.

  25. thesteeg says: Nov 20, 2012 1:24 PM

    Anderson is full of it. This suspension is complete bs.

  26. ragingyinzer says: Nov 20, 2012 1:25 PM

    The 2010 hit establishes Reed’s history as a repeat offender and habitual headhunter. He’s lucky he only got one game. He deserved more, given his obvious intent to injure and his history of doing the same. Ratbird fans have some nerve to whine about this, but I guess that’s all they ever do.


  27. gstoner42 says: Nov 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    The only way to stop helmet to helmet contact is to remove the helmets altogether. Outfit the players with the old-school leather helmets and that will stop it quickly.
    No matter how much the NFL tries to legislate intent, it can’t be done. You can’t prove Ed Reed tried to hurt the WR. He is doing what he has been taught his whole career- separate the runner from the ball.
    It is clear the NFL is trying to protect themselves against further lawsuits by demonstrating how concerned they are about injuries. The reason of course is so that they can keep their money.
    But if injuries were really that much of a concern, then why is Goodell still pushing for an 18 game season? Again, the answer is money.
    The game is changing so much, it will cease to resemble pro football before long.

  28. contract says: Nov 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    Has this guy ever tackled anyone?

  29. mannyfresh209 says: Nov 20, 2012 1:47 PM

    Using the shoulder to the head still constitutes a fine/penalty/suspension for Ed Reed.

  30. robf2010 says: Nov 20, 2012 1:52 PM

    If a player is not attempting to wrap up a ball carrier, he is NOT tackling. He is just hitting.

  31. patriotinvasion says: Nov 20, 2012 2:04 PM

    I’ve been a big opponent of all the rule changes, but Ray Anderson’s explanation actually seems pretty logical and acceptable to me.

    DB’s have to try harder to avoid the big head-to-head hit. Lower your shoulder and take out the torso. Fair enough.

  32. trolls87 says: Nov 20, 2012 2:07 PM

    Mr. Anderson, the solution is simple: No helmets.

  33. chilomane says: Nov 20, 2012 2:16 PM

    The db’s can’t take the wr’a movements in account in that amount of time it’s unreasonable what the nfl is punishing.

  34. cosmoman11 says: Nov 20, 2012 2:16 PM

    Personal foul – 15 yard penalty
    One game suspension – $500K in lost salary
    Ray Anderson telling Ed Reed how to play football – PRICELESS

  35. tatum064 says: Nov 20, 2012 2:51 PM

    patriotinvasion says:
    Nov 20, 2012 2:04 PM
    I’ve been a big opponent of all the rule changes, but Ray Anderson’s explanation actually seems pretty logical and acceptable to me.

    DB’s have to try harder to avoid the big head-to-head hit. Lower your shoulder and take out the torso. Fair enough.


    lower your shoulder, get run over by Darrius Heyward-Bey.

  36. valid1 says: Nov 20, 2012 3:38 PM

    @getyourownname I fear you’re right. I’ve loved watching him over the years but he simply can’t make all the plays he would need to make in the new NFL. Hopefully the Ravens can pull of the big win this year giving him the send off he deserves,

  37. oldirtyman says: Nov 20, 2012 3:41 PM

    A football player should play with passion and not be worried about his own health while on the field, Ed Reed is a football player!

  38. oldirtyman says: Nov 20, 2012 3:46 PM


    Ryan Mundy took care of DHB earlier this year, or did u forget him leaving on a stretcher

  39. nickster31 says: Nov 20, 2012 4:06 PM

    As a Steelers fan, I can say this is TOTAL BS!!!

  40. darienal says: Nov 20, 2012 4:07 PM

    Obviously Anderson was wrong!

  41. raidmagic says: Nov 20, 2012 5:23 PM

    Maybe they should just put flags on them. Two hand touch is to discretionary

  42. ballboy48 says: Nov 20, 2012 8:14 PM

    Wait T.J. Ward hit Ogletree square in the chest with his shoulder pads, and was penalized for helmet to helmet. Ogletree was trying to catch the ball and Ward made a great play, and gets a flag! The NFL needs to stop coddling Jerry Jones’ Cowboy cahones!

  43. tigerlilac says: Nov 20, 2012 10:45 PM

    I just watched a very powerful Real Sports (HBO) piece on brain injuries from football. Not only the NFL, but especially the NCAA, need to do more to limit brain injuries that appear to result from continual head trauma caused from hits especially in practice. They have measured brain activity over a season and the cumulative impact is dramatic.

  44. steelcurtainn says: Nov 21, 2012 12:50 AM

    I dont think he’s a dirty player but then again I don’t watch all the Ravens games. Even tho I don’t agree with NFL Ruling, there was helmet to helmet contact which should then definitely assess a fine especially since he’s a repeat offender. The guys a good safety but as a steeler fan there was nothing better then seeing Hines Ward lay a safety like Reed on his behind.

  45. jacktheraven says: Nov 22, 2012 9:30 AM

    Ed coulda tackled that receiver by wrapping him.
    No need to hit him above the mid-section. Just stop hitting players in the head.

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