Ed Reed: I’d retire before having Peyton Manning’s neck surgeries


Ravens safety Ed Reed will turn 33 as he enters his 10th NFL season in September, and he’s giving serious thought to the toll that injuries have taken on him. He’s also giving thought to other players who have been injured — and he says that if he were in Peyton Manning’s situation, needing multiple neck surgeries, he would quit football.

“I don’t want to be like these guys having neck surgery, then you got to go have another surgery just to continue to play this game,” Reed told ESPN’s Ed Werder. “I love this game but I love myself more.”

Asked specifically whether he’d do the same thing that Manning has done, having neck surgeries in each of the last two offseasons, Reed was emphatic that he wouldn’t, saying “no” five times.

“No, no,” Reed said. “I mean, no. No. No, not my neck.”

Reed also acknowledged that he’s not the same player now that he was when he was younger, as he worries more about getting hurt in high-speed collisions.

“Definitely, you think about it,” Reed said. “You’ve got to be smart about tackling. I’m not hitting guys as much as I used to — not hitting them trying to knock them out as much, sorry to say. You’re not tackling with your shoulder as much, just wrapping them up and getting them on the ground.”

Reed has had a great career and been one of the most explosive players in football over the last decade. But his comments are an indication that he sees the end coming soon.

87 responses to “Ed Reed: I’d retire before having Peyton Manning’s neck surgeries

  1. In the Reed v. Polamalu debate, how anyone at this point can pick Reed needs to have the contents of their cranium examined.

    One player plays through pain, never promotes himself and goes balls out for his teammates.

    The other player self-annoints himself as the best in the game, and though he is a great player who deserves to be bronzed in Canton – he makes it plain that he absolutely unequivocally won’t make the sacrifices other players would to play …… like Peyton Manning and Ronnie Lott to list a couple that come to mind.

    Strong Edge to Polamalu.

  2. @ paulie

    You are missing the point of that debate. Reed has been playing longer and is older so you have to consider that. If Troy wrapped up once and a while as opposed to trying to tackle with his hair, I might be with you. But the impact that Reed had last season was incredible. Of course you could say the same for Troy. Both guys are pretty damn good.

  3. Instead of an end coming soon, maybe he is trying to prolong his career by avoiding injuries and surgeries.

    Obviously he is very intelligent and knows how to play the game. People want the big nasty hits, Reed wants to wrap up and tackle. I would take that kind of play from a safety any day.

    And Reed is cool because he doesn’t do any stupid hair commercials. Polamolecules? really?

  4. In their prime, it’s a wash. It’s like comparing which is better, a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Both are GREAT safeties, end of story and really not debatable as to which is better. Bias is the only difference between these two when comparing. What I mean by that is you’ll pick the one you’re more biased towards.

    And Paulie, if you really think that Troy doesn’t promote himself then you must not see the insane amount of commercials he’s in….the guy is ALWAYS promoting his hair like a woman!

    If you’re in the NFL and you don’t promote yourself then you are an idiot with no understanding of business and how to maximize your personal branding which = more $$$$. You look at these guys as just football players but they are both players and businessmen.

  5. An unfortunate part of today’s game is that so many guys are concerned with highlight reels and making the 1 hour ESPN show, tackling technique has suffered. The players would be a lot more safe if they all would wrap up and bring a guy down. It would probably help their teams out too. I hate to give out kudos to the Packers, but Clay Matthews’ forced fumble on Mendenhall in the Super Bowl was a text book example of tackling and a text book example of what sound tackling can do. He wrapped up his legs and put his head on the ball. If he dove at him or just tried to put a big shoulder into him, Mendenhall likely would not have fumbled. That is something players might want to bring up internally when the NFLPA* goes back to the NFLPA.

  6. The likelihood that after this surgery that Reed gets a neck injury is about 100000x higher than it is for Manning.

    Nothing is worth risking your mobility/life for.

  7. Hey say what you want, but if he can just wrap guys up and keep getting all those pics every year, thats 100 times better than trying to just knock guys out, and then getting injured and not playing anymore.

  8. I disagree with Paulie. Ed Reed has sacrificed his body countless times to better the chances of the Ravens winning. He’s more often than not played with and through countless injuries. Ed Reed is always right around the football on defense, either making a tackle, interception, or finishing a tackle(an under emphasized portion of the game… being the second or third person on a tackle stripping the football, makin a recovery or just ensuring a tackle). He returns punts and kickoffs; the most dangerous play in football. Ed Reed is and has always been an integral leader on the field, and I’d goes as far to say that if Ray Lewis played elsewhere the Ravens would be Reed’s team and he’d command that locker room and defense.

  9. @ paulieorkid:

    You have to admit that Reed has had some of the most ridiculous plays in the history of the NFL. They’re two very different types of safeties: Polamalu is a warrior who throws his body around like a stuntman and Reed is the epitome of a playmaker. Clearly, both are feared in their own regard and an offense has to constantly be aware of their presence on every play.

    It’s actually pretty incredible to think that two Hall of Fame safeties have played against each other in the same division for the past decade.

    As a Giants fan, I’ll never NOT watch a Ravens/Steelers game – it’s about as rough of a game as there is in the NFL. I couldn’t believe Joe Flacco got up after that shot he took in Week 1.

  10. HEY paulieorkid, you must have been drinking too much Iron City. Palamalu got his game from watching Reed. Reed was returning interceptions for touchdowns before Troy was even in the league! Not to metion blocking punts for TD’s, and of yeah returning punts for TDS, and blocking FG’s for TD’s. Get your facts straight in Pittsburgh!

  11. Neck is nothing to mess with. Chris Spielman wanted to come back but the confidence and fear of further risk was too much.
    But maybe it is different for a QB vs. a defensive player.

  12. Sorry……Troy P is and has always been extremely over-rated. He isn’t in the same class as Ed Reed…….even if Reed is at 75%

  13. Mr. Paulieorkid, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  14. I am a Manning fan and while I would love to see him break a few more records, he’s already HoF certifiable. He’s won a Super Bowl, established himself as a premier passer and has a few MVPs. The League would take a hit without his presence, but yeah, health comes first. If you have accomplished everything you need to, then the remaining drive is the continued desire to compete and the records…but…does that surpass health and quality of life in the long run?

  15. @ paulieorkid

    You’re a moron…

    Reed has CLEARLY sacrificed his body and CONTINUES to play through serious pain due to not having serious surgeries… he said “best safety, right here” after he made a huge play and happened to be mic’d – not during a press conference… he’s one of the most soft-spoken players in the NFL, and doesn’t have shampoo commercials for his ego-driven hairstyle

    Polamalu is ridiculously overrated and people go nuts when he tosses his body around, but he doesnt lay anyone out unless they’re equally as small as him… he bounces off people as often as he actually makes tackles

  16. Want to know if someone is a biased Steeler fan?

    Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

    Paulie, wtf does this post have to do with your beloved Steelers? Nothing

  17. I don’t know why a safety (who literally always has his neck involved in the game) when he makes tackles – would compare himself with a giraffe neck quarterback who RARELY gets sacked.

    Hell, Manning was barely touched in the last two years (14, 10 and 16 sacks) – it seems like Jay Cutler was hit that many times by the Packers alone last season.

  18. Sorry (paulie)kid but your delusional (and must be really a kid) To make it to Canton, as you say Reed will and I agree he will, you have to be around the league for more than a few years and healthy a good part of that time. Troy is great but he’s reckless and immature – he seriously hurt you all last year by hotdogging on a couple plays against Cincy and injuring himself.

    If he doesn’t grow up soon -if it’s not too late already- and start playing smarter he’ll not make it to Canton.

  19. @Paulie

    Your ridiculous statement made me sign up for an account after 2 years of lurking and face palming to the unreal comments that “football fans” put up on this site.

    Why is it that every story on either Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu results in a comparison. I’m tired of reading comparisons between two different players in two different positions. Lets compare Ray Lewis and DeMarcus Ware…yay!!!! All are incredible players and lets just leave it at that.

    Next, if you think Ed Reed is a self promoter that tells me you either don’t watch football or are blinded by your own ill formed judgements. For you to be upset or judge Ed Reed because he doesn’t want to end his career/life with a paralyzing neck injury is beyond hope. You either need to come back and clarify your egregious remarks or think before you type.

  20. I hate Reed vs Polamalu debates. They are both the best at what they do. As Bernie said above, they are two different types of players.
    Paulie, you must be one of those fans (obviously of the Steelers) that only knows his own team and doesn’t follow anything outside of what the Steelers do. You watch 2 Ravens games a year, Don’t act like you know what Ed Reed does on a week to week basis for his team when all you do is google stats.
    Ed Reed is a top 3 Free Safety in NFL history.

  21. I don’t know why anyone compares them. They play two different positions. And I don’t just mean free safety and strong safety, I mean they are used in completely different ways by their respective coaching staffs. The only way you could really compare them (and it’s of course impossible) would be to have them run the same system and see who does better.

    If I had to pick one for my team (age and injuries aside), I think I would take Polamalu. It seems like he is used in a greater variety of ways compared to Reed. But it’s really like picking between James Harrison and Patrick Willis. Both are great players who would help any team, but in completely different ways.

  22. As a Steeler fan I was going to write something snarky about Polamalu making the big play in the AFC Championship Game when the two teams played in it a few years ago, but I won’t.

    Both are great safeties and you’ve got to have respect for both. As someone already pointed out, two first ballot hall of famers in the same division playing lights out football for years! It’s not a debate about who is better, both are great, and both play the game differently.

  23. kind of refreshing to see a player with some perspective. too often we expect these guys to have the “passion” to play through anything, until they’re pushing 40 and have to be literally dragged off the field.

    seems like reed’s happy with what he’s done in his career and would be comfortable hanging it up if faced w/ a difficult or risky surgery. good for him, and good for his family. I’m sure they’ll appreciate having him around and healthy.

  24. Steeler fans, both are great but comparing the players doesn’t make sense. They are both safeties but have different position responsibilities.

    Reed is one of the great playmakers of all-time including returns and blocked kicks. He is also smart enough to not leave the game crippled.

  25. Regardless of the comparison between Polamalu and Reed, both have been selfless, top-tier members of their teams, long term.

    And both have accepted fair contracts for their respective teams in light of their fame around the league. Polamalu is set to make $6.4 million in his final year with Pittsburgh. Reed, $6.5 million this year, $7.2 million next if he can stay healthy.

    The bottom line is the league needs more veterans of this degree – and less rookies believing they’re already deserving of it.

    Source: http://www.spotrac.com

  26. I’m not sure why Polamalu even entered this discussion, but I have to think his performance in the Super Bowl last year raises some serious questions about his game right now. He may have won the defensive player of the year award, but he OWNED in the Super Bowl. Three tackles and two came after completions of 30+ yards. no passes defended. no sacks. Beat for TD’s by Jennings and Nelson, and his “big hit” attempt (again, throwing his body around) at the goal line against Jennings didn’t stop that TD either.

  27. good player but “not hitting them trying to knock them out as much, sorry to say”. worries me. The nfl, nhl are legalized violence but mma and boxing take the cake. You wanna grow old gracefully not have brain damage/injuries that prevent you from playing with your kids in that mansion you have from all that sports money.

  28. Given his comments, I now respect Ed Reed even more. His comments demonstrate that he has intelligence along with Hall of Fame-talent. Polumalu is great as well, but his hyper-aggressive play is often self-defeating, both to himself and his team, as he is constantly hurt and frequently unable to play (also see Bob Sanders. In fairness, I don’t know whether Reed or Polumalu has missed more games in their career).

    I enjoy physical, aggressive football, but I don’t think constantly looking to make kill shots or “sacrificing your body” helps the player, their team or the league. Short term, there are too many missed tackles, too many blown coverages, and too many players injured and missing games. In the long term, careers are shortened even further, and former players suffer worse health problems.

    I know, nobody forces these guys to play, and the mouthbreathers here will call me a wuss, but, if you think about it, the whole “sacrificing your body”-school of thought is, in fact, thoughtless. Play hard, but don’t play stupid. Anybody who plays in the NFL is tough – they don’t need to cut off their fingertips (Lott) or needlessly risk permanent paralysis to prove their manhood to me or anyone else.

    So kudos to Ed Reed on both being a tremendous player, and on having the intelligence to recognize that his health is ultimately more important than the game.

  29. twittedwitter:Chapman_Jamie says:ul

    You are missing the point of that debate. Reed has been playing longer and is older so you have to consider that. If Troy wrapped up once and a while as opposed to trying to tackle with his hair, I might be with you. But the impact that Reed had last season was incredible. Of course you could say the same for Troy. Both guys are pretty damn good.

    You meant “once in a while”. Spellcheck only does so much.

  30. im not going to diss @paulie, he had great points

    sike!!!! pull his account and delete it please… ed reed is the prototype athlete..always has been and always will be if he decides to play..he came back off his neck injury 50%(guessing, because who comes off a neck injury is every the same again) and he still ended the season top 3 in interceptions among safties..troy came back and was the weak link, was the targeted defender..did you see how horrible the secondary was in late season and the post season games? troy makes plays and is great at it but he doesnt shut the passing game down like e.reed..the guy is mixed with ronnie lott and the creatures in the avatar movie…and lets not forget…

    he came from the U..lol joking but not really

  31. Wow, Paulie coming in with the obligatory completely uniformed Steelers fan opinion. ALL Ed Reed does is play through pain! He’s been doing it his whole career. He didn’t play ALL 16 games only 3 out of his 9 seasons and still played 10,12, and 10 games in the seasons he did miss. Polamalu’s hasn’t played all 16 games in HALF of his seasons, and he WASNT EVEN GOOD ENOUGH TO START his rookie season- disqualifying that season (cuz, you know, he didn’t have a chance to not play through pain like usual because he wasn’t even seeing the field), he’s hasn’t finished the whole season in 4 of his 7 years. Reed missed the first six games and STILL led the NFL in interceptions last year, meanwhile Troy was COMPLETELY CHOKING down the stretch with an ALL-TIME awful playoff performance (meanwhile, Reed has AVERAGED nearly AN INTERCEPTION PER PLAYOFF GAME! He’s one of the all-time BEST playoff performers at safety). The Reed vs Polamalu comparison is a JOKE, the ONLY reason it’s even discussed is because ESPN and the NFL Network talk about him nonstop because he’s good for ratings, meanwhile Reed hardly EVER gets any coverage. Pete Prisco just named Polamalu THE MOST OVERRATED PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE and it shouldn’t even be close. Polamalu has proven to not be able to tackle Ray Rice to save his life (even getting absolutely RAN OVER by him….Rice is 5’8″) and to be a complete liability in coverage as proven by the Super Bowl…and well, his whole career to anyone who hasn’t watched him with blindfolds on (i.e. the people in the media who want NOTHING MORE for Polamalu to be decent so they hype him up to an absurd amount).

  32. Ed Reed’s neck is used allot more at his position. For Manning, it’s all about keeping that globe of a head upright.

  33. I’m a Steeler fan, and I’m not putting Troy ahead of Ed right now. If Troy starts getting to the postseason without being gimpy, and thus actually making an impact, then we can talk. Yeah, he plays through pain, but usually he play like crap through pain.

    As for Reed, he just doesn’t want to get laid out by Hines Ward anymore.

  34. It’s simple, when your young you feel invincible & as you get older you realize your just as mortal as the next guy… He sounds like a guy that knows he has little time left & doesn’t want to walk away crippled.

  35. Ed Reed said in the interview that he has always said his goal was to play until he’s 35 and he is 33 so yes the end is coming soon, he also mentioned that he wants to get into coaching when hes done playing football. Just so everyone knows ed reed never said anything about peyton manning he said he would retire before having multiple surgeries in the off season just so he could play and the guy interviewing him was like, “like peyton manning did?” and ed reed was like “Yeah, I wouldnt do that”

  36. “Why do all these Ravens keep opening there mouth and talk about Dumb Stuff. Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs and now Ed Reed.”

    First of all – what’s dumb about what Reed said?


    ““We’ll never know what really happened,” Mendenhall said. “I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”

    -Rashard Mendenhall


  37. Troy vs. Ed is one of the most boring debates around.

    It’s almost as bad as Revis vs. Aso or CJ vs. AP.

    All three debates have the potential to drag on for infinity. Just wish people could compare other top players for a change instead of arguing about the same two guys.

  38. First off Ed Reed is better that Troy (no offense Pitt fans, but its true and only by a slight margin)
    I can say that because i have no dog in the race in terms of football i hate both players equally.

    Reed is better in coverage. Has better hands. And bottom line is a better tackler. Troy is a harder hitter thats true, but i have seen bounce off quite few running backs when trying to kill them unlike reed who almost always makes a tackle even if it isn’t a huge hit. Reed is also football faster (i don’t care about 40 times I am talkin bout what you see on the field.)

    Either way though they are both top 5 safetys all time.

    and i agree with a guy like Reed if i made the kinda money he’s made i wouldn’t play if ment having a bad life later. I would want to enjoy that money laying around on boat in the bahamas !

  39. Manning doesn’t need those neck surgeries. he’s just trying to get his neck longer so he can see over defenses better.

  40. Never been a fan of Polamalu’s but talking about the way he played in the Super Bowl just isn’t fair.

    The guy was clearly playing injured, CLEARLY.

  41. @Paulie – Ed Reed > Troy Palomalu. But, they are both Top 5 All Time Safeties. Comparing Ed Reed’s reluctance to have multiple neck surgeries to Peyton Manning’s is just ridiculous. Manning does not play a position where jamming his neck into target in opposite motion is a requirement.

    Bad comparison. Ed Reed simply doesn’t want to die or wind up paralyzed. WTH is wrong with that. You wouldn’t do that for your job, and I’m pretty sure yours doesn’t require the toughness that his does.

    Your comment FAILS.

  42. I understand Reed’s comments, but he might need to remember all neck surgeries are not equal. I do not know the specifics, but maybe Peyton’s is not that serious, in that it should not have long-lasting effects.

  43. Reed’s comments make sense. For a guy in a physical position like he is, who makes tackled or gets tackled (returning) several times a game? Retirement is a much better option.

    Manning has the luxury of being able to have surgery on his neck and still be able to play the game at a high level. He doesn’t get hit a lot and he’s smart enough to just drop when he knows he’s about to get hit.

    For Manning, the surgery makes sense. For a player like Reed, retirement would be the better option, because a surgery like that would surely limit his ability.

  44. paulieorkid you are an idiot pure and simple. Comparing Reed’s neck injuries to an Achilies strain or a knee injury is pathetic. And before you say Troy plays through pain he has missed a lot of game time and sometimes while playing hurt does not perform well thus hurting his team.

    Ed Reed states here he would not mess with his neck and says he has chanegd his tackling style.

    If you knew anything about football, you would also know that Free Safety which Reed plays and Strong Safety which Troy plays are two different positions.

  45. Translation: “They pay me to play 100% all the time, but I’m just going to go about ehhh 85%.”
    The Ravens getting soft??
    Here comes the downfall of that great Ravens defense.
    I’ll hand it to them that they’ve had their run, but it’s coming to an end soon.

    Denver Broncos are on their way to becoming one of the top defenses in the league, in a few years the “Orange Crush” will be back. Mark my words.

  46. Oh… and Troy Polamalu isn’t overrated. He is easily the best safety in the NFL.
    1. Troy Polamalu
    2. Ed Reed
    3. Antrel Rolle
    4. Brian Dawkins
    5. Adrian Wilson

  47. I cant believe people debate Fs vs Ss. The game has change! SS are hybrid Lb; Besides Troy only has AFC chips because Joe Flacco’s a douche! We’ve all seen how much of a factor he is against a good QB i.e. Payton, Brady, and Rogers!

  48. I’ve never thought there was a serious debate between Reed and Polamalu because they play different positions and with different athletic styles and personalities. What they have in common is that they’re both extremely intelligent, instinctive players who play full out, and both are game changers.

    I love Polamalu, wouldn’t trade him for anyone, and feel blessed to have him on our team. But even though he plays for our fiercest rival, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Ed Reed and dread the day he hangs up his cleats.

  49. Am not a Baltimore or Steeler fan…but ANYONE wishing to compare Troy P to Reed..is badly mistaken.

    Reed the consumate safety…and a big game player…Troy P gets badly exposed by great QB’s [ ie Super Bowl, or anytime he plays Brady or Manning]….as a guesser and gambler.

    Packers took advantage of Troy’s guessing games in SB…and made him look bad…as Brady has everytime he plays them.

    Reed on other hand…one of greatest coverage ‘readers’ ever…something Troy cannot do….No contest, though both very good.

  50. I have not read any of these comments past the 1st 3 or 4 but I would say that the ONLY people whose comments have any weight are those from those who have been in the position of the guys talking.

    IOW – how many of you have been out there and gotten hurt like these people? If you haven’t you should just shut up cause you don’t know sheeeeit about it.

  51. Why would people dislike the comment R.I.P. Sean Taylor?? Horrible people.

    Ed Reed is the best Safety in the game. Troy is a close second. Who knows where Taylor would have been, but he was developing into a great one in his own right.


  52. Exactly…manning is a pansy. He is probably the least sacked, immobile QB in history (plays on offense, doesn’t hit anybody)..and has neck issues like Reed……please.

  53. Let’s revive this debate when Troy once again comes up lame against the Pats. Surely, anyone who sucks against a team whose success rode on videotaping must not be much of a player, right Steelers fans?

  54. holdthemayo123 says:

    Let’s revive this debate when Troy once again comes up lame against the Pats. Surely, anyone who sucks against a team whose success rode on videotaping must not be much of a player, right Steelers fans?
    Guess you’re being a facetious, but I’m a Steelers diehard who does not believe the Pats’ success had anything to do with videotaping. They earned their wins. As for their success against us … well, BB and Tom just seem to have LeBeau’s number … for the moment anyway. It happens.

  55. I’m a huge Steelers fan because of the traditions (it’s the area where I’m from) and the way they play the game, but I respect both of these players tremendously. The game is better for everyone when talented, driven men compete to their limits. Both Reed and Polamalu respect the game and play it the way it should be played. They have stylistic differences, yes, but the drive to excel, to compete, and to win is the same. I wish all players gave the same effort. Sadly, too many are just there for the paycheck.

  56. Obviously a Raven fan here… Ed Reed is my favorite player of all-time… From A to Z, on and off the field the man is brilliant… Any of you that think he is a pansy for looking out for his own health and future with himself and family should really reconsider your thought processes… Reed is 33 yrs old… he’s played way over 10 years in the league… and almost half of those years were spent playing with these injuries… the neck impingement is serious and the man still packs a punch when he hits people… He plays at a high level regardless and even though he states he doesn’t hit people as hard (which is true) but even so he’s still knocking people around when he takes some off of it… I wear his jersey every game… whether he plays or not…

    As for Reed vs. Polamalu debate:

    Both are unbelievably brilliant at what they do and the instincts they possess… and they both play different positions although similar Reed Free Safety Polamalu Strong Safety… they have different responsibilities as well… They both are the best at what they do at their position… I may hate the Steelers but I have the utmost respect for Troy Polamalu and love watching him in action… They are as equal as it gets in skill at their position…


    I’ve never seen ANY QB find Ed Reeds weakness…

    Aaron Rodgers exploited Troy Polamalu’s weakness on the National Stage at the Super Bowl… before that I never knew Troy had a weakness…

    Game, Set, Match…

    ED REED!

  57. If oossible, I would take both. Reed I believe is a better all around player than Troy. As far as the safety position goes, Reed plays a better FS, and I think Troy plays a better SS. I think Reed can play SS better than Troy can play FS, so in terms of who is better, I take Reed all day long.

    As far as this article is concerned, and the last, stupid editorial line…of course a player with 10 years in the league sees the end. Especially a player who has been injured on more than 1 occasion, and one who puts it all out on the field every Sunday. he is simply gettign older, smarter, and playing the game a bit more intelligently so he can preserve his body for after football. Reed is a sure fire HOF 1st time out.

  58. That first stupid comment was obviously from a seriously biased Steelers fan.

    Ed Reed is the best FREE SAFETY in the game.

    Troy Polamalu is the best STRONG SAFETY in the game.

    They play two different positions, but they are compared so heavily because they are on oppostie teams of the most fierce rivalry in the NFL.

    However, if analysts MUST compare the two, Ed Reed has made more memorable plays over the course of his career, through his many interceptions, blocked punts, punt returns, and overall coverage skills. Polamalu is great, and will go to the Hall of Fame as well as Reed. However, as proved in the recent Super Bowl, his coverage skills are mediocre. Bottom line. Polamalu can make plays, but he needs to work on coverage.

    Ed Reed is also older, so Polamalu still has more years left to make more plays, but right now the edge goes to Ed Reed as the better player.

  59. @1historian
    I also don’t make the millions of dollars they do either….
    can’t compare us to them unless we are compensated on the same level as they are.

    Everyone in the NFL plays hurt, but that’s what they get paid to do.
    Nobody is twisting these guys’ arms telling them they have to play in this league. If they don’t want to play football (a violent and impactful sport) then go get another job.

  60. @slicknick4ever says:
    Jun 23, 2011 1:42 PM
    Translation: “They pay me to play 100% all the time, but I’m just going to go about ehhh 85%.”
    The Ravens getting soft??
    Here comes the downfall of that great Ravens defense.
    I’ll hand it to them that they’ve had their run, but it’s coming to an end soon.

    Denver Broncos are on their way to becoming one of the top defenses in the league, in a few years the “Orange Crush” will be back. Mark my words.

    hahahahahaha…and you prolly gave yourself the Thumbs Up right? Right? :>)

  61. @raven4life21 …

    That was a good post until the nonsense about the Super Bowl. I’m taking nothing away from the Packers. They played a great game and I congratulate them on their win; their defense was particularly impressive. But Troy was injured and unable to play his game. Using that game as an example of a QB figuring out how to exploit his weaknesses is like using Reed’s limited play in 2009–caused by injuries–as an example of his limited capabilities. Troy was a nonfactor throughout the playoffs because he was injured, not because he wasn’t playing well or because any opposing QB had his number. That simply isn’t accurate.

  62. @dexterismyhero
    Hey… I just want you to wait and see. Pretty much the only weakness we have right now is interior defensive line.
    I didn’t say it’s going to be this year, although we can’t be much worse than last year.
    But Champ, Dawkins, Goodman, and rookie Rahim Moore in the secondary is going to be solid.
    DJ Williams WLB, Joe Mays or Nate Irving at MLB, Then Von Miller at the SLB.
    Dumervil at DE, but who I’m really excited to see at DE is Robert Ayers… 1st round draft pick that was a DE we played at OLB the past few years is going to be a surprise to many back that spot.
    New CBA is going to open up a lot of Free Agents to become available for us to get some DT’s.
    Just sayin… wait and see man!

  63. @Deb…

    I watched the replays over and over on my DVR because I wanted to see what he did so I can HOPE that Flacco figures it out lol… He may have been injured… but Rodgers’ look aways completely crossed Troy up every time… it wasn’t like he was slow to the take… he literally was completely fooled… but it wasn’t his speed that was the factor… i see what you’re saying but the injury was not the X-Factor… Aaron Rodgers lookoffs were so great that I found myself looking the other direction from my couch… If Troy was a step or two away from making a play I would agree with you… but unfortunately Rodgers took him COMPLETELY away from the play… not just a step or two… but i will say this… I really hope that we get this season going and both are fully healthy for the Sept 11th game in Baltimore cuz it’s like the Super Bowl to me! and there’s no better matchup to watch than these two teams at their healthiest… btw… Ed Reed was far from healthy when he grabbed those 8 INT’s in 10 games this passed season… he was hurting more than Troy was i guarantee it cuz his injuries were worse and more painful… Troy played more games but Ed Still trumped him with worse injuries…

    I rest my case…

  64. @raven4life21 …

    I’m all about defensive football and there are few players in the league I’d rather watch than Reed. I think what he did last season coming off that surgery was phenomenal. I meant that about not comparing Reed and Polamalu–different positions, different styles. So I’m not going to debate who played better with worse injuries. My comment about Troy in the playoffs was that his injury kept him from playing his game–and it did.

    I did not go back and study Troy’s play in the Super Bowl. As I said, my congratulations to the Packers on playing the superior game and winning the day. But I’m sure you’ll understand that I’m not taking a Raven fan’s word that anything other than Troy’s injury made the difference in Troy’s game that night 🙂

  65. @Deb…

    understood… but the point im making is that even with worse pain and suffering… Ed Reed still went WAY beyond his ability WITH the injuries… Troy played phenomenal all year with his injuries too… i watched him jump over a lineman for heavens sake and make a tackle! i think it may have been more than once too! talk about amazing skill… so what difference did it really make in the SB? Reed didn’t seem to find trouble pushing the envelope and finding a way to make a play all year… in your side of the argument then you are saying that Troy couldn’t push that barrier with his injuries… so with all that in mind… im still giving the edge to Ed Reed (but not by much)… i may be a Ravens fan… but im not the boneheaded biased person many fans are… i think outside the box… if my name wasn’t Raven4Life21 and i never told you anything about myself would my opinion make a difference??? I could have said im a Giants fan for all you know… Believe me, i LOVE my Ravens but i am also one of their harshest critics… don’t let the Purple blind my side of the argument… cuz I’m not being biased… I’m being truthful as a fan of football… not as a fan of the Ravens… and all he has done has made him my favorite player… i didn’t just pick him cuz he’s a Raven… before that it was Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Merton Hanks from back in the day… just don’t tell Ray Lewis i said that ok? 😉

  66. Deb, I know that Polamalu was injured in the Super Bowl but apparently Tomlin and the coaching staff guessed that a Polamalu at say 75% was better than Ryan Mundy at 100%. They guessed wrong and it was a major reason they lost. Raven4Life21 is right, Troy was lost out there due to his injury and average coverage ability. When the safeties are your “last line of defense” I’ll take the better cover safety in Reed.

  67. Whoa – can y’all just feel all the love pulsing through here?
    Wow – something provocative must’ve incensed the masses.
    And from quite a spectrum of voices too.
    Okay, many espouse intelligent and sensible contrary views. Those guys/gals make very legit points – to them, here is a make-believe doff of the cap.
    And of course, the spectrum inevitably devolves all the way down to the takes of the occasional emotional nutbag … uninformed yet lacking no shortage of conviction.
    “CCoolieo14” or whatever your name is, you must either be the western medical world’s pre-eminent neurosurgeon or the individual who led the team searching for the elusive eighth quark. It’s your prodigous intellect that gives you away.
    The one opinion that makes the most sense (to me anyway) is they play two different games. They also play two different positions, and are tasked with widely varied responsibilities by their D-coordinators.
    Since ’07, the Steelers are 9-9 without Polamalu and 39-14 with him …. and that even counts him playing through injury.
    I could keep rolling about the distinctions, but we’ll shift gears here – since that brings up another point: all the authors of the takes in here that are so sure that Rodgers proved how easy it is to expose Polamalu’s weaknesses need to get a little better informed.
    Polamalu’s performance suffered notably from his pick-6 versus Cincy, just like any athlete in any sport that is playing through an injury.
    Troy struggled to meet his prior standard not just in Super Bowl XV – but in every play that followed after that interception he took to the house v. the Bungles.
    Credit to the guys/gals up on this board who know their stuff – and there were quite a number of you.
    And yes folks, I’ve been getting a number of requests — but I’m gonna stay anyway. I like it here.

  68. @raven4life21 …

    No, it’s not because you’re a Ravens fan that I didn’t agree. It’s because, though I think he’s very talented, I’m a long, long, long way from seeing Aaron Rodgers as the next Tom Brady. A long way. The Packers defense carried the day and the exceptional player in that game was Clay Matthews–who should have been the MVP. The Packer defense handed the offense three scores and the game still came down to the final play. And I have to bite my typing fingers because, heaven forbid, you say anything in front of Pack fans to indicate that you don’t think Rodgers is the second coming of Slingin’ Sammy, Unitas, Brady, and Montana combined. Well, my goodness, then you must just be a sore loser 🙄

    (Hint: One of my all-time favorites wore #4 😉 )

    Reed was coming back from off-season surgery and took ample time to recover. He was healthy when he returned. What’s phenomenal is that he did more in just over half a season than everyone else at his position did in a whole season. Troy suffered his injury in mid-December. He was playing through significant pain throughout the playoffs and was off his game against all our opponents. He wasn’t a factor against Flacco and Sanchez, either … so that would mean their look-offs are just as impressive as Aaron’s. I’ll buy that 🙂

    @ahostiletakeover …

    Like I’ve said, Troy and Ed play different positions and different games. Troy’s not a cover guy–that’s not his role in our defense. And Tomlin was right; Troy at 75 percent is better than Mundy at 100 percent. We couldn’t make the playoffs in 2009 without Troy, and we made the Super Bowl with a substandard Troy playing throughout the playoffs.

    Troy didn’t allow the breakdown in protection that put Matthews in Roethlisberger’s face and resulted in Nick Collins’s pick six. Troy didn’t fumble the ball at a crucial point in the game (another brilliant Matthews play). If Troy had been 100 percent, maybe he could have come up with a superstar play to carry the day. But Troy at 75 percent didn’t cost us the game.

  69. i think its not close. reed is a great player but troy changes losses to wins for the steelers. believe me i hate the steelers but troy is HEAD AND SHOULDERS above reed! get it? HEAD AND SHOULDERS!….get it?

  70. I am tired of this “Great Safety Debate.” Let me set it straight for ALL OF YOU. Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu are both PHENOMENAL football players that play the safety position. However you cannot compare the two and say “Oh yea, that guy is better.” They play in defensive systems that utilize their individual attributes. Troy is in a Steeler D that prides itself on smashing you in the mouth and stopping the run. Troy is big, fast, and physical. He can be placed anywhere in the defense and be effective. He can shut down the run game and due to his athleticism can also make a game changing play in the pass game. Now let’s look at Ed Reed. His duty in the Ravens D is not to be the run stopper. I think the roster should list him as “ATH” instead. Ed Reed is a remarkable athlete with elite instincts when it comes to defending the pass game. He understands tendencies of individual quarterbacks and offensive concepts and has the athletic ability to make plays. When Reed gets the ball in his hands he has the moves in the open field and the speed to take it the distance. Oh yea, he can put a nice lick on ya’ too. Both Safeties are top notch football players that respect and adore the game. Troy is the type of Safety that you like because he can do anything for you. Reed is the guy you like because his knack for the ball results in instant motivation, possession, and sometimes touchdowns. (Reed has 13 TD’s and Polamalu has 3 TD’s)

    Bottom line. They are both badasses! Though they both are listed as “Safety” they do not play the same position.

  71. @Deb…

    your perception of the Super Bowl is a bit interesting… in my view the Steelers are lucky to have been even close by the end of that game… there were SO many dropped passes that should have been easy catches by the Packer Offense… the Score SHOULD have been way outta control if you ask me… the Packer OFFENSE gave away a few TDs it should have had easily with the amazing throws of Rodgers… the Steelers got beat down WAY worse than the score suggests.. and anyone with any type of football knowledge that watched it could see… I myself am jealous of the way the Packers played that night… I can only dream that the Ravens can come through like that when they play the Steelers… Aaron Rodgers just looked like he knew what he was doing… He had the sparkle in his eye and picked apart the Steeler secondary… and IMO Rodgers should be in the top 5 on the NFL 100 list because anyone that can defeat the Steeler defense in that manner deserves recognition

  72. Man I can smell a Steeler fan from a mile away. Y’all steal a Superbowl from Seattle then all of a sudden there are fans everywhere wow….. But hey I’m still suffering being a Chiefs Fan. Reed is clearly a better player than Troy P even at 33. Just ask manning he can attack Troy easily just spread em out (for now) until he starts to save him self to be 100% for the big games

  73. Huh? Retire?
    The guy had 8 picks in 10 games last season after coming off a hip surgery and not playing till week 7.
    Anyone find this story funny?

  74. Huh? Retire?
    The guy had 8 picks and a fumble in 10 games last season after coming off a hip surgery and not playing till week 7. He also had 16 pass deflections, a career high even playing 6 games less.
    Anyone find this story funny?

    Id die to have him on my team

  75. “i think its not close. reed is a great player but troy changes losses to wins for the steelers. believe me i hate the steelers but troy is HEAD AND SHOULDERS above reed! get it? HEAD AND SHOULDERS!….get it?”

    I’m not so sure. Comparing their stats reed blows troy out of the water. Heck, Reed has almost 1500 yards in interception yardage, that changes and wins games.

    Id be happy with either. Reed is 33, troy is 30. Both playing at an elite level still. Combined they have almost 90 picks between then. Reed has 54.

    Id argue they are the best players at their positions. Best game changing FS and SS playing at the same time we will probably ever see.

  76. U can’t compare troy with ed reed first of all reed is to versatile and vote for the probowl for so many yrs and the defensive player of the yr troy is more concern about his hair but reed is more concern about his health so that the different and they don’t call him the ball hawking ed reed for nothing because wherever that ball is he is there and if ray lewis do leave reed can carry the team because they came from the same college and is trained up under the same defense trying to compare troy with reed I rather compare bob sanders with reed because sanders hit harder than troy

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