Rex Ryan: Ed Reed is the best safety ever


Rex Ryan often talked up Ed Reed during the seven years he coached Reed in Baltimore, and he’s not stopping now that he’ll coach against Reed tonight.

“A first ballot Hall of Famer, in my opinion. The best safety that’s ever played,” Ryan said this week.

Ryan has a penchant for overstating things when he’s talking about his favorite players, but he may be right here. Bill Belichick has called Reed the best free safety ever, Reed is definitely a Hall of Famer, and he’s also the most electrifying defensive player ever with the ball in his hands.

Is he the best safety ever? He’s certainly in the conversation. Fifteen years ago, when the NFL selected its 75th anniversary team, the safeties were Larry Wilson, Ken Houston and Ronnie Lott. Ten years from now, when the NFL selects its 100th anniversary team, Reed should be on it.

66 responses to “Rex Ryan: Ed Reed is the best safety ever

  1. Will he cut off his finger to keep playing in an important game? No? Sorry than he is number 2. Nobody will ever beat Ronnie Lott. He was a leader, superstar, and a total animal.

    Niners Forever!

  2. Will this guy never stop quoting Belichick? There was a good 10minutes on Reed in that Football Life piece.

    Ronnie Lott – hands down the best by the way. If he had cut a toe off instead of a finger, Rex would be on it.

  3. And yet, he’s not quite the best safety of his own era. Close, though.

    “A Ryan brother talked him up” is going to start being the silver bullet argument that a player is overrated.

  4. Ed Reed is a first ballot HOF’er, there is no doubt, but I believe in my heart, if he was still alive, Sean Taylor would be giving Reed a little competition in the best saftey ever debate.

    That kid was a physical freak. Had the atheletic ability to cover the entire field, and crush anyone in his way. Taylor was just starting to mature and put it all together in 2007, but he was taken away.

    Sorry about hjacking a post about Reed to brinng up Taylor. I feel strongly about what happened to Taylor, and the fact his accussed murderer’s have still not gone to trial almost 4 years after Taylor’s death pisses me off.

  5. Rex is right i am a huge reed fan except for tonight. I thought ryan only talks up his own players? From someone that actually watches his news conferences ryan usually has nice things to say about the opponent. So many times ill see him crack a joke about something then a few hours later ill see it on here and everyone thinks what he says is meant seriously when really its not. He appreciates good players and hes not afraid to tell people what he thinks of them. Gonna be a tough game tonight cant wait.

  6. “Ryan has a penchant for overstating things when …” No equivocation needed there, Captain Obvious.

  7. Ronnie Lott for sure.
    Had Sean Taylor not been killed I think he would have surpassed Reed.
    I mean Reed is very very good but Lott is a legend. That mfer leveled people. They were scared to death of getting hit by him.
    Steve Atwater used to lay’em out too. Just a hard hard hitting free safety.
    I dont think Reed was as physical as the others, not that he doesnt try to level folks, hes more of a great ballhawking, intercepting, running for his life kinda safety.

  8. Although I agree with Rex, and believe Ed is better than Polamalu, I believe he said that to put down Polamalu and the Steelers, for knocking him out of the playoffs so often.

  9. Reed has Lott’s big hit ability. Lott did more of it, better in the run game.

    Lott did not have Reed’s nose for the ball, or instant TD ability. No one does.

    Edge Reed.

  10. He’s not even the best safety in the division. I know, free safety not strong safety. But Polamalu is the better player. Sorry ratbird fans!

  11. You guys took my “blind squirrel” comment the wrong way. It was a jab at Rex for finally getting something right, not a shot on Reed

    Rocket Scientists. All of you.

  12. @cardmagnet,

    Agreed, the best ball hawk safety of all time.

    As for Sean Taylor, the onlt thing I remember him for is spitting in the face of Warrick Dunn.

  13. And yet we have to hear about Troy Polamalu, the most overrated player in the HISTORY of the NFL, probably 15x more often than Reed (literally). In fact, I’m almost positive that the media talks about Ryan Clark much more often than Reed. Polamalu is a joke compared to Reed.

  14. sucks that sean taylor died before he could claim a spot there. as it stands, i gotta think ed reed and brian dawkins are the two greatest of this generation, but reed’s the greatest of all time. they both revolutionized the position after ronnie lott revolutionized it years before.

  15. EVERYTHING Rex Ryan says is a JOKE…. year after year… blah BLAH…. Ed Reed is great… but the best??? WTF!! I think the tape talks LOUDER THEN REX… take a look at Pittsburgh’s safety… i THINK hes kinda good… Reed takes more tip drill ball’s then anyone… thats his job he’s the last man back there… Troy jumps snap counts runs 30 yards INTO A PLAY to brake up passes… and is the most humble man in the NFL…. i cant stand Rex CRYAN!!!!

  16. and the jets are winning their 3rd striaght super bowl this year…if this guy doesnt have a cheeseburger in his mouth he’s saying something he can’t prove. ed is sweet doe. shut up drew brees

  17. Well in my book, Jack Tatum was the best safety to ever play the game, and Hall of Shame ought to stop their blocking of Raider players and put him in….

    Next would be Ronnie Lott, then either Ed Reed or Rod Woodson, but likely Reed as Woodson played more of his career at corner…

  18. Troy is clearly the greatest safety ever. Everyone can clip his toenail in search of greatness. LOL

  19. @ 7thlombardiontheway:

    Your posts are the most idiotic ramblings on this board. At no point have you ever gave us any insight that resembled anything close to a conscious thought. The Steelers lost Super Bowl XXX and XLV, nobody likes you, you are a loser….. and may god have mercy on your soul.

  20. Top 3 for sure. But as others have said, Ronnie Lott is still #1. And Troy P plays both the pass and the run effectively, as opposed to Reed who is essentially worthless against the run.

  21. “Reed is definitely a Hall of Famer, and he’s also the most electrifying defensive player ever with the ball in his hands.”

    Deion Sanders and his 10, count ’em 10 defensive TDs begs to differ.

  22. Some of you really make me laugh. Polamalu really? Is he even playing this season? Ronnie Lott himself is quoted as saying Ed Reed is the best safety to ever play the game.

  23. Besides blowhard Ryan, the only people that think that Reed is better than Lott are ignorant, biased Ratbird fans and young college punk, fatmouths that never saw Lott play the game!

    Typical internet idiots. Shoot off your dumb pieholes about things you know NOTHING about!

  24. Ronnie Lott did not cut his finger off in the middle of a game like some of you idiots are saying. Nor did he have his entire finger removed like some of you are implying, it was just the tip of it.

  25. Why is every player who’s great and plays in today’s NFL automatically “the greatest” ever at their position? Rex is my coach, but I’d wish he’d occasionally express more perspective.

  26. Are we evaluating Sean Taylor for what he accomplished or what he could have accomplished? He was taken too soon, but he never approached Ed’s level.

    And a pat on the head for those that feel it necessary to stroke Polamalu.

  27. ed is one of the best and i’m not a sanfran fan but ronnie lott is the best ever in my book. you could make an argument for a few safety’s, and for those of you who under 45 years old before you say reed or troy u should do some research. oh and primetime was and ALWAY’S will have been the most dangerous player with the ball in his hands. 9 td’s 53 picks(in a run first league) 1331 return yards- lott , 5 td’s, 63 picks (run first league) tackles not givin , reed- 6 td’s, 56 picks this has been a pass happy league for a few years now. also you could toss in darren sharper- 11 td’s 63 picks. and troy polamalu has 2 td’s and 27 picks. and i’m sure there are guy’s that could be added to the list, and yes picks and td’s aren’t the only thing that make a great safety. all the one’s i listed were some of the best, but maybe next time dislexy rexy opens his mouth he should get some stats first.

  28. probably the best coverage safety but if i had to pick overall safety i’d go with Lott – who was tremendous in coverage btw, starting out as a CB. i never saw another player who hit like Lott.

    btw, gotta love the loser Pats fans who need to come on here and try to make it about Belichick. We know, we know, it’s all about how great NE is

  29. Ed Reed is the best saftey ever. He isn’t as much of a flair player as Polamalu but he is light years ahead of him in coverage. Troy was abused in the super bowl. Reed is in the right place all of the time. I would put him as #1 and Lott 1A. The only part i disagreed with was most electrifying defensive player with the ball in his hands. Prime Time was by far the most electrifying. He had you expecting 6 when he got his hands on it. High stepping from the 50 yard line.

  30. Reed is great, Lott was the greatest. For all of you saying Reed is the best cover safety ever, sorry, Lott was better. Reed may have the better nose for the ball, but that’s in zones reading the QB. Ronnie Lott was a great cover corner in the beginning of his career, than made the switch to safety. Lott’s cover skills, leadership, intimidation, and incredibly hard hitting (hits that would still be legal today, by the way, so idiots that blow people up with their heads ought to see how Lott did it) make him not only the best safety ever, but just ahead of Rod Woodson as the best defensive back ever.

  31. No shame Reed in being number two behind Ronnie Lott. As for Sean taylor he was good and even though he is resting in peace hes not in the top ten..Woodson when he was old was better than taylor

  32. Why does cutting your the tip of your finger off make you the best safety? It just makes you a bit crazy. He was more of a hitter and not a playmaker. I would go with Reed.

  33. Ronnie Lott did *not* have a finger amputated during a game to keep playing, people! His finger was amputated after the season due to complications from an injury. Stop making stuff up!

  34. Any of you Pittsburgh idiots that think troy hairamalu is a better safety, watch the top 100 and see how the players voted. It’s not even a judgement call! Cause shampoo commercial or not, ed is still gonna slam hines wards head and shoulders into the turf

  35. I don’t know if he’s the best, but he’s up there. For me I’m a little biased with Brian Dawkins, he never got the attention he deserves. I’ve personally never saw a player play with more heart and soul then Weapon X has played with for 16 seasons. Also a couple years later the Eagles are still looking for his replacement, and this defense just isn’t the same without him. A true Hall Of Famer in my eyes. Sorry for venting.

  36. I think Ed Reed is truly amazing. Great in coverage, tremendous instincts. Not afraid to get physical if necessary. I would put Lott up there, I would put Atwater up there as well. Most electrifying defensive player with the ball in his hands? Deion Sanders. Absolutely no question and I hated his mouth and his antics, but the man was playing among boys at times. Look at his runbacks where he reversed field or simply juked a guy ankle-less.

  37. ok whoever said Reed is barely the best safety of his era. C’MON SON! Troy has even said Reed is better. Troy is closer than any other safety now playing, but he’s still not close.

  38. anyone who brings up sean taylor in the same conversation as Ed Reed is clearly deluded. He was a very good safety for very few years. Ed Reed has been a top safety for his entire career. I know the Foreskin fans are stupid but now I can say they are deluded.

    Ed and Troy are very close, but they really play different positions. I am biased but would take Ed because he is a better playmaker in the defensive backfield. And clearly from the end of last year through this year Troy has lost a step or two while Ed is still making plays and has a few years on Troy.

    Ronnie Lott – wow. What a comparison. Lott was more like Troy in his ability to make a big hit change the complexion of a game. Ed makes an INT, punt return or block and does the same thing. To me it is a coin flip.

    What I can say is this. I have had the opportunity to see both play and count myself lucky. Ed Reed plays for my team so I am really lucky. I have gotten to watch the best MLB in the game in Ray Lewis for 16 years and arguably the best safety to play the game in Reed. Sure beats being a Browns fan.

  39. This is for all ignorants that cannot afford to think with their brains , only their tiny hearts :

    Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has waived the white flag and proclaimed that Ed Reed is the best player in their position in the National Football League.

    You heard it hear first…

    Well technically it was buried in a story on about Polamalu’s contract talks…

    “I’ve always considered Ed Reed to be the best safety in the NFL and perhaps ever,” Polamalu said. “So, we can clear that up right away. But the truth about it is that defenses always come down to how the secondary plays. So, whatever defense plays best in this game, usually comes out with the win.”

  40. As for the Niners fan , you might have an argument because Ronnie Lott was an animal but here is what he had to say himself regarding the guy who covers 1/3 of Earth :

    Ronnie Lott on Ed Reed
    Jan/15/09 08:05 AM Filed in: Ed Reed
    “Here’s where Ed Reed is better than I was or better than Kenny Easley or better than any safety who played the game. When he gets his hands on the ball after making an interception, he is no longer a defensive player running with the ball. He is an offensive player. It’s not just that he’s fast or quick, he knows how to run once he has the ball. He knows how to set up his blockers and he knows what moves to make. It’s like he’s Barry Sanders running with the ball.”

    “He is a good hitter. He can really strike. Maybe I hit a little bit harder but it’s not like Reed is deficient in that area. He plays the run well. He tackles and he can cover. But what separates him from everybody who has played the position is his ability with the ball in his hands.

    “I really take note of it because it was something I wanted to do when I was playing. I wanted to make the moves Reed does when he has the ball. I couldn’t do that. He can.”

    “I don’t think Ed Reed has to take a back seat to anybody who ever played the position. ANYBODY.”

    Ronnie is an all time great but I have to agree with this.

  41. Ed has reached his numbers faster (fewer games) than any other safety before him. Let him finish his carrier, he will out score them all. Total return yards, TDs and INTs.

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