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Part I: Former Ravens Safety, Hall-of-Famer Ed Reed Dishes on State of Ravens

Ed Reed has some harsh words for former team.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Former Ravens safety and Hall-of-Famer Ed Reed says Baltimore hasn't done much since they won the Super Bowl in 2013.

He also dismissed talk about how the recent spate of injuries can't be used as an excuse when you are so big on "next man up."

“I know Baltimore has always been big on ‘next man up.' So there's no excuses when you lose people, you know, but those things do count,” Reed said on the Great Dane Nation podcast with Hall-of-Fame kicker Morten Andersen that appears on Vegas Insider. "You do take a step back when you lose guys like Lamar Jackson, you know, that's your motor. (Tyler) Huntley actually stepped in and did a decent job. The guys got to help him out, obviously catching the ball and stuff like that. 

"But you know, it was just tough, a tough year, a lot of injuries playing. It's gonna be hard to get through that, those guys got to get healthy. You know, and I think the Ravens will be alright - you just gotta clean up a lot of little mistakes. Secondary wise, defense and offense.“

The Ravens entered the year with Super Bowl aspirations but finished 8-9 and ended a streak of three consecutive trips to the playoffs. Baltimore ended the year with 19 players on injured reserve. 

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The Ravens also dealt with COVID issues and quarterback Lamar Jackson was limited to 12 games because of an illness and ankle injury.

“There are times when it's kind of like a roller coaster, you know, so you have to get some consistency there," Reed said. "And that comes with growth. You know, I said that a couple of interviews back, that they were young. They got some vets, but they are also young, you know, so that comes with time, it comes to going through some stuff, you know, so hopefully, those guys are mature after this year, because they went through a good fit. Hopefully, they come through next year and then battle back.”

Reed contends the Ravens lack leadership, which has led to some shortcomings on the field. Even quarterback Lamar Jackson lamented the lack of team bonding over the previous season.  

“Leadership matters. Look what Baltimore has done since Ray (Lewis) and I, Anquan (Boldin), Terrell Suggs and all those, Haloti Ngata, all of us left, maybe not left, but when we were not in the building after that, since 2013, I think they only won like one or two playoff games. Like the Ravens haven't done much," Reed said. "I just know we were big pieces to that, you know, no matter what nobody says we were huge pieces to that. As much as people wanted us to be gone, you know, it takes the right guys in the locker room. 

"The locker room is for the players. You know, the locker room is led by players. Coaches don't lead grown men. It's a partnership. You know, it's truly a partnership when you get to the league.“