Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed isn’t planning on joining team-mate Ray Lewis in retirement after the Super Bowl.
“I’ll be playing next year,” Reed said before Baltimore hit the practice field in preparation for their 3 February Super Bowl match-up against the San Francisco 49ers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
There was speculation that the 34-year-old Reed might retire after this season.
Earlier this month, in announcing his intention to step down after the playoffs, Lewis spoke of taking a “last ride.” Reed states those would not be his last words.
“No, it’s not my last ride. I just bought a bike.”
Now in his 11th season, Reed hasn’t missed a start since 2010, when he sat out Baltimore’s first six games with a hip injury. This season, he was one of only two players on the Ravens defence (along with cornerback Cary Williams) to start in all 16 games.
Reed has been selected to play in nine Pro Bowls, including each one since 2006. His 61 career interceptions are a franchise record and he has an NFL-record 1,541 yards in interception returns.
All of those numbers prove Reed’s worth to team-mates like defensive end Arthur Jones.
“There’s no other man like Ed Reed,” Jones said. “He’s passionate and he’s such a hard worker. That guy helps me out and he’s a safety. He understands the game at every position.”
This season, Reed made 58 tackles and intercepted four passes, taking one back 34 yards for a touchdown. In the playoffs, he has 10 tackles while serving as the last line of defence for a unit that dominated New England in the AFC Championship Game.
Reed will be playing in his first Super Bowl and it’s in his home state of Louisiana.
“It’s amazing to be going back to New Orleans,” Reed said. “I’m so grateful.”