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It seems that a new list comes out every day in the sports blogosphere, but the NFL Network’s recent ranking of the top 100 players in the league – as voted on by players – might carry more weight than others.
And while Ed Reed is flattered by his fifth-overall finish, the Ravens safety doesn’t want lists to drive him on the gridiron.
What really pushes the seven-time Pro Bowler is a deep desire to earn the respect of his teammates.
NFL Top 100: Ed Reed
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“As long as my teammates know that I’m busting my tail on Sunday and throughout the offseason to get ready, be prepared and be the best I can be … that’s the only thing that matters,” Reed said this week in an interview with 105.7 The Fan. “I can’t concern myself with any player before me or after me.”
Reed’s placement put him right behind Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, giving Baltimore the two highest-rated defenders on the list.
And with an NFL-leading eight interceptions in only 10 games last season, the praise is certainly well-deserved. Reed also paced the Ravens with 16 passes defensed and had three multi-pick contests.
When asked for his thoughts on the praise, the humble Reed simply shrugged his shoulders.
“I know for a fact, that me contributing to my team, they appreciate the things that I’ve done,” Reed explained. “That’s what it comes down to at the end of the day. I can’t get caught up too much with lists or a yellow [Hall of Fame] jacket or anything like that.”
A notable part of the Top 100 list was the fact that Reed finished one spot ahead of Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.
Generally, Reed and Polamalu are regarded as the NFL’s two best at their position, and fans and pundits alike constantly spar about which one they would rather have on their team.
“I don’t take anything away from Troy. Troy is a great football player. I mean, he’s awesome and a great person,” Reed said with a laugh. “I don’t think we’re in the business of trying to compare us and see who’s better.
“If it’s about the game and it’s about your resume, I would say go and check them. Go and check the resume and you’ll see.”
For the resume record, Polamalu has played in 107 games through his distinguished 9-year career, logging 515 tackles, 71 passes defensed and 27 interceptions.
In 10 years and 128 career games, Reed amassed 495 stops, 86 passes defensed and 54 interceptions. He also boasts the distinction of being the only player in NFL history to score touchdowns via interception, punt return, blocked punt and fumble recovery.