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In answering what has become a regular question considering a spate of injuries in recent years, Ravens safety Ed Reed said he doesn’t know how much longer he will be able to play in the NFL.
He was recently asked about his future in an interview on 105.7 The Fan to promote his upcoming charity football camp and golf tournament in Baltimore (July 20-21).
“I don’t know,” Reed said last week. “I just had my football camp in Louisiana, and I just got back to town to work out with my trainer and I felt sluggish. I started kind of doubting myself a little bit.
“I was like, ‘I don’t know man, maybe I need to take some time off.’”
To which host Scott Garceau replied, "Come on, Ed," as if to coax the All Pro back to the gridiron.
With reports of the NFL and players getting closer to a new collective bargaining agreement and training camp looming, Reed might need to be back on the field sooner than later.
The seven-time Pro Bowler is one of the league’s best safeties, if not the best.
Just last year, he led the NFL with eight interceptions even though he missed the first six games rehabilitating a surgically-repaired hip. He was recently voted as the fifth best player in the league by his peers in the NFL Networks Top 100 Players of 2011.
But Reed, 32, has been dealing with a painful nerve impingement in his neck for a few years, as well.
As much as he is still the playmaker he was as an aspiring prospect, Reed also understands his mortality.
“I feel good. How much longer will I play? I’m not going to kill myself trying to get to the Super Bowl outside of my abilities,” said Reed. “I’m going to do everything in my power and ability to work out and get myself ready this year and the year after that and go forward to try to win a championship.”
In addition to getting physically ready, Reed maintains mental sharpness through a notoriously rigorous film-study routine, even after nine seasons.
Reed was also asked where he learned to hit the tape so hard.
"It starts from where you come from in college, how your coaches are teaching it and how much time you put into it," said Reed, a University of Miami product. "That’s a big part of it, and definitely when you get to our level, the professional level in the NFL, you’ve still got to be a coachable guy.
"You still have to go home and watch your tape outside of just doing work and thinking you’re done with it at the office."