Reed Looking For Another Big Day vs. Kolb

Reed returned a Kolb pass 108 yards in 2008, the longest INT return in NFL history.

Posted by Billy Jones on Saturday, October 29th, 2011 at 9:25 am | Categories: Billy Jones, Week 7 at Jaguars

Ed Reed remembers it well.

The date was November 23, 2008, and the Ravens were hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. Starter Donovan McNabb was benched, paving the way for second-year quarterback Kevin Kolb to make just his third appearance in an NFL game.

Kolb finished the game completing 10 of 23 passes for 73 yards and two interceptions, but Reed made sure it was a memorable day for both of them.

Late in the fourth quarter, Kolb led the Eagles down the field to Baltimore’s one-yard line and were seeking a touchdown to get back in the game. That’s where Reed stepped in.

Reed intercepted Kolb’s second-down pass deep in his own end zone and ran it back 108 yards for the score to seal a Baltimore victory. The return stands as the longest interception return in NFL history, and is one that is still in Reed’s mind.

“I didn’t forget that at all,” Reed said. “I’m sure he hasn’t either. But he’s with a new team, a little bit different scheme. That’s probably somewhat in the back of his head.

Ed Reed’s 108-yd. TD Return
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“It’s in the front of mine. I’m looking forward to it.”

After waiting his turn in Philadelphia behind McNabb and Michael Vick, Kolb finally got a chance to be a full-time starter when Philadelphia traded him to the Cardinals this offseason. Arizona anointed Kolb as their starter after signing him to a long-term deal.

Kolb’s first season in Arizona has been marked with inconsistency. Through six games, Kolb has as many touchdowns as interceptions (seven). He has been remarkable in some, like his 18-for-27, 309 yard and two touchdown performance opening day vs. Carolina. In others, Kolb has struggled to get Arizona’s offense going. The hamstring and recent knee injuries to running back Beanie Wells has not helped matters, making it easier for defenses to key on stopping the pass.

“I think people have been getting after him pretty good,” Ravens Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano said. “I think [the Cardinals] have had a hard time. They’ve got a good running game – they can run the ball. Obviously, that will help him. But, with Beanie [Wells] out a little bit, that’s hurt him, and people are starting to tee off a little bit. I think the pressure that people have been applying has made it a little more difficult.”

If Arizona can’t generate a run game on Sunday, a lot will fall on the shoulders of Kolb, and that means that the Ravens’ pass rushers will have plenty of opportunities to get to him. In Baltimore’s first six games, they have 19 sacks, which ties a franchise record for most sacks through six games. The only other time they have posted that many sacks through six games was in 2006, when they finished the season with a franchise-best 60.

With Wells listed as questionable for Sunday’s game, Arizona may have to rely on Kolb’s arm in order to come out of M&T Bank Stadium with a win. For Reed, that means the opportunity to make another big play against Kolb may present itself – and get his first interception since picking off two passes in Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh.

“I’ve always got an itch,” Reed stated. “But, you can only do so much if it’s not coming your way. I’ve had a couple come my way – one hit my hand and I didn’t catch it. I haven’t really been getting many looks, but there’s not much you can do about that.”

If Kolb does dare to throw Reed’s way, the Ravens wouldn’t mind if history repeats itself.

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