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Late For Work 6/13: Ed Reed’s Absence Puts Team in Predicament

McPhee clears up absence mystery; o-line shuffle; Mason affecting Lewis’ career outlook?

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 at 9:06 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Reed’s Absence Puts Team in Predicament

Perhaps Ray Lewis is right.

Perhaps Ed Reed’s absence from mandatory minicamp yesterday isn’t an issue at all. Lewis said he’s been in contact with Reed and explained that the All-Pro safety is with his family and sometimes life calls you away from football.

The problem with that is Reed didn’t contact his head coach.

“Reed should’ve picked up the phone and called [John] Harbaugh,” wrote ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “Not doing so is wrong.”

“Harbaugh obviously was not pleased to be out of the loop,” added CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg.

That leaves Coach and the organization in a difficult situation with a big decision to make.

“This is the toughest predicament that Harbaugh has faced in his four-plus years as Ravens coach,” the AFC North blogger wrote. “He doesn’t want to upset one of the most respected players in the locker room. He doesn’t want to alienate Reed when he’s heading into the final year of his contract.

“But, if this is about team and no player is above another, Harbaugh can’t give Reed a pass on this. … Harbaugh has to fine Reed. He has to discipline Reed for breaking the rules.”

Reports vary about how much Reed can be fined under the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Some outlets report it could be $60,000 for missing three days of mandatory camp, and others report $63,000. Plus he could apparently be docked $9,000 for missing a physical before practice.

Regardless of the details, Harbaugh appears to have made his choice.

“The CBA applies,” Harbaugh said after practice.

Reed is scheduled to enter the final season of his six-year deal, reportedly set to earn $7.2 million. Harbaugh and Owner Steve Bisciotti both expressed confidence that Reed would attend minicamp and play this season, despite Reed’s back-and-forth on retirement.

Even though the Ravens had the ability under the CBA to fine Terrell Suggs for injuring his Achilles tendon away from team facilities, they opted not to. Ravens brass didn’t want to send a message to players that they should be afraid to keep in shape during the offseason.

Reed’s situation is different.

“The Ravens were right in doing so because Suggs’ issue was the result of an accident,” wrote Hensley. “Reed’s no-show is not accidental. …

“Players are required to attend a three-day minicamp during a six-month offseason. Reed should be able to make time for three practices over a 180-day period to be with his team. His absence looks even worse when he is holding a two-day football camp three miles from Ravens headquarters next month.”

McPhee Clears Up Absence Mystery

When defensive end Pernell McPhee missed the organized team activities (OTAs) open to the media the last couple of weeks, some analysts chided him for not practicing when he is trying to earn a larger role on defense.

Turns out, the second-year player had a minor knee injury.

“McPhee cleared up the mystery regarding his absence in recent offseason workouts, conceding that he has been dealing with an injury,” wrote The Baltimore Sun’s Edward Lee. “But McPhee said the setback won’t prevent him from being ready to participate in next month’s training camp.”

While McPhee didn’t get into details, it appears he had an arthroscopic procedure, according to Aaron Wilson of The Carroll County Times.

McPhee finished second on the team in sacks (six) last year, despite being a backup. His goal is to earn more playing time to have a greater impact on the field.

“I want to play more snaps, make more plays, and even try to get to the Pro Bowl,” he told CBSSports.com’s Jason Butt. 

Doss Only WR To Practice At Three Spots

Receiver Tandon Doss, who didn’t practice the first day of minicamp with an undisclosed injury, said he has lined up at all three receiver positions, and is the only receiver to do so.

Now he feels he has a better grasp of each position’s role.

Everything’s been slowing down, and I’m understanding why we run the concepts we run,” Doss told Butt.

Doss told Butt that his injury is minor and he will be healthy for training camp in late July.

Offensive Line Shuffle

Mandatory camp was supposed to bring the entire offensive line together for the first time, and potentially give us the first glimpse of what the starting unit could look like.

But with center Matt Birk’s excused absence – he had a procedure to repair varicose veins in his legs – and tackle Bryant McKinnie held out for conditioning purposes, the front line was shuffled around once again.

Thus, the first-team offensive line consisted of Micheal Oher (LT), newly signed veteran Bobbie Williams (LG), rookie Gino Gradkowski (C), Marshal Yanda (RG) and second-year Jah Reid (RT), according to The Sun.

Mason’s Retirement Doesn’t Change Lewis’ Outlook

Lewis is entering his 17th NFL campaign at the age of 37.

You wouldn’t know it by the way he looked in practice yesterday, bursting through the offensive line to get to running back Anthony Allen.

The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec wrote that Lewis already appears to be in mid-season form.

But with receiver Derrick Mason’s retirement this week, Lewis was asked if the news made him consider the end to his own career.

“[Mason] was probably one of the best receivers I’ve been around playing this game, but at the same time, Mase had a couple of different homes and that itself kind of drains you,” Lewis said. “Being here in Baltimore for 17 years now, it’s a different energy so you never really think about it, ‘Oh, when [is it] going to come?’ If I’m trading teams here and there, OK, my window could be closing. For me, the relationship that me, [General Manager Ozzie Newsome] and Steve have, and the relationship I have with my body is, go as long as you want to go. Whenever it happens, it happens, but it’s definitely nothing I think about.”

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