Five questions with ... Ed Reed

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- The AFC North blog makes its final stop of the summer to see the Baltimore Ravens during the tail end of training camp and Monday's preseason game against the New York Jets.

On Friday Ed Reed discussed several interesting topics. (And, no, we didn't ask who was better between Reed and Troy Polamalu.)

Ed, will it be weird to see former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan on the opposite sideline Monday when you play the New York Jets?

Ed Reed: No, not at all. At this point we made the transition [to new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison]. I'm sure he has made the adjustment, and I'm happy for Rex. I hate to lose him, but I'm glad he got the job. It's well-deserved.

What do you think about the comments Ryan made towards the Ravens recently?

Reed: [Laughs] I don't even read the paper. I don't even get into all that stuff. I know how Rex is. He loves this game. He made the transition to being a Jet from a Raven, and I know he's got to protect his job at the end of the day. So he's going to want his boys to play ball.

Ed, last season this team had to bounce back from the adversity of 2007. How will this team handle the success of 2008?

Reed: I think we did all right with it. You got to stay tuned to the season, but I think we've matured. We're growing as a team and the biggest thing is going to be staying healthy and keeping that mental throughout the grind of the season. It's a long season at the end of the day, and [opponents] get paid just as much as we do.

Can you explain the phrase on your wristband?

Reed: Oh, that's "Once I get the ball, you're at my mercy." That's [Michael] Jordan. You know how Jordan was. It's the same thing in the sense that I always grew up watching Michael Jordan. He was the dominant player in my age of growing up, and I just took that same format to football. If I put the ball in my hands, you already know [laughs].

Ed three games, three close losses to Pittsburgh last year. How do you close that gap this season?

Reed: I think we already started it by just maturing and going into this season focused on Kansas City [in the regular season opener] and focusing on this preseason game right now. We're taking it week to week. That's how we always took it and that's how we will continue to take it--one game at a time. And when we get to Pittsburgh, we will deal with it.