HOUSTON -- He knew it was coming, this day of public reflection about returning to a place where he spent the first 11 years of his career.
In the midst of telling an assembled crowd that how much he looked forward to being back in Baltimore, Ed Reed slipped in a revealing line.
"Never thought I’d be in these shoes," he said.
He's likely not alone.
On Sunday as the Texans head to Baltimore to try and get their first road win over the Ravens, the team will honor one of the best defensive players in franchise history. Another one of the best defensive players in their franchise history will be on the opposite sideline, though it's still unclear whether he'll play.
To Reed, the situation is just a demonstration of how the NFL works.
"I came into the NFL in 2003 and I was hearing not for long, not for long, NFL, not for long," Reed said. "My locker was by the free agents in that locker room. I watched guys come and go. I didn’t know how I was going to pan out. I saw Peyton Manning get (cut). I knew Joe Montana went to Kansas City. I know Jerry Rice went to Oakland. Played against him in Oakland. I was a huge 49er fan growing up. So I saw a lot of stuff, I knew about the business coming from the University of Miami. That’s the reason why I stayed five years. I didn’t know how it was going to happen.
"After my second contract, I thought I would have been there. But even then, you just don’t know. I kind of knew about free agent stuff when Ray [Lewis] went through it. It’s the business. I learned a lot being around Ozzie [Newsome], talking to Ozzie a lot. You just never know what’s going to happen."