Few defenders got in the head of Brady more than the Baltimore Ravens’ Hall of Fame safety. Going against the Ravens in 2011 AFC championship game, Brady scribbled on his wristband: “Find 20 on every play.”
Reed hasn’t suited up in his No. 20 jersey in seven seasons, but he did knock off Brady in two of three postseason meetings.
What would Reed say to the Chiefs' defense about Brady?
"Guys got to be on the same page,” said Reed, who is promoting Crown Royal’s Water Break campaign for Super Bowl week. "Everybody has to focus on doing their job. That would be it. Tom is a smart quarterback. He’s going to have everybody on the same page, for the most part. You have to focus on your job and your job only.”
Reed still keeps in contact with Brady. This year, Brady sent a video to Reed’s son Edward on his 12th birthday (Edward had been a Patriots fan and is now rooting for the Buccaneers on Sunday).
As far as their on-field rivalry, Brady had a 4-3 record against Reed, although it was always a battle. When facing Reed, Brady completed 57.1% of his passes, throwing seven touchdowns and eight interceptions (75.5 passer rating).
Asked about the difference between Brady now compared to 10 years ago, Reed said, "He’s older, no doubt. He just doesn’t have that cohesiveness and that support cast around him that he had for years. All of those guys were just ticking on the same time together. That’s the only difference, man. Not too much has changed with Tom Brady. He still has that passion out there that you see him play with.”
Reed, who is 42, isn’t surprised Brady is playing at a high level at 43. He said the NFL's rules protect quarterbacks, extending their careers more than any other position.
It’s tough to predict how long Brady will play, Reed said.
"They’re going to have to kick him out,” Reed said. "Something is going to have to happen physically like you see in those guys break down like Drew Breeses and Ben Roethlisbergers of the world. Guys are trying to play as long as they can.”
Here are other topics covered by Reed:
On whether he would like to coach in the NFL again or in college: "I’ve coached all-star games on every level. I did coach the Bills [assistant defensive backs coach in 2016] and I’m the chief of staff at the University of Miami. It’s not a coaching position but it’s there to set a standard for coaches and players. For me, it’s more like a GM role. I’ve reached out to Ozzie [Newsome] on how to approach it from working with coaches and not being in the meeting room all the time. I’ve learned so much over the years. I had a bunch of great coaches around me. I was known to be a coach on the field, which I was."
On his impressions about Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson: "His speed sticks out like no other. When Lamar takes off, he’s cat quick. This young man stops on a dime. That sticks out big-time to me. How fast he is and how quick he can get out of the pocket. He’s something with the ball in his hand. I enjoy watching Lamar big time. It’s a fair comparison [to Michael Vick]. But I’m not a comparison person. I think everybody has their own greatness within them. Plus, we’re playing at a different era where the rules are different when it comes to quarterback. When Mike Vick played, you could tee off on a quarterback a little bit more. They got similar styles but a little different. That’s pretty right on. Those guys are in the same family of quarterbacks with being able to take off with the speed that they both have.”
On whether Jackson will take the next step as a passer: "Lamar can throw the ball. He can throw it far. He can throw it short. He can get the ball wherever it needs to be. It’s a matter of putting him in a position to be successful. I would like to see him with different route combinations and different spacings, giving him more chances outside the pocket.”
On if he would return to the Ravens as a coach or consultant: "Over the years, I’ve kept contact with Coach [John] Harbaugh and [general manager] Eric DeCosta when I wasn’t working with the University of Miami. I looked at some recruits and some guys coming in for the team, and me and Harbaugh talked about some coaching stuff before. I know my worth, and I’ve been through this league a good bit coaching and as a player. I know my role. I know what I would be good at. I'm not a position coach."