New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick called the Baltimore Ravens "a good solid team in all three phases of the game" when asked on WEEI on Monday about his team's opponent in the AFC championship game. He then became a bit more animated when the name Ed Reed was brought up.
Reed, the Ravens' formidable safety who had a key fourth-quarter interception in the Ravens' victory over the Houston Texans, could cause trouble for the Pats on Sunday.
"He's got great instincts... he's a magnet to the ball," Belichick said during his weekly radio appearance.
"He's got great vision and anticipation, he's very fast, he's got good quickness. But I'd say the big thing with him is his instincts. He has a great understanding of what's happening on the play, where the ball's going, who's threatening. He's almost always in great position -- and usually getting there before the play has totally unfolded."
So, how do you deal with an opposing safety like that?
"You gotta be careful with him," said Belichick. "You gotta know where he's at, because he's going to be by the ball. ... If you're throwing it, you better make sure that you can get the ball there before he does. And he's a good blitzer. Sometimes he's close to the line of scrimmage ... and he can fake the blitz and get back into coverage and be a factor back there, too. He's very good at disguising, very deceptive, but his anticipation and his instincts are, I'd say, second to none at that position and very comparable to Ray Lewis as a middle linebacker, who also has great awareness and instinctiveness."
Guess we know one point of emphasis for the Patriots this week.