Q&A with Ed Reed

Name: Ed Reed Position: Strong safety College: Miami (Fla.) Measurables: 5-foot-11, 205 pounds Age: 23 Hometown: St. Rose, La. Acquired: Reed was drafted in the first round by the Ravens with the 24th overall selection of the NFL Draft this spring.

Resume: So far, Reed has recorded 16 tackles, a sack, five pass deflections and two interceptions to remain tied for the team lead with middle linebacker Ray Lewis. Reed intercepted a Kelly Holcomb pass in the fourth quarter to seal a victory over the Cleveland Browns. In college, Reed intercepted a school-record 21 passes as a consensus All-American, picking off nine passes during his final season as the Hurricanes won the national championship. Reed's 201 career tackles and 54 pass deflections are also the top marks for a defensive back in Miami school history.

Role against Jacksonville: Reed will keep a close eye on elusive Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell and running back Fred Taylor, two dangerous men in the open field. In the passing game, Reed will have the difficult task of defending massive tight end Kyle Brady, who dwarfs him by seven inches and 73 pounds. Also, Reed will be responsible for Taylor on occasion out of the backfield and dealing with crossing routes and fly patterns by Jimmy Smith, a consistent Ravens nemesis, Bobby Shaw and former Ravens wideout Patrick Johnson.

Ravens Insider: "How much will you be needed to tackle Fred Taylor?"

Reed: "Fred Taylor is a real good back, one of the best in the league. We're just going to try to have to contain him."

Ravens Insider: "How would you describe the progression of this defense?"

Reed: "I think we're playing very good. We still have a lot to learn, a young group, but as far as the season goes, we're getting better every week."

Ravens Insider: "Was it hard for Donnie Henderson to sell you on shifting to strong from free safety?"

Reed: Oh, no, coach explained it to me. I played some strong at Miami and it's mainly just about learning both safety spots. I still play free in games."

Ravens Insider: "You like the increased action, though, right?"

Reed: "Yeah, I do, and if it puts me around the ball more, so be it."

Ravens Insider: "What are some of the specific things the defense will need from you Sunday?"

Reed: "Just to do my job. I'm there to just be the leader I know how to be: be vocal, let guys know what's going on and what situations they need to be in."

Ravens Insider: "What do you think about the matchups with Jacksonville?"

Reed: "From covering the tight end to blitzing, I'll be doing pretty much everything. Week in and week out, it's a different challenge. It's going to be interesting and fun at the same time."

Ravens Insider: "As a rookie starter, what sort of grade would you give yourself ? Are you a tough grader?"

Reed: "I would say probably about average, B to a C, but getting a lot better. We're growing. We're getting a lot better as the weeks go by."

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