The NFL Was Right to Suspend Ed Reed
Reed has made a hall of fame career out of being a hard nosed safety who can time his hit perfectly to separate a would be receiver from the ball.
What the league did on Monday, and has consistently done for more than a few years now, is send a clear message that the game will change. And that the way Ed Reed plays the game is going to be a thing of the past whether he, or anyone else, likes it or not. Players like Reed will have to learn that they will no longer be allowed to attempt to jar the ball loose like they have in the past. The play that we will all see on a loop when this suspension is being discussed, the hit on Sunday night against Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders, is a perfect example of a hit that the league is going to eradicate from the game, by all means necessary.
The NFL is saying that from now on they expect defenders to concede a catch in that situation and simply make the tackle. If you can’t get there in time to make a play on the ball itself, you just simply aren’t going to be allowed to make a play on the man anymore.
It’s not like we haven’t seen changes like this in the game before. There once was a time when the league allowed another hall of fame player, Carl Eller, to routinely use a move called “The Head Slap”.
Now, for our younger readers, this was a move where Eller, a tremendous player, would club the offensive lineman in the side of the head in order to make him disoriented for a split second so that he could get to the quarterback.
Could you even imagine this sort of thing being allowed today? It’s laughable, right?
Well, this is how future football fans are going to look back at a time when world class athletes like Ed Reed were allowed to run full speed and launch themselves at the heads of receivers so that they would drop the ball.