January 09, 2011
To watch Ed Reed(notes) fly around the secondary for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, you'd have thought it was just another routine NFL Sunday. The six-time All-Pro safety was deflecting passes, laying big hits and harassing an opposing quarterback into a woeful passing day, just like he has throughout his nine-year NFL career.
However, this weekend was anything but routine for Reed. On Saturday police called off the search for his younger brother, Brian, who was last seen fleeing from police and jumping into the Mississippi River. The 29-year-old had been stopped Friday while driving a vehicle authorities believed was stolen. Police later found his jacket and shoes abandoned by the river.
Brian Reed had battled drug and alcohol problems in the past.
When it was all over, his Ravens 30-7 winners, Reed was awarded the game ball. He addressed his teammates -- the guys he calls his "second family" -- afterward and the emotions he had held in check on the field finally poured out:
That's as affecting a clip as you'll ever see out of an NFL locker room. I'd be lying if I said there weren't some tears on this end while watching Reed start to break up the instant he mentioned his brother.
[Photos: More of Ed Reed's season]
Reed had four tackles on the afternoon, including that huge third-down hit on Dexter McCluster(notes). His Ravens will face their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET.
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