Ed Reed is a meat-and-potatoes type of football player. He knows what works, and he's not interested in moving out of his comfort system.
That's why the Baltimore Ravens safety has an issue with rule changes he believes were put in place to increase offense and provide the NFL with a more attractive product.
"The game has changed from a corporate standpoint," Reed said this week on "The Rich Eisen Podcast" when asked about why the league has the highest passing yards per game since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
That's right. Reed believes the NFL has gone from Jefferson Airplane to Starship. It's artistic credibility pushed aside in favor of the almighty dollar.
"When Mike Singletary and all those guys played the game, it was a different football game. They didn't have all them rules," Reed said. "It was football how I grew up playing football. Without all the rules, there's one football, that 11 against this 11. It's tackle football, let's go. Anything goes, so they got rid of the anything-goes attitude and are now trying to protect guys from a life standpoint because of all these injuries."
Reed takes particular exception to rule changes that have forced defenders to be less aggressive in taking down ball carriers.
"How are you going to hinder us from tackling?" he said. "I understand keep your head up, don't hit first with your helmet, I'm totally against that. But hitting a guy as soon as he get the ball? Come on, this is football. That's how we were raised to play it."
Reed is one of the most respected players in football, so any comments he makes carry added weight. But with the NFL more popular than ever, Reed shouldn't hold his breath hoping for things to go back to the way they were.