Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed feels like the game is changing, and not for the better. He doesn't like a lot of the rules put in place in recent years that he feels hurts defensive players, even if the intention is to make the game safer; even when he knows the game causes damage.
"I feel effects from it," Reed said Tuesday at Super Bowl Media Day. "Some days, I wake up and I'm like, 'Where did my memory go?' But I signed up for it."
Reed's unique perspective is one of the reasons why he's one of the guys we're so happy to see at the Super Bowl. He doesn't think like everyone else. One reporter asked if late NFL great Junior Seau signed up for it.
"Did he sign up for it?" Reed said. "Yeah, he signed up to play football. ... Junior gave everything he had to football. I'm sure he's looking down and has no regrets."
Reed said he notices the repercussions in his own life.
"Football has been like this for ages. ... It's going to be a violent sport. You are going to have repercussions from that. But every player that plays this game and will play this game signed up for it. We signed up for it. We know what could happen. ... That's the life we choose to live."
Talk to five NFL players about player health and safety, and you will get five different responses. Although you probably won't hear anyone else referencing a Cash Money record on a serious topic.
Reed said: "As we used to say here in Louisiana, an old Cash Money record: 'Live by it, die it.' That's the truth. You are what you do."Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.