The late, great George Carlin once urged his audiences to "pay attention to the language we've all agreed on." I couldn't concur more. For instance, the difference between being a "veteran" and just being "old". Ed Reed personifies that difference.
Old guys don't make plays on a constant basis like Reed does. Reed doesn't live in the end zone, but he does have a long-term lease there. Thanks to the pick six he recorded against Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, Reed has now scored at least one touchdown in eight of his 11 NFL seasons. He's hit double-digits in passes defensed in seven of his previous 10 seasons and looks well on his way to hitting that plateau again with a pair of swatted passes in Week 1.
Old guys can't fight through injuries the way Reed does. Tweaked hamstring be damned, the man from "The U" just keeps getting it done. Even at football's ripe old age of 34, he keeps proving that you just can't pick on him.
It's a quality that Baltimore Ravens fans (and football fans in general) have learned to admire. It's also one that Baltimore will rely on heavily with Terrell Suggs and his sack prowess out of the lineup for an indefinite period of time. By the way, Reed is good for the occasional sack and could pick up a few this season if defensive coordinator Dean Pees decides to blitz more from the secondary.
Eventually the day will come when Reed stops consistently making plays. Eventually he'll be a step too slow and those picks won't be there. Eventually he'll stop having his mail sent to the opposing end zone. When that day comes, we can start referring to Ed Reed as "old". Until then, respect this man as the seasoned veteran he is.
First down:New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis didn't practice Wednesday as the recovers from the effects of a concussion suffered in Sunday's win over the Buffalo Bills. Now, the All-Pro corner isn't sure whether he'll play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since Revis Island isn't a preferred destination for opposing offenses, his presence on the field could mean more playmaking opportunities for Antonio Cromartie. If Revis sits, the job of chasing down Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown could fall to either Kyle Wilson or Ellis Lankster.
Second down: After watching Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons' passing game pick them apart, the Kansas City Chiefs have to be thrilled to have Tamba Halireturning to action this week. Hali missed Week 1 because of a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Last season, the former Penn State star racked up 12 sacks. That pressure will be a welcomed sight this week against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the pass-happy Buffalo Bills.
Third down:Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney left last week's loss to the Chicago Bears with a sprained ankle that prevented him from logging a single tackle. Head coach Chuck Pagano says Freeney is currently day to day, which means he could be ready for Sunday's game agaisnt the Minnesota Vikings. Despite not throwing an touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, Christian Ponder was a pretty comfortable 20 of 27 for 270 yards. Freeney's presence could disrupt some of that ease in the pocket.
Fourth down: The San Diego Chargers could be thin in the secondary this week against the Tennessee Titans. Both corners -- Quentin Jammer (broken hand) and Shareece Wright (sprained ankle) -- are uncertain for Sunday. The Titans don't have the league's most high-powered passing game, but they are getting Kenny Britt back this week, which adds to their potency. Antoine Cason and Marcus Gilchrist will have to step up if either (or both) of the others can't play.