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Ravens safety Reed says Flacco, O-line must play better

Ed Reed certainly chose a strange time to offer constructive criticism of his fellow Ravens.

The star safety was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday, when he spoke candidly about quarterback Joe Flacco and Baltimore's offense. The Ravens beat the Texans on Sunday to advance to the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots, but the offense struggled for long stretches against Houston, managing nearly as many punts (nine) as first downs (11).

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"I think Joe was kind of rattled a little bit by that defense," Reed said (via ProFootballTalk.com). "They had a lot of guys in the box on him. And, I mean, they were getting to him. I think a couple times he needed to get rid of the ball.

"I don't know how much of the play-calling, he could have made audibles or anything like that, checks or whatnot, man, but it just didn't look like he had a hold on the offense, you know, of times past. You know, it was just kind of like they was telling him to do, throw the ball or get it here, you know, get it to certain guys. And he can't play like that."

Reed also called on the big men in front of Flacco to step up their game.

"(The) offensive line's got to block better," Reed said. "You know, they got to communicate better, got to pick up blocks, Joe's got to get the ball out of his hand."

It's worth noting that in asking for improved play from his quarterback and O-line, Reed basically is doing the same thing that led many to label Santonio Holmes an incurable cancer in the Jets' locker room. Reed obviously has stature within his team that Holmes couldn't dream of, which perhaps makes this OK.

That said, the timing seems odd and certainly does little in helping Flaccoin his eternal quest to be respected.

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