He returned to Baltimore in Week 3 as a member of the Houston Texans, and this weekend he will go back to his home of 11 years for the second time this season. This time, however, he’ll be accompanied by the player who stood by his side throughout five of those glorious years in Ravens purple, fellow safety
Reed and Landry combined for 226 regular-season games played (223 of those starts) as Baltimore’s safeties over the past decade-plus. Playoffs included, they started 59 games together for the Ravens from the time Landry was drafted in 2006 to his departure in 2010, as noted by newyorkjets.com editor-in-chief Randy Lange in his 10 Things to Look For article.
But despite the deep-rooted history, emotions will likely be kept in check by both men come Sunday because it’s been there, done that.
“It’s a football game, man,” Reed said this week. “It’s another football game.”
“I’m a couple years removed,” Landry said, “so it was the first place I played in, but I’m past that. Nothing added for me.” He “got the jitters out” after returning to Baltimore as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars last August for a preseason game.
Of course, the chance to see ex-teammates will never get old, and that feeling is mutual from both sides.
“Reed is like a brother,” Ravens WR Torrey Smith said. “I texted him as soon as he signed with them congratulating him. Obviously, he wants to win and work on that playoff push up there, but none of that matters to our relationship off the field. Once we get on the field, it’s about playing. We’re representing Baltimore. He has Baltimore in his heart, but he’s representing New York.”
“I’m grateful to be where I’m at right now,” Reed said, “where people appreciate you for what you’ve done, what you did over your career, what you can do and what you still do on the football field.”
Of course, with the Ravens sitting at 4-6 and the Jets at 5-5, the return of the safeties is just a subplot in a game that has huge implications for the second AFC Wild Card spot.
“There are bigger things at stake than just going back to Baltimore for us,” Landry made clear. “We’re trying to get a win right now against a good opponent and we’re just approaching it that way.”
A gracious reception for Reed and Landry is likely by the otherwise hostile crowd, but once the whistle blows and the opening kick is under way, Baltimore fans will prefer not to see too many game-changing plays by the two men who used to roam their turf.