In the week leading up to the AFC title game, Ravens FS Ed Reed made headlines with his assessment of QB Joe Flacco's play in the divisional-round win vs. Houston. Flacco, Reed reportedly told SiriusXM, appeared "rattled" by the Texans' pass rush.
Flacco and Reed brushed off the controversy as much ado about nothing, and the way we hear it, that appears to be the case.
"It's not really that big of an issue," Flacco told Ravens reporters. "I don't really take things that bad. It is Ed. It is what it is."
On a conference call with national reporters, Reed said his relationship with Flacco was fine.
"Joe has been here a long time," Reed said. "I've been here with Joe since he's gotten here. I know Joe is a smart quarterback. He's our quarterback regardless of anything, and pretty much that is all (there is) to it. We talked a little bit, but it's no different than the talks we've had over the weeks. I didn't have to say much. He didn't have to say much. We all know the goal."
Reed, 33, is a future Hall of Famer. Flacco, six years younger than Reed, has been the subject of much scrutiny, and even though he has led the Ravens to at least one playoff win in all four of his NFL seasons, he has yet to earn widespread public respect.
Nevertheless, there are some parallels between both players.
Each, for instance, has one year left on his contract. Also, neither has quite played up to his previous level in 2011. Although Reed earned Pro Bowl honors, the 2011 season was not regarded as one of his best. Flacco's completion percentage dipped, and he committed a career-high 18 turnovers. That said, he engineered one of the season's key drives when he led Baltimore to the game-winning TD at Pittsburgh.
The futures of Reed and Flacco could be offseason story lines to watch. For Reed, the focus is on whether he wants to play in 2012; he's publicly contemplated retirement in the past. For Flacco, the focus will be on whether the Ravens sign him to a contract extension.