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Ed Reed is quite possibly the greatest safety in NFL history, and he played 11 years of his 12-year career for the Baltimore Ravens. As part of some of the most feared defenses of all time, Reed appreciates hard hits. What he doesn’t appreciate is dirty plays, and on the Dan Patrick Show, he made the distinction between the hard-hitting Ravens defense and the dirty plays of his team’s biggest rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ed Reed called out the Pittsburgh Steelers without naming the team 

On a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, the host asked Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed how his vaunted Baltimore Ravens defense of the early 2000s would fair in today’s game, where defenses are given far less leeway.

Reed thinks the Ravens would still be “very impactful.” The reason he thinks this is because the Ravens “weren’t one of these defenses we’ve seen that was out there with ill will. That was out there knocking helmets off. We hit people hard, but we wasn’t doing it illegally.”

“They had some dirty players over there, and that’s how they played the game,” Reed continued, without naming the team.

Reed then said that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals played the “dirtiest game ever,” referring to one of their incredibly ugly games in 2016 and 2017.

When Dan Patrick asked Reed to name names, the five-time All-Pro only said his “rivalry team” who “wore black and gold.” He also said he shouldn’t have to name names because, for anyone who watched football in that period, they already know.

Then he said, “I don’t need to tell you Hines Ward was a dirty player.”

Reed named Hines Ward as the dirtiest Steelers player

Of all the dirty Steelers former Ravens star Ed Reed wanted to call out, wide receiver Hines Ward was at the top of that list.

Reed pointed out that there is a rule now (unofficially) named after Ward that outlaws blindside crack-back blocks by WRs on defenders.

Reed also added, “Even though he was dirty to me, I never went back at him. As much as I could have, I never did.”

Lest Steelers fans think this is Reed talking trash behind Ward’s back, the Hall of Fame safety assured Dan Patrick and the viewers that he’s told Ward how he feels.  

“I’ve told Hines Ward this to his face, so he already know. We’ve hashed that out, man. I got it out. We talked about it. It is what it is,” Redd revealed.

How the Ravens Hall of Famer did against his rival

Former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed says the Pittsburgh Steelers are a dirty team.
Ed Reed | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Ravens-Steelers rivalry is one of the best in the NFL this century. Ed Reed knows this well, as he played the Steelers 22 times in his 11 seasons in Baltimore.

And like all the best rivalries, this one was incredibly even during Reed’s time. From 2002-2012, the teams faced off 22 times in the regular season. And the record was 11-11.

Unfortunately for Reed and Ravens fans, the Steelers did get the best of Baltimore twice in the postseason during this time.

In the 2008 season, the Steelers beat the Ravens 23-14 in the AFC Championship Game. Pittsburgh went on to down the Arizona Cardinals two weeks later. In the 2010 season, the Steelers again prevailed. This time it was 31-24 in the Divisional Round. Two games later, Aaron Rodgers and the Steelers lifted the Lombardi trophy, beating Ben Roethlisberger and company.  

Despite losing to the Steelers when it mattered most, Ed Reed and the Ravens would rip through the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and San Francisco 49ers after the 2012 season to win a Super Bowl.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference