Some considered it a joke, some laughed at it, some thought it was dumb. But one man, Baltimore Ravens legendary safety and Hall of Fame inductee Ed Reed would have surely approved Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jalen Carter's move.
Carter, playing on Monday Night Football's win over the Kansas City Chiefs, tried to pull off a nearly impossible trick against QB Patrick Mahomes of all men: picking off a spike.
Of course, Carter was asked about the play after the game, which again, ended in an Eagles victory that pushed the Ravens up to the AFC no. 1 seed, which they have now all for themselves. Carter said he was inspired by a random high school player he stumbled upon on YouTube.
Carter, a 2023 first-round draft pick by the Eagles, is just 22 years old and he was born in April 2001. Back then, Ed Reed was only one year away from entering the NFL as a first-round draft pick himself when the Ravens selected him with the 24th overall pick in 2002.
What Carter probably didn't know when he was watching that high school kid was that Reed had already attempted the move among pros before the rookie did. That is the truth according to Reed's teammate Dominique Foxworth, who spoke to Kevin Clark on This is Football on Tuesday telling him about Reed's story.
"I saw Joe Flacco completed a pass (in practice) and they get ready to spike the ball," Foxworth started. "Ed Reed creeps up to the line of scrimmage, Joe Flacco snaps it and steps back and spikes the ball. Ed Reed dives under the center’s leg to try to catch the spike and hits his hand."
In other words, if you prefer, Reed was a "crazy, creative, lunatic competitor" as Foxworth describes the living legend and the inventor of the spike interception. Reed might have pulled off the trick in practice, but it's not known that he ever tried, let alone achieved the feat, in a real NFL game.
Jalen Carter, without even knowing, is already following the steps of a great defender. Give Carter his flowers if only for thinking outside of the box, he's doing the right things out there judging by who did them before.