Ed Reed Used to Practice Viral Spike-INT Attempted by Eagles’ Jalen Carter

Jalen Carter

Getty A "lunatic competitor" for the Baltimore Ravens practiced the viral play Philadelphia Eagles' rookie Jalen Carter almost made in Week 11.

Intercepting a spiked pass isn’t something most players would even attempt, but that didn’t stop Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter from trying.

Carter couldn’t make the pick when Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes clocked the ball during a 21-17 Eagles win on Monday Night Football, but the rookie’s attempt still went viral.

What Carter probably didn’t know is somebody else had the same idea. None other than Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed. The nine-time Pro Bowler for the Baltimore Ravens used to try intercepting the spike during practice, according to former teammate Dominique Foxworth.

Speaking to Kevin Clark for “This is Football,” Foxworth explained how, “One time, actually it was more than one time, I saw Joe Flacco completed a pass and they get ready to spike the ball. 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.”

Foxworth interpreted Reed’s unorthodox attempt to wreck a two-minute offense as proof he was a “crazy, creative, lunatic competitor.”

Reed was thinking out of the box, but this entertaining blast from the past also reveals the core things that made him one of the greatest players in NFL history.

Jalen Carter’s Near Miss Might Start Defensive Trend

Carter didn’t get his hands on an interception, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The rookie lineman went for broke with the Chiefs in field-goal range at the end of the first half.

To say this isn’t something you see everyday is more than a mild understatement. It’s almost taken for granted defenders won’t attack when the quarterback is spiking the ball.

A widely acknowledged moment for easing up is an opportunity for respite for tiring defensive players. At least it tends to be that way in the pros.

Carter revealed he took his inspiration for going against the grain from watching a high school player make the play on YouTube, per 94WIP reporter Eliot Shorr-Parks: “I was like, you know, that’s a good idea, and I knew they were spiking it, so I, you know, I tried to go for it.”

Other D-linemen will surely take Carter’s lead, given how close he came to forcing a turnover in the most improbable circumstances. There’s also the not-so small matter of quarterbacks using the spike to their advantage in the past.

The most famous example is probably Dan Marino burning the New York Jets with the fake spike to help the Miami Dolphins win in 1994.

Carter might have inadvertently started a fightback from defenses now sensing an opportunity to make more of a normally routine, procedural play. If so, defensive coordinators should look beyond linemen and have an athletic safety try his luck.

Although few teams possess an athlete like Reed, the Ravens have their own candidate who could make this play.

Ed Reed’s Natural Successor Could Make This Play

Reed couldn’t make the play in practice, but the fact he even tried, summed up his greatness. No. 20 was enough of a gifted athlete to muster the right timing and leverage to undercut a center and snatch a ball being thrown to the ground.

Combining physical flair with a mind dedicated to splash plays made Reed dominant. Those things led to iconic moments like his 107-yard pick-six against the Eagles in 2008.

Ed Reed was the personification of offense on defense, but players like him are rare. The Ravens have had to wait, but they hope they’ve found another Reed-type in the form of Kyle Hamilton.

He’s making excellent strides during his second season in the NFL. The player drafted 14th overall in 2022 has three sacks and two interceptions through 11 games this year.

Hamilton is making plays in every phase, but he’s improved most in coverage. These plays highlighted by Ryan Mink of Ravens.com show Hamilton looking a lot like Reed, creeping back and forth pre-snap, before closing on the ball in a hurry.

Giving Hamilton a few chances to do what Carter couldn’t, might gift the Ravens a turnover or two in crucial moments. It would also surely make Reed proud.

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