Ed Reed: '01 Miami Hurricanes The Best Team Ever

The talent on Miami's 2001 squad was – and is – unparalleled

The DA Show
March 19, 2019 - 12:06 pm

Ed Reed accomplished a lot in his football career. He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens, was a nine-time Pro Bowler, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But he was also a member of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes, which rostered 17 future first-round draft picks. Not 17 future NFL players; 17 future first-rounders.

“(It was) pretty sick,” Reed said on The DA Show. “I think I was the one person who really knew (how much talent we had).”

Aside from Reed, the defense included Antrel Rolle, Mike Rumph, D.J. Williams, Sean Taylor, Phillip Buchanon, Jonathan Vilma, Vince Wilfork, William Joseph, and Jerome McDougle.

“Between my sophomore year and junior year and sophomore and senior year, we’ve had the most first-round picks – it’s crazy,” Reed said. “But the year before that, 2000, we went to the Sugar Bowl. Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss was on that team. We had some legends the year before that.”

That team went 11-1 and beat Florida, 37-20, in the Sugar Bowl.

“A lot of us talked about that: which team was better,” Reed said. “A lot of people don’t mention that 2000 team because we didn’t win that national championship, but we were really good that year, too.”

The 2001 team, though, was a cut above. The Hurricanes went 12-0 and beat Nebraska, 37-14, in the Rose Bowl.

“It was special, man,” Reed said. “Being on the team with a bunch of those guys made the game easy. That’s why I went back my senior year. I knew we were loaded. Plus, I graduated and didn’t have much going on my senior year as far as school. I was just there for football. I wanted to win a national championship. That’s why I went back for my fifth year. I wanted to make sure we put the university back where we was supposed to put it. That’s what we went to school for. It would have been a sad moment for me to just leave and not have us win a championship.”

Miami’s running backs that year? Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Najeh Davenport, and Jarrett Payton – Walter Payton’s son. The tight ends? Kellen Winslow and Jeremy Shockey. Andre Johnson was the No. 1 receiver.

How do you get reps on a team like that?

“You better not get hurt or get tired,” Reed said, laughing. “If you get off the field, those guys didn’t want to come off. That was our mentality: guys did not want to come off the football field because they knew who was behind them, which was crazy. If you get hurt, if you get tired and somebody else runs on the field, they didn’t want to come off.”

Miami’s 2000 team lost one game: 34-29 at Washington in the second week of the season. Miami’s 2001 team won the rematch, 65-7.

“Because we lost the year before, we just had a chip on our shoulder and they just got the bad end of that,” Reed said. “I don’t even think they’ve played us since – or even want to play us since then.”

Miami’s defense allowed seven points or fewer in eight of 12 games that season, including three shutouts. Penn State, Rutgers, Troy, West Virginia, Temple, Boston College, Syracuse and Washington combined to average 3.9 points against Miami that season.

“I knew how to win a championship,” Reed said. “You look at those scores, the defense did not give up points. That’s how you win championships.”

While Reed is proud of all of his football accomplishments, he is especially proud of being in the College Football Hall of Fame.

“Not everybody knows about the College Football Hall of Fame,” he said. “That’s one of the biggest accomplishment that I think I’ve achieved and didn’t really factor in the numbers of that. Three-plus million guys that went through college – everybody in the NFL goes through college, and not everybody makes it to that Hall of Fame or even gets that chance.”