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LB Josh Bynes brings lessons from Ed Reed, Ray Lewis to Cardinals

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

On Thursday, Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes said he told some teammates a story about his time as a young player in Baltimore.

“I wasn’t supposed to go vertical on something, and Ed Reed literally said, ‘Josh, go vertical, go, just take it, I promise you, I got this, man.’ And then I just ran, and Ed Reed went and knocked it down.”

Bynes relayed the story to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta on Thursday.

“Then you go in the meeting the next day and coach is like why did you do that? … Hey, Ed Reed told me.”

Now a seven-year NFL veteran, Bynes looks back at his time in Baltimore as a place that helped mold him. Playing his first three seasons with Ray Lewis, a 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, and Reed, who will be eligible in 2019, Bynes learned the intricacies of the NFL.

“Watching film with Ed Reed transformed everything for me,” Bynes said.

Though they played different positions – Reed at defensive back and Bynes a linebacker – Reed asked him questions about video that Bynes wouldn’t even consider.

Who was the primary receiver? What defense are you in? What coverage are you in?

“He saw the game on a different level,” Bynes said.

As for Lewis, Bynes shared another on-the-field story.

“Ray Lewis barely said a word,” he said. “All he did was stick his fist out and you had 1,000 guys calling out close calls.”

Bynes imitated himself as a rookie quietly giving a command on the field. At the time, Chuck Pagano was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens.

“He snapped on me, oh my gosh, he got into me,” Bynes said. “He knew, coming out of college, what kind of guy I was, and I was that leader of the defense … he expected that same thing from me from day one.”

At Auburn, Bynes said he took control of the field as middle linebacker.

In high school, he was the only defender with a wristband on the team.

Bynes could defer to Reed and Lewis in Baltimore, but over his three years in Detroit, he began to take a larger leadership role.

Then, when Bynes came to Arizona last season, Karlos Dansby was the vocal leader of the linebacker crew.

But after the Cardinals did not re-sign Dansby this offseason, Bynes is in position to take command of the unit.

He said he’s ready.

“That’s nothing new to me, being that guy who has to take control of the defense,” he said. “… (In) my eighth year, everything is clicking and everything is making sense.

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