NFL Playoff Schedule 2012: Ed Reed and More Veterans Who Deserve Super Bowl Ring

Adam SpencerCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 15:  Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates his interception against  Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans (not pictured) during the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

When Donald Driver and Charles Woodson held the Lombardi Trophy last year for the Green Bay Packers, it meant a little bit more to them.

Driver and Woodson had been in the league for a long time without reaching the top.

It's always great to see classy veterans win a Super Bowl ring; it's a great way to wind down an excellent career.

So, who are the Donald Drivers and Charles Woodsons of 2012?

Let's take a look at three veterans who deserve a Super Bowl ring for the way they've carried themselves throughout their careers.

Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens

Ed Reed has done just about everything a safety can do in the NFL. The only thing missing from his illustrious career is a Super Bowl ring.

Unfortunately for Reed, he was drafted just two years after the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

Ray Lewis has a ring, but Reed doesn't. It would be fitting if both of these defensive stalwarts had at least one ring at the end of their careers.

It would be nice to see Reed go out with a big bang.

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 24:  Running back Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 24, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers

Gore isn't as old as the other guys on this list, but running backs don't last very long in the NFL.

His career will start to decline rapidly in a couple years. Therefore, it would be great to see him win a Super Bowl while he's still in his prime.

He's talented enough to carry the Niners past the Giants and past whoever they play in the Super Bowl.

And, if Alex Smith doesn't make too many mistakes this weekend, the Super Bowl is where he should end up.

Brian Waters, New England Patriots

Waters has been around the NFL for a long time, toiling away in Kansas City since 2000.

Now, he's on the Patriots and has his first legitimate shot at a Super Bowl ring.

For a guy who has been nothing but a class act in his career, it'd be nice to see him finally get that elusive ring.

He's still at the top of his game, earning his sixth Pro Bowl trip this season.

If things go right for him and his team, it's a Pro Bowl trip he won't be making. He'll be preparing for the Super Bowl instead.

Game Schedule

Baltimore at New England: January 22, 3 ET

New York at San Francisco: January 22, 6:30 ET