Rex Ryan on His Veteran of Two Teams: Ed Reed


Nov 24, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Jets safety Ed Reed (22) looks on during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M

When Ed Reed was released by the Texans, it was no surprise to anyone that coach Ryan was all too eager to snatch him up for his New York Jets. Ed Reed has had a storied career with the Baltimore Ravens, and coach Ryan was his coordinator for a most of that time. We all know how loyal Rex Ryan is to his players.

However, the Ed Reed that has been in a Jets’ uniform is a far cry from Ed Reed the Raven. He has been slower, taking bad angles, and genuinely looked like a veteran that is in the twilight of his career. With that, Reed has taken a lot of heat from the media. He responded by saying that the media doesn’t know much about football. Rex was asked about those comments yesterday:

You know what’s funny? Sometimes it’s tough for players to understand that, okay, we get it. (The media doesn’t) get the coaching tape. They’re not sitting in the meetings. They can’t see everything. But, I’ve been around a lot of reporters, and shoot, you guys have a job to do and you believe your eyes. You see it and so obviously you have the right to write about anything that you see and you witness. Does that mean you’re going to do it from a player’s perspective or a coach’s perspective? I don’t think you have to. You’re doing what you see. You’re doing it through your eyes just like I would do it through my eyes. Scheme-wise or whatever, if it’s something that you see and you feel strong about, why wouldn’t you comment on it? Are you going to know specifically, “Hey, you know what? That’s 3-2 Jacks Doublefield?” No you’re not going to know that. You might not know that part but you recognize, “Hey, you know what? That looks like they’re playing two-man or they’re playing whatever.” I believe, obviously, with this group (of media), that it’s an impressive group. I’ve always said this, hey, not every article is positive. I get that. But, if we don’t play well, I understand what the articles are going to look like. I understand that. But if we play well then I also see what it is. I don’t expect everybody to understand, “Hey, it’s absolutely this person’s fault.” And you know what? If I don’t tell you whose fault it is, you’re going to put what you see and what you believe to be that. And sometimes I won’t do it to protect the player, and so I get it. But I think sometimes a player may think that, and not against Ed, but sometimes players (will think), “Well, he doesn’t know all of this.” Well no they don’t see all of it. But the writer understands the game. It might not be 100 percent what the call is, so I get that.

He knows that it is not easy for Ed to accept this type of criticism:

Well I think so, that’s a Hall of Famer, first ballot Hall-of-Fame player. The fact there’s been some negative criticism and things like that, do you expect a 25 year old or 26 year old Ed Reed back there? That’s not it. This is still a good football player, he’s an outstanding player. Is he as good as he once was? No, but guess what? That list is really short because you have to start at the top with Ed Reed. Because in my opinion, he’s the finest free safety in the history of this game. If he’s going down, he’s climbing down from the very top of the mountain and that mountain is Everest. Again, Ed is a prideful guy. I think he’s probably never faced criticism in his life because of the kind of player he is. I will say this, he’s still an outstanding player and a great teammate and he’s a leader.

It’s not hard to see that Ed Reed is declining as a player. But coach is right, we don’t see how he influences the team off the field, in the classroom…etc. A veteran influence is always good, and for the small investment, it’s worth it.