Florham Park, NJ – You couldn’t find a person part of the Jets organization who was anything but excited about the addition of Ed Reed.
Reed was signed this morning after being released by the Houston Texans earlier in the week. He got in early enough to practice, and sported the number 22. While Rex Ryan has already said Reed won’t start this week, Reed did line up next to his old partner Dawan Landry for part of practice.
Both Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman were borderline giddy about getting the former all-pro back on their team. Even after his release from the Ravens the duo never expected Reed to be wearing green.
“Obviously we recognized that he’s a tremendous football player and we would’ve loved to have him, but I think sometimes there are financial things,” said Ryan. “And really the commitment was going to be too great.”
Reed signed a 3-year $15 million contract with the Texans in the offseason, but the Jets will only be paying a fraction of that price. But the Texans willingness to let Reed goes doesn’t mean the safety is done in this league. He’s had an underwhelming season highlighted more by what he hasn’t done (missed the first two games due to injury, and hasn’t recorded a turnover yet this season), than what he has.
“I would say that is a false statement that he can’t play anymore,” said Rex. “I saw the [Chiefs game]. I saw that particular game that you’re talking about. What I saw was a guy that had movement skills, a guy that was locked in man coverage–that straight zero coverage on tight ends–and still did a tremendous job. So I was excited about watching him.”
“I don’t think I’d be here if they thought [I didn’t have anything left],” added Reed.
But more important than the type of player Reed can be for this defense, is what kind of mentor he can be for the young defensive backs in this locker room.
“I said, ‘Mr. Reed. Hello, I’m your shadow,'” said Josh Bush. “To be around a guy like him and Dawan is every young safety’s dream.”
“For the younger safeties it helps a lot more,” added Antonio Cromartie. “He teaches them things maybe they haven’t seen, and he understands what Rex is looking for from his safeties and stuff like that.”
“I’m here to help the team win,” said Reed. “If that’s coaching the young guys up on their technique, that’s what I’m going to do. That’s what my game has always been about.”
The Jets pass defense has struggled this season due to an inconsistent secondary. The youth certainly plays a factor into it. Reed might not fix that on his own, but as a coach on the field, a mentor in the locker room, and an athlete with a few good years left, he should certainly help.
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