FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – In the face of criticism that his addition to the New York Jets secondary has been anything but the savior the team needed, future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed took exception with the New York media on Friday and questioned its understanding of football.
During his only availability of the week, Reed spent the first half of his comments lashing out at the media for a lack of understanding of the game and for what he saw as unfair criticism of his play. The 37-year old has at times shown his age and a lack of mobility on the field, which played a role in his ouster from Houston. Now with the Jets, his play has been marked by missed tackles and bad mistakes.
So Reed bristled when the first question directed to him on Friday was about his play.
“This is football man. We in this locker room have been playing football for a long time. Nobody is perfect out here on the football field. You guys job is to critique, be critics,” Reed said. “That's what you do. That's why you ask the controversial questions, try to make it controversial and then trash people in the media. I could care less about that. Missed tackles happen. Nobody is perfect."
Reed then sneezed and fielded a question about a year of transition from winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens to signing a free agent deal with the Houston Texans, then being cut during the season and signing with the Jets. He then turned it around back to the media.
“Even reading you guys blogs, listening to your comments. Knowing half of you all don't know as much about football as you think unless you sit in the film room with us and break the film down or even know the schematic part of it," Reed said. "You can ask the question but that don't mean you're an expert at what we do. It's funny to me, reading it. I smile at it, laugh at it. That's your job, some of your jobs you tear people down, you try to. Tear the team down and not understand that it's a team when you point the finger at one individual. It's not an individual game, it's a team sport. Totally a team sport. It all goes together offense, defense and special teams.”
There is a point to what Reed is saying. The Jets pass rush has been tremendous this year, led by Muhammad Wilkerson and rookie Sheldon Richardson. But the secondary is young. It lost its top three safeties from last year's unit. And in April, the Jets traded away Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, a loss that would hurt any team.
Factor in a hip injury that has limited cornerback Antonio Cromartie's abilities and the Jets have struggled to stop the pass. They are No. 26 in the NFL in pass defense.
Brought in to help the Jets stop the deep ball, Reed has been asked to play a deep centerfield position, which has brought some criticism that the Jets have given up too much underneath.
Reed was asked what the media would learn if they watched game film with him.
“You will understand football a lot more. You will understand that it is totally a team sport,” Reed said.
He ended the interview by stepping back and saying, “I've said too much.”
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Kristian R. Dyer covers the Jets for Metro New York and also contributes to Yahoo Sports. He can be followed for news and random tweetings on Twitter @KristianRDyer