Ed Reed clearly believes he's got plenty left

Ed Reed looks on after a game against Ed Reed looks on after a game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Dec. 1, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Ed Reed doesn't care what we think of him.

He's been scrutinized for as long as he can remember, and the future Hall of Famer isn't the least bit fazed by criticism. As Reed sees it, he's set the standard for NFL safeties. And given that he's made the Pro Bowl nine times in 12 seasons, it's hard to argue with him.

"That standard hasn't been created by no fan or no person in the media,'' Reed said Thursday. "It's been created by me. So criticism coming from you guys or whoever, I don't worry about it.

" . . . When you're in the latter part of your career, especially when you're coming off a Super Bowl, people look to tear you down. It comes with the territory.''

Reed thinks he "probably'' has two more years left in his 35-year-old body after the 2013 season. And for however long he does play, he knows his production will be picked apart. But Reed says he's accustomed to looking at himself in the mirror, and he's more than happy with what he sees.

"There's a reason why you speak of me the way you do -- whether it's good or bad,'' he said with a smile, adding that there's no discernible difference in his level of play from years past. "That's why I can get longevity out of this.''

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Reed has 528 career tackles and 61 interceptions, but he hasn't had a pick since Week 12 of the 2012 season. And since winning the Super Bowl with Baltimore, the former Raven is 0-10 in games he's played with the Texans and the Jets.

When asked if he's played up to the standard that he set, an impatient Reed replied: "I think that as a team, we haven't met our mark.''

But he quickly brought up the fact that he's less than a year removed from his second hip surgery -- a procedure performed a month after he signed a three-year, $15-million deal with the Texans in March.

Houston released him after only seven games, and his reunion with Rex Ryan has produced no tangible improvements by the Jets' defense. Though the younger defensive backs follow Reed around "like puppies,'' according to defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, their defense is 25th in points allowed (25.8) and passing yards allowed per game (256.8).

Nevertheless, Reed will start against the Raiders on Sunday.

Though Reed's tackling is suspect and he's usurped playing time from second-year safety Antonio Allen, the coaching staff speaks glowingly of the veteran.

"You can't always measure a guy's greatness just by what he does on the field,'' Thurman said, noting that no mental mistakes have been made in the secondary since Reed arrived. "They may not manifest themselves right now, but in the future, this will be a positive thing for the New York Jets.''

Reed says he's not as fast as he once was but also pointed out that he's not being tested as much by opposing quarterbacks either.

"I think I'm still effective,'' he said. "I watch tape, too.''

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