FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Ed Reed's time with the Jets will be a mere footnote in his career, but on Friday he left a blunt message to be remembered by.
After initially declining to speak to reporters after practice, the future Hall of Fame safety changed his mind and lobbed a series of verbal grenades into the crowd around him.
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When asked about the Jets' recent problems with missed tackles and big plays allowed, he said, "Nobody's perfect out there. You guys' job is to critique, be critics. That's what you do. That's why you ask the controversial questions, try to make it controversial, then you trash people in the media.
"I [couldn't] care less about that," Reed continued. "Missed tackles happen. Nobody's perfect. Big plays, you can't have them, not to win."
Reed, 35, then began answering a question about his challenging season with the Texans and Jets and veered off again into a critique of the news media.
He said he has learned a lot, "even reading you guys' blogs and listening to your comments, knowing half of y'all don't know as much about football as you think unless you come and sit in the film room with us and break the film down or even know the schematic part of it.
"You can ask the questions, but that don't mean that you're an expert at what we do. It's funny to me reading it. I smile at it, laugh at it, but that's your job. Some of your jobs you take it and tear people down, or try to. Or tear the team down or not understand it's a team game and you'd rather point the finger at one individual."
Unlike fellow Ravens star Ray Lewis, who retired after the team's Super Bowl victory in February, Reed decided to play on, signing a free-agent contract with the Texans.
Coming off hip surgery in the offseason, Reed was a disappointment for Houston, which cut him Nov. 12. The Jets signed him two days later to bolster a potential playoff run. It has been clear since then that Reed is not the player he once was, perhaps a combination of declining skills with little time to mesh with new players.
"It's one thing to have respect; guys have respect for you," he said. "But it's another thing for them to trust you and you to trust them to be who they're supposed to be within the scheme part of it."
Coach Rex Ryan, his coordinator with the Ravens, said Reed is not what he once was but is an effective performer. "If he's going down, he's climbing down from the very top of the mountain,'' Ryan said, "and that mountain is Everest."
The final blow to Reed's playoff aspirations came Monday -- and it was dealt by his old team, as the Ravens' victory over the Lions eliminated the Jets.
Reed was noncommittal about his playing future but said he "wouldn't mind" staying with the Jets. Might he feel differently if Ryan is gone? "Probably, because it's his scheme that stays. I don't see why he shouldn't be. Great coach. Ain't much more I can say more than that."
Notes & quotes: ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Jets special-teams coordinator Ben Kotwica is to interview for the vacant Army head-coaching job this weekend.
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