Ed Reed's words were almost inaudible over the rapid-fire clicking of cameras.
Reed was the main attraction in the Jets' locker room Thursday, the star safety who commanded attention wherever he went.
"I've heard all about you guys,'' Reed, 35, joked with the New York media after signing a contract with the Jets only a day after he cleared waivers.
Following his Tuesday release by the Texans, the Patriots also came calling. The future Hall of Famer wanted to contribute immediately for a playoff contender, and because he is familiar with the Jets' defensive system, the perfect fit wound up being in Florham Park.
"Awesome, man,'' the five-time All-Pro said of reuniting with Rex Ryan, who coached him for six of his 11 seasons in Baltimore. "I don't think either one of us was willing to pass this chance up.''
Reed's brief stint in Houston abruptly ended after he called out the 2-7 Texans for being "outplayed'' and "outcoached'' in their 27-24 loss to Arizona Sunday, a game in which he played only 12 snaps. And within minutes of his introduction to Jets Nation, Reed exposed the chip on his shoulder, created by recent criticism that his play has slipped.
"My goal is to come here and give all I have,'' he said. " . . . It seems that Ed Reed is held to higher standards. I created that monster. I've been blessed to create that monster.''
His time in Baltimore ended with nine Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl championship last season. But after signing a three-year, $15 million deal with the Texans in March, Reed quickly found himself without a home. That is, until Ryan came calling.
"Like I thought, that phone call was coming in quick from here to David Dunn, my agent,'' said Reed, who worked out in Georgia on Wednesday before catching a 9:40 p.m. flight and arriving at the Jets' facility around midnight to meet with general manager John Idzik.
"We had him at hello,'' said defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who coached the Ravens' secondary for six seasons.
Although many assumed Ryan had to convince Idzik to sign Reed, the coach said his GM already had consulted team scouts about the possibility of acquiring him. And only two days after Reed spent Tuesday playing nine holes of golf, he was on a different kind of green, the outdoor practice field at One Jets Drive.
And Ryan insisted the move "had nothing to do with sentiment.''
So the obvious question now is: Does Reed have anything left to give?
"I don't think I'd be here if they didn't think that,'' he said with a good-natured laugh. "And I know what I know. And I know what I feel and I know what I put into my offseason workout. I'm ready to go. You'll see. And you'll be the judge of that, too.''
Reed's black, scruffy hair and beard are still unkempt and peppered by gray. But Ryan and Thurman were adamant that he's close to the player they remembered coaching in Baltimore.
"We believe that this player, Ed Reed, will help us,'' said Ryan, adding that the Jets' secondary has had "some issues'' playing the deep ball.
But Ryan said the addition of Reed -- who will be teamed with former Ravens teammate Dawan Landry -- is a game-changer.
"Let them throw it there now,'' Ryan said.
Thurman said Reed has "a defined role this week'' heading into Sunday's game at Buffalo, but it's still too soon to know how much playing time he'll get.
Despite being sleep-deprived and a little hungry, Reed was all smiles as he stood in front of a locker stall that has yet to bear his name plate. Despite his stay in Houston that "just wasn't a good fit,'' he said he has "a lot of respect'' for his former teammates. But now Reed has his sights set on a bright future with the Jets.
"I'm happy to be where I'm at,'' he said. "There's a reason for this. God don't make no mistakes.''