FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Future Hall of Famers get cranky, too, and Ed Reed delivered a few hard hits to critics in the media.
The New York Jets safety appeared irritated by questions about the team's recent problems with allowing big plays and his own struggles since joining the team.
"It's football," Reed said Friday. "We in this locker room have been playing football for a long time. Nobody is perfect out on the football field. You guys' job is to critique, be critics, that's what you do. That's why you ask the controversial questions. You try to make it controversial and then you trash people in the media.
"I could care less about that. Missed tackles happen. Nobody is perfect. Big plays, you can't have them, not to win."
Reed initially declined to speak to reporters before talking — his comments calm and measured — for about 6 minutes. The 35-year-old safety has not been particularly effective on the field since being signed last month, but coach Rex Ryan has raved about how much the younger defensive backs have learned from him.
When asked about the year he's had between his time with Houston and New York, Reed acknowledged it has been a long season after his expectations were high despite coming off offseason hip surgery. After winning the Super Bowl with Baltimore, Reed signed with Houston — but he quickly fell out of favor with the Texans and was released.
"You leave a great organization thinking that you're going somewhere else to build something, thinking they had something, and it turns out different," Reed said. "No regrets, though, because I've learned a lot this season."
Then, Reed took a few more swipes at reporters.
"Even reading your blogs, listening to your comments knowing half of you don't know as much about football as you think," he said, "unless you sit in the film room with us, break film down or even know the schematic part of it. You ask the questions, but that doesn't mean 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 try to tear people down. You tear the team down. Not understanding it's the team, you'd rather point the finger at one individual."
Ryan laughed when told of Reed's comments about the media.
"Sometimes it's tough for players to understand that guys don't get the coaching tape, they're not sitting in the meetings, they can't see everything," he said. "But I've been around a lot of reporters, and shoot, you guys have a job to do, and you believe your eyes."
From an outside perspective, Reed has not been close to the player he once was, taking bad angles or missing tackles. Ryan called him the best free safety who has played the game, but also acknowledged that while he's still effective, his play hasn't been what it once was back when the two were together in Baltimore.
"If he's going down, he's climbing down from the very top of the mountain," Ryan said, "and that mountain is Everest."
Reed said he "wouldn't mind" re-signing with the Jets next season — but added that he could change his mind based on whether Ryan remains coach.
"Probably, because it's his scheme that stays," Reed said. "I don't see why he shouldn't be (back). He's a great coach. There's not much more I can say more than that."
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