Jets' Reed ignores critics who suggest he's done

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm •  Published: December 5, 2013
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Ed Reed knows all the criticism this season is his own fault.

The New York Jets safety is no longer the hard-hitting, ball-hawking youngster who could single-handedly change a game. But, Reed insists, he's still pretty darn good.

"I understand that the blessing and talents that came down from God that I've been given, I have created a standard for myself," Reed said Thursday. "That standard hasn't been created by fans or (any) person in the media. It's been created by me.

"So, criticism coming from you guys or whoever, I don't worry about it."

In other words, Reed became so great at his position that anything less than his All-Pro caliber performances from his Baltimore Ravens days make him seem nothing more than ordinary. Or, to some, old and near the end of his NFL career.

"I don't worry about it," the 35-year-old Reed said. "I've been criticized since I was in Miami, since I came into the league."

In fact, Reed thinks he can still play in the league another two years. That might seem a bit surprising to Jets fans or the Houston Texans, who released him last month after just seven games.

When the Jets signed Reed, it was expected he would have a significant role in Rex Ryan's defense. But he has started all three games since coming to New York, pushing the promising Antonio Allen to the sideline. The results — 15 tackles, one pass defensed and a missed tackle or two — haven't exactly endeared him to Jets fans.

He also hasn't resembled the guy who has 61 career regular-season interceptions and once was voted the NFL's top defensive player.

"You can't always measure a guy's greatness just by what he does on the field," defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said. "The things he has brought to us off the field are just as important. And they may not manifest themselves right now, but in the future and down the road, this will be a positive thing for the New York Jets."

Even if it doesn't pop out on the field.

"There's a lot of things that are hidden that he does extremely well," Ryan said. "I think we're all waiting for him to hit the stats sheet on interceptions. I'm sure he is, too. It's probably the longest he's gone in his career without a pick."

Reed's last regular-season interception came more than a year ago, on Dec. 2, 2012, against Pittsburgh. But he also had one in the Ravens' Super Bowl win last February.

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