Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rex expects Reed to bolster deep-ball defense


When Ed Reed retires, he'll go down as one of the greatest safeties in NFL history. The New York Jets are hoping to squeeze a little of that mojo out of Reed before the veteran finally calls it quits.

New York signed Reed, who was released by the Houston Texans earlier this week, Thursday. According to Jets coach Rex Ryan, Reed won't start Sunday when Gang Green travels to Buffalo to face the Bills, but he'll see the field in some capacity.

Regardless of whether Reed makes a real impact on the field or if he simply serves as an extension of the coaching staff, the Jets can't lose.

Reed has as good a grasp of Ryan's system as anyone, having worked under Ryan when the fifth-year head coach served as the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator in the 2000s. And according to Ryan, Reed proved he "hadn't missed a beat" when practicing in his new green and white digs Thursday.

"I believe he is in excellent shape," Ryan said, via The Star-Ledger.

One place in particular the Jets feel Reed can help them is in defending the deep ball. Only four teams have given up more passing plays of 40 yards or more than the Jets. New York has surrendered eight completions of that kind through nine games and has snagged just five interceptions.

Reed joins the Jets as a career ball-hawking specialist, having snagged an astonishing 61 interceptions in nearly 11 full seasons in Baltimore.

"We've had some issues playing the deep ball," Ryan said. "Let them throw it there now."

The addition of Reed further bolsters the Jets' ability to mix things up in the secondary, with starters Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen, as well as backups Josh Bush and Jaiquawn Jarrett, all a big part of what they do in the defensive centerfield.

"We'll do all kinds of different things," Ryan said.

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