BY NICK ST. DENIS
Sometimes, the proof isn't in the pudding. Or something.
The New York Jets are apparently willing to sacrifice on-field production with supposed off-field development, as evidenced by their signing veteran safety Ed Reed three weeks ago and starting him early and often.
Reed's presence has left young safety Antonio Allen, who was actually having the best year of anyone in the Jets' porous secondary, with just a handful of snaps over the past few games.
Allen's sudden drop in playing time has to be stunting his growth, though the Jets insist he's learning plenty from the future hall-of-fame but over-the-hill centerfielder in Reed.
Reed hasn't done anything to bolster Gang Green's defensive backfield and has seen pass completions go over him, has failed to show ample pursuit speed and has struggled with tackling.
Don't fret, though, according to the Jets.
"You can't always measure a guy's greatness just by what he does on the field," Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said this week, via The Star-Ledger. "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."
If Reed is making a positive impact on the Jets for the future, then that's great. But when New York signed him, it was 5-4 and not looking to the long-term-future. The Jets were looking to make the playoffs.
Since his signing, the Jets are 0-3, which isn't at all solely on Reed's shoulders. The Jets have many issues in many other places. But the point is, what's the point?
"As far as the games are concerned, we're making fewer mental mistakes back there than we were earlier in the year," Thurman said. "When you look at what he's done to this point, it's been a plus for us."
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