Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Reed quickly took on 'big brother' role to young Jets


Ed Reed's effectiveness on the field has understandably diminished, but his impact off of it seems to have preserved quite well.

New York Jets coaches and players repeatedly lauded Reed's leadership acumen when Gang Green signed the veteran safety and future Hall-of-Famer midway through their 2013 campaign.

And after the season, one Jets player in particular -- one the team hopes becomes a prime leader himself in the coming years -- practically begged Reed to return next year, assuming the organization gives him the choice.

"Some people, they're blessed. Like wine, they get better with time," Jets inside linebacker Demario Davis told last week. "But what Ed is for the young guys, he's just so special, having somebody like that around."

Given his mileage and the fact that his best contributions would be in a leadership role, Reed ended up getting much more playing time with the Jets than most expected, taking away some crucial snaps from youngster Antonio Allen.

Despite his inspiring locker room presence, Reed was average on the field for the first few weeks.

The Jets however, found a better balance with him late in the season, and he finished with three interceptions in his last four games. He's set to become a free agent in March and will turn 36-years-old in September.

"I told him, 'If you have the option of coming back, please come back to us. We need you,'" Davis said. "And he said, 'If I've got the option, you know I'm coming back.' Just to have a big brother like that to look at and lean on, he means so much to us."

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