Even in the later stages of their careers, elite players still have a drive to succeed. What happens is an athlete’s body breaks down before the mind tells them it is time to go.
Veteran Ed Reed is recognized as one of football’s all-time greatest safeties. Last season, the New York Jets boasted one terrific combo in Yeremiah Bell and Larron Landry. These seasoned players brought toughness in pass coverage.
Now, inexperience runs rampant in Gang Green’s secondary. Antonio Allen has played well at times after being selected in the seventh round of 2012’s Draft. He is capable of using his solid closing speed, but must work on consistency. Dawan Landry’s cover skills are not as good as his hitting ability. Josh Bush really has not done much, and Joaquin Jarratt only makes for a solid reserve.
Needing some kind of upgrade, head coach Rex Ryan helped bring in Reed thanks to their time with the Baltimore Ravens. Ryan was instrumental in building the dominant force that those defenses represented. Time may have caught up with Reed, but there is enough talent in his aging self.
Clearly, this past offseason’s pairing with the Houston Texans failed. Perhaps no one else would be better to motivate Reed at this stage than Ryan. Even if he is not 100 percent, leadership is huge for this team. Reed’s Super Bowl pedigree earns him respect. If the Jets qualify for playoff action, Reed could provide an impact.