After spending his 11 previous seasons in Baltimore, Ed Reed will return to M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday as a visitor for the second time this season, only this time as a member of the Jets.
Reed, released by the Texans last week and signed two days later by the Jets, played Week 3 during the Texans’ 30-9 loss at the Ravens.
The Ravens chose not to re-sign the 35-year-old Reed this offseason over concerns of how much he had left in the tank. The decision, based in large part on his offseason hip surgery, left the door open for the perennial Pro Bowl safety to sign a three-year deal with the Texans worth $15 million, including $5 million in guaranteed money.
Now after a tumultuous half of a season in Houston, he's in New York looking to lead the Jets to the playoffs. He made his debut this past Sunday in a blowout loss at the Bills.
“I’m just going to continue to do what I’ve always done. I felt like I played decent,” Reed said on a conference call with the Baltimore media. “I had a few tackles, kind of left a few plays out there, I think, but for the most part, there really hasn’t been much action from a passing standpoint my way. Just staying on my P’s and Q’s and just ready for whatever and play the game like I always played it.”
What Reed has left to offer is anyone's guess. He failed to claim a prominent spot with the Texans secondary during his seven games in Houston.
He played just 41 percent of snaps with the Texans before he was shown the door.
Reed played on 91 percent of the total snaps on defense. The Jets’ backend has struggled in recent weeks with balls over the top and Texans head coach John Harbaugh said on Wednesday he believed Reed has “got a lot left and he had a lot left last year.”
Not surprisingly, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was wary of the challenge presented by Reed despite the decline evidenced this year. But more than anything, Flacco is used to seeing Reed in Ravens purple and not any other color — and certainly not Jets’ green and white.
“We’re actually used to it around here. I’ve gone against him for so many years at practice. It’s obviously a little bit abnormal going against him on another team and having him come back in our stadium both times. It’s not like we’ve faced him on the road, either,” Flacco said. “So it’s definitely interesting. It’s a little abnormal just because it goes beyond just having played with him. We were all Ed Reed fans before I was even on the team. You just view him as being on the Baltimore Ravens. So I think that is the biggest thing.”
There isn't a hint of animosity from Reed about his departure from Baltimore and he isn't reading more into his second return to Baltimore than what it is. He anticipates a good reception from Ravens fans and has nothing but love for the franchise.
The same can't be said for the Texans and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. The two were not on good terms, which precipitated his departure.
“Yeah, Wade said something to me. He came and basically just made sure I was leaving, and honestly, of all people, he’s probably the guy, the reason that I’m not there,” Reed said. “It’s all good, man. I’m not worried about it. If you all want to do a sit-down at some point, we can do a sit-down.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.