“It’s only a rumor that I pulled a hamstring,” Ryan said with a big grin. “That’s not true.”
The Jets signed the nine-time Pro Bowl safety Thursday, bringing one of the NFL’s greatest playmaking defensive players to a secondary on a defense that ranks 24th against the pass. The 35-year-old Reed was released Tuesday by Houston, cleared waivers Wednesday and joined less than 24 hours later.
Reed joined his new Jets teammates on the practice field wearing a green No. 22 jersey; his familiar No. 20 is currently worn by cornerback Kyle Wilson. Reed laughed when he was asked if he thinks he’s got anything left.
“I don’t think I’d be here if they didn’t think that,” he said after his first practice with the Jets. “I know what I know. I know how I feel and I know what I’ve put in my offseason workouts. I’m ready to go. You’ll see.
“You guys can be the judge of it.”
Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman coached Reed for eight years in Baltimore. Reed has always been a favorite of Ryan, who once labeled him the greatest safety to play the game. While his physical skills no longer make him one of the game’s elite players, Reed will be able to serve as a leader in the secondary and help bring along young safeties Antonio Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Josh Bush.
“It just fits,” he said. “I know the system. Rex was like, ‘Go ahead and let’s see what you’ve got.’”
The fact that the Jets (5-4) are in the playoff hunt was also a plus.
“That’s a huge factor,” Reed said. “It was a huge factor in playing this year, in general, being with a team that was going to contend and be in the playoffs.”