Veteran free safety Ed Reed has had a rough season, not making an impact for the Houston Texans and then struggling frequently for the New York Jets.
Now, Reed has taken aim at reporters who have been critical of his game.
"That's football, man," Reed said. "We in this locker room have been playing football for a long time. Nobody's perfect out here on this football field. You guys' jobs is to critique, be critics. That's why you ask a controversial question—to try to be controversial and then trash people in the media. I could care less about that. Missed tackles happen. Nobody's perfect. Big plays—you can't have them. Not to win."
Reed, 35, is a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year with the Baltimore Ravens.
He was benched, then released by the Texans, before being signed with the Jets.
"Everything I've been through, I've been through for a reason, to learn a lot, even reading you guys' blogs, listening to your comments, knowing half of ya'll don't know as much about football as you think you do, unless you come and sit in the film with us, and break the film down," Reed said. "You don't even know the schematic part of it. You can ask the questions, but that don't mean that you're an expert at what we do. It's funny to me.
"Reading it, I smile at it, laugh at it, but that's your job. Some of your jobs, you tear people down, (or) try to, and tear the team down, not understand that it's a team. You'd rather point the finger at one individual. It's not an individual game. It's a team sport—totally a team sport."
Jets coach Rex Ryan laughed when informed of Reed's comments.
"Sometimes it's tough for players to understand that guys don't get the coaching tape, they're not sitting in the meetings, they can't see everything," Ryan said. "But I've been around a lot of reporters and things like this, and shoot, you guys have a job to do, and you believe your eyes.
"I've always said this: Not every article is positive; I get that, OK? But if we don't play well, I understand what the articles are going to look like. ... I don't expect everybody to understand, hey, it's absolutely this person's fault. And you know what? If I don't tell you whose fault it is, then you're going to put what you see and what you believe to be that. And sometimes I won't (say whose fault it is) to protect a player."
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.