Rex Ryan gives the highest praise to new Bills assistant coach Ed Reed
It's not often we write about NFL assistant coaches, but rarely does any team hire a coach as high-profile as new assistant defensive backs coach Ed Reed. The soon-to-be Hall of Fame safety just wrapped up his first OTAs as a non-player, working with the man who helped make him a star in Baltimore, his former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
Ryan eventually moved on to the New York Jets as a head coach, and once there, he brought Reed along as well. And it was in New York where the light bulb went on over Ryan's head, and he realized Reed would be a great coach.
Ryan was asked about the Reed hire Thursday and gave a long-winded answer, which shows the depth of their relationship. Here's Ryan on Reed, via the Buffalo News:
That's incredibly high praise from Ryan, but he wasn't done.
He explained why the old adage "great players don't make great coaches" won't apply to Reed.
Ryan refused to name the cornerback (he told reporters he was afraid of "tampering") but the point remains clear: Reed is a special person with a special gift for communication, leading other players to gravitate toward him. And considering I once spent six months researching Reed's Miami Hurricanes teams, none of this comes as a surprise. As one of his former teammates told me, "We watched more film at Miami than I did in the NFL." And it was Reed who was the ring leader.
As for Reed, he seemed more than comfortable in his first meeting with the media as an assistant coach as opposed to a player. He told a great story about how he was cooking nachos when Ryan called to offer him a job, and then accepted a few days later.
And in terms of being "the great player struggling to transition to coaching", well, Reed has an answer for that as well.