Others spoke to the media, and that will surely be covered, but today's big post-practice interview belonged to Hall of Famer-to-be Ed Reed. Reed had previously said that he wouldn't speak while on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, but he changed his tune today. Would Mr. Reed divulge any new information today?
(on how he feels physically) "Physically for one, man I feel good. It’s been some tough days sledding, really sledding, pulling the sled, but it’s been awesome the work I’m putting in right now. For what I went through for where I’m at right now, I’m feeling really good."
Tough days indeed. The Sideline View's John Harris noted that Reed was wincing and looked uncomfortable running. That'll happen in rehab, but it's not what you want to see if you're hopeful for a week one return.
(on telling WR Andre Johnson he would be ready week 1) "Hey, if Andre said it I guess I got to do it. This is his team, so like I said, if he said it then it’s true, right? No, but I’m working out to get back as soon as possible cause being on PUP you can’t be out there with your teammates moving around, communicating. It’s a little tougher, just talking in the meeting rooms and learning it just from a book standpoint and not physically doing it. It’s always tougher, but I’m doing as much as I can to learn it mentally and watch the guys move around and communicate in meeting rooms. It’s coming along well and, like I said, if Dre said it then it shall be."
This is telling and probably most indicative of what will happen in Week One if I had to lay money on it. Reed genuinely does seem to enjoy being a part of the team and mentoring the younger defensive backs, but he won't be able to do that freely on the PUP list, aside from team meetings. I'd look for him to be activated prior to Week One, but be one of the gameday inactives until he's ready. This'll allow him to be on the sidelines during games.
(on where he thinks he is physically) "Oh man, it’s tough. It’s really tough because I have to go through the rehab part of it and also try to condition at the same time while not pushing myself too much to where I hurt it again or something like that. It’s hard to put a percentage on it. I can tell you I’m feeling really good. If I had to play today, I probably wouldn't. I couldn't play today, but if it was the Super Bowl I probably would. You got to kind of, what’s important so to say. Right now, it’s to rehab and get as strong as possible and get myself in condition."
We all know Reed's a gamer. His eyes are on January, not September, so people should stop asking about Week One now.
(on role with young teammates) "I’m kind of torn because it’s like a player-coach. Not being out here, like I tell the guys, it’s hard for me to make comments to them and get them to listen and not be out here because guys tend to shy away from you when you’re not doing the work and going through the blood, sweat, and tears. But, I gave the speech to them, ‘Look, I wouldn't be any different if I was anywhere else. I’m just trying to help you to better your techniques to help us. To help us get to where we want to go and to help you better yourself as a player.’ Like I told them, I would hope that they would do the same thing when they see me on tape busting something or something that would help me mentally to correct myself. That’s how we are going to better each other and that’s how we are going to be a great secondary and a great defense."
While there may be some differing views on what Reed can contribute on field, this'll be Reed's most significant contribution all season. He's going to mentor, coach, and teach when he can. As far as defensive backs go, I can't think of any with the knowledge and insight that Ed Reed has. The fact that he's so willing to teach shouldn't be ignored.
(on how he will know he is ready) "Well first of all, I've got to get this scar tissue down and get this tightness and soreness, that I feel consistently, out of there. Once I get that out, I can kind of push it more. I’m not to the point where I can run 100 percent and certain things I would do, volume of work I would do at the end of it, I feel my hip. I can do the running, I’m doing the running, I’m doing the sled pulls, I’m back pedaling, I’m breaking, I’m opening the hip up to stuff like that, but at some point it kind of grabs, so I just got to get that scar tissue out and that edema out and everything. Once that kind of subsides, I can have a better timeline for you. I know I’m close, I can tell you that, and that it is close. I can’t say that it is the first game because I don’t know, but Dre is speaking it.
Again, this is one of Reed's more telling quotes because no one knew where he was at in this process. He's further along in rehab than I imagined, but there's still a ways to go.
(on if WR Andre Johnson has encouraged him to be out here) "No, no I was already encouraged to be out here. I was encouraged when the phone call came from (General Manager) Rick (Smith). I’m already motivated; I don’t need any extra motivation at all. I know what Dre wants and I know what this team wants. For me to have to do my part, I know what that takes. My mind was already set when I had the surgery and knew what I had to go through. That work over there, I’m not going to say it’s easy, but from a mental standpoint it’s easy because I know what I have to do."
Silly question. Why is anyone going to tell Ed Reed that he needs to be out there? He needs to get healthy first. The media won't let this go though. As far as Houston goes, this is one of the bigger national storylines that can be pushed.
(on what it means that everyone says he’s a future Hall of Famer) "No man, I’m a player now. I’m not a Hall of Famer now. It’s not something I think about. It’s truly not something I think about. When that road is crossed, I’ll be grateful to have those thoughts and look back at the memories and stuff that really brought me to that point."
Still going to refer to him as a future Hall of Famer or a Hall of Famer To Be. It's a sign of respect as to what he's done on the field.
(on what WR Andre Johnson said in the text message) "Andre just said, ‘congratulations.’ It was more my comment to him about ‘get me to Houston’ because I kind of knew things."
Which is why we had that back-and-forth with Baltimore on this, but who wants to change history, right? Still, why are we talking about the recruitment process when we did that back in March and April, media folk?
(on conversations with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips) "It’s just a matter of getting it down and being Wade on the field. I’m used to sitting down with my coordinators on Tuesdays, getting the game plan, knowing what he’s thinking about in certain calls and certain situations. Being able to say that to the team and defense on the field, whether or not we are trying to get off the field, we need to get off the field, we need to get the ball make to the offense or whatever it may be. I just like to know why he is calling certain calls, whether it’s a run call or a pass call or you just want to get some pressure on him to get the ball out of his hands. I just like to know exactly his mentality."
As important as rehab is, the safety does help make back-end calls. This hasn't gotten as much play, simply due to Reed being such a decorated veteran, but him and Wade's compatibility will be big when Reed does step on the field.
(as being teammates’ idol) "Should I take off the hat? Show you the gray hairs for how long I have been playing? I’ve been known as an uncle since college. I was always the older guy and being on a younger team now, guys see me as that older guy, but some of these guys look like me. (TE Owen Daniels) has that gray hair and starting to look like me. I guess just my whole demeanor. How I am, how I was raised. I was raised around my dad and my uncles, I always been around older people like yourselves. I always had respect for my elders so that comes with something and I’m from the South."
Owen Daniels and Ed Reed definitely resemble each other. Make sure to check the jersey on gameday to tell them apart.
(on if he is a creature of habit in terms of things he did or places he went in Baltimore and having to change those now) "Not really. Certain breakfast spots and I’m searching for one here, but no. It was good. It was good while it lasted. Now I’m in a great place here."
(on if he thinks the Texans have the pieces to be a Super Bowl team) "Yeah, the pieces are here, but we still have a long time to go. The Super Bowl is a long way from now and we still have a lot of work in training camp. This is only the first week. We’re not even through a whole full week yet. We still have a long way to go, still have a lot to learn. That’s our focus, but that’s everybody’s focus right now. This is the time to put the work in to get yourself ready for the grind of the season to get to the playoffs. You have to get to the playoffs. You can’t win a championship if you’re not in the playoffs."
Dumb question. Why would a 35-year-old future Hall of Famer not want to play for a championship caliber team? Still, he's talking about grinding. He and D.J. Swearinger are already speaking the same language.
(on head coach Gary Kubiak) "Cool Kub, I call him. Coach is so cool. He’s a player’s coach. He’s truly a player’s coach. I tell these guys, I tell that all the time with where they’re at and how Coach treats them. I was like, ‘Man, you just have to work hard.’ He makes you want to work harder. It rejuvenates the older guys and myself. Coach takes care of you so well. He gives you that time to take care of yourself. The organization as a whole is everything for the players to make sure that we’re in the best possible shape and that we have everything we need physically, medically, to play this game and have ourselves prepared. You can’t ask for anything more than that."
This is the second time that's been said this week. Fullback Greg Jones made the same comment about Kubiak being a player's coach who wants to take care of veteran bodies. From two quality veterans, that's not going to be forgotten around free agency time. It also gives some insight into why players enjoy playing for Kubiak.
Thoughts, BRBers? Surprised by Reed's progress in rehab? Concerned? Thinking he'll stay on the PUP list after week one? Tired of people asking if he'll play in Week One?