The newest inductions to the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced last Saturday night. Champ Bailey, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, Tony Gonzalez, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Ed Reed, and Johnny Robinson were selected to be busted in bronze.
After the news broke, the people who look for a Houston Texans slant in everything said, and by said, I mean took to social media, things like “Former Houston Texan” Ed Reed selected to the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame. This isn’t true. Ed Reed isn’t a former Houston Texan. Ed Reed is a former Baltimore Raven. He played 11 seasons there, and there he was named to five first team All-Pro teams, and nine Pro Bowls, the last of which was in 2013, which was also his last year in Baltimore.
After that season he was a free agent. The Texans signed him instead of resigning their own, Glover Quin, who is still an excellent starter in Detroit. The idea was Reed would be some super secret Tom Brady/Peyton Manning warlock who could vanquish both by presence alone, and get Houston above and beyond that impassable Divisional Round peak. This didn’t happen. This was an extremely stupid idea. One of the dumbest ideas a historically dumb franchise has ever had. Houston went 2-14. Reed was released before he could even play against Brady and Manning. Shilo Keo started instead. The Texans lost 31-34 and 13-37 in those games.
It’s important to remember that man wasn’t Ed Reed. That was a 35 year old safety who collected one last pay check before never playing football again. He was in shambles. He walked off the set of the Walking Dead. He had the hips of a 14 year old German Shepard, and after offseason surgery really didn’t even want to make it back by week one, let alone play at all whatsoever. On the field he was lifeless. Standing way back there thirty yards off the ball, doing as little as possible only if doing nothing at all counts as doing as little as possible. In Houston he had 16 tackles in 7 games. That’s it. No interceptions. No passes defensed. Nothing.
This wasn’t Ed Reed. This was a pillowcase made from the same skin, a phantom, an action figure, a caricature, a cardboard cutout, a hologram, it was a thing that looked like Ed Reed, but wasn’t Ed Reed, the Hall of Fame safety, and one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the league.
One day Andre Johnson will be elected into the Hall of Fame. The Texans’ first spectacular player, spent the majority of his career in Houston, until Bill O’Brien told him he wouldn’t get more than 40 catches in the Texans’ 2015 super offense led by Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett, and instead gave them to Nate Washington. So Johnson left and went to Indy, and was bad, and then played in Tennessee, where he was also bad, and quit mid year, but also somehow caught a game winning touchdown catch against Detroit. And when this day comes Colts and Titans people will say former Colt/Titan Andre Johnson was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame, and you will be upset, these words were hurt, enrage you even, but where were you when former Houston Texan Ed Reed was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
As awful as this franchise has been, and as good as they’ve been at losing more games than winning, these aren’t the stretches that need to be taken to give this team relevancy. One day all that will happen. This isn’t that time. There’s no Hall of Fame attachment here. Nothing to remember. Reed isn’t a former Houston Texan. He isn’t a former New York Jet. He’s a former Baltimore Raven.