Coaching takes its toll on Ed Reed

Coaching takes its toll on Ed Reed
September 12, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Danieal Manning gave Ed Reed a walker for his 35th birthday on Wednesday. Two days earlier, Reed needed the oxygen tank.

Even though Reed, the Texans’ prized free agent acquisition, didn’t play in Monday night’s come-from-behind victory against the Chargers, the thrilling game still took a toll on him … from the sideline.

“Man, I was so excited, man, just watching these guys, watching them get after the ball and encouraging them from the sidelines,” Reed said at his locker on Thursday. “I don’t know if y’all got it, I was on the oxygen tank a couple times, man. Screaming, man. My voice is just coming back to me.

"I usually get oxygen when I’m playing but when you’re on the sideline and you’re encouraging guys running up and down the sideline, doing work on offense and encouraging the guys on offense and on defense, it’s a little bit, it’s a little toll on you.”

For the first game of the season, that was Reed’s primary role. He was a coach. He was a cheerleader. He wasn’t a safety. At least not yet.

Reed is a game-time decision heading into the home opener against the Titans on Sunday. He has been practicing this week and said he feels much better now than he did last week. But even if Reed does return, he won’t be the starter; Shiloh Keo will be. Head coach Gary Kubiak said when Reed returns it will likely be to play around 25 to 30 plays.

“I know me as a player, once you’re playing and you’re out there, you want to play but at the same time, it’s about being smart,” Reed said. “So if that’s the way coach feel, I would go with it. I would be cool with that.”

Reed said the four needles he received in his hip area a couple weeks before the season opener helped but he still feels some scar tissue and some soreness associated with it. Reed has said that once that scar tissue soreness is gone, he’d be ready to go.

If Reed can’t play in Week 2, his sights would turn to a return to Baltimore in Week 3. But that would mean another week of coaching from the sideline. Get the oxygen ready.

“I’ve been there before. When you’re on the sideline, you get to see it a little bit more,” Reed said about watching Monday’s game. “I’m a player and a coach at heart too. I understood my role. I was still part of the team and still had to make sure I encouraged those guys and let them know what I saw on the sideline and communicate with them what was working, what I thought we were working from a secondary-wise and what I thought we should be doing from that standpoint.”

According to Reed, one of the things general manager Rick Smith talked to him about when the Texans were wooing the safety was coaching younger players. Reed, on Thursday, talked about the importance of being unselfish and helping the team even when he can’t play.

He said after his playing career is over, he would like to coach. Not in the NFL, that’s too much of a commitment, he said. But perhaps he’ll coach in college or high school. For now, though, his focus is on getting ready to make his 2013 debut.

As for that walker? It’s still in the building. The defensive backs have been working out with it. “It’s a dip machine now,” Reed said.