Austin | Dallas | Houston
Ed Reed Truths

Ed Reed release makes Texans look petty, more concerned with image than winning

Enlarge
Slideshow
Ed Reed solo
Ed Reed's time in Houston was short and not-so sweet. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images
Bob McNair Rick Smith Texans
Bob McNair and Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith have seen better days. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CultureMapSNAP.com
Ed Reed team
Ed Reed became a bit player in Houston. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
Ed Reed solo
Bob McNair Rick Smith Texans
Ed Reed team
News_Chris Baldwin_managing editor_arms crossed

Ed Reed’s comments about the Houston Texans getting “outcoached” are pretty mild in any pro sports context. Other celebrated players on this team have said essentially the same thing after frustrating losses in prior seasons.

This is hardly revolutionary stuff.

Does it make it worse that Reed did it while Gary Kubiak was out recovering from a mini stroke and the other stressed and strained coaches were trying to pull together? Certainly. Just like the fact that it came from Reed — a player brought into lead — rather than a youngster ups the ante on the offensiveness of it.

But none of that can change how petty and small time releasing Ed Reed makes Bob McNair’s organization look. Reed’s certainly not performing up to anyone’s expectations. But do you really believe he still wouldn’t be a Texan this morning if he hadn’t made those remarks?

 No matter how little he did in Houston, Ed Reed deserves better. 

This screams out as the type of move a vindictive, paranoid organization that’s more concerned with image than winning makes. It doesn’t matter if that’s really true or not, it’s now NFL perception. And in this league perception rules.

Just ask the Miami Dolphins.

The Texans are now the team that couldn't handle a player talking out of turn.

Unless it comes out that Reed did much worse behind the scenes at Reliant Stadium — and he’s certainly taking the high road on Twitter — this is a pretty clueless, tone deaf move by the Texans. No matter how little he did in Houston, Ed Reed deserves better.

This is a sure Hall of Famer, arguably the most dangerous safety in NFL history.

You don’t just release a guy like that on a Tuesday in November — and offer no comment on the move. Respect for others runs both ways. McNair, Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith may think Reed showed no respect for the organization by voicing his doubts while Kubiak dealt with a serious health issue. But the Texans had a real chance to be the bigger party in this incident — and miserably failed.

If this is the sad way Ed Reed’s great career ends (not likely with opportunistic, fearless coaches like Bill Belichick out there), it’s on Rick Smith’s resume as much as Ed Reed’s.

This is a needlessly painful close to a smart signing that didn’t work out.

Grabbing Ed Reed when you think you are a few big plays on defense — and maybe a little mental toughness — away from the Super Bowl made perfect sense in the offseason. Smith needed to take a swing.

They’re not all going to work out. Smith’s superb track record of securing talent still speaks for itself.

Even with hip worries, no one foresaw Reed’s complete, sudden fall off from one of the league’s true impact players to an 11-snap, barely-can-get-on-the-field-against-the-Cardinals guy. It’s like watching Willie Mays stumble in the outfield.

Reed's one of the smartest players in NFL history. Sure, he thought he should be playing more. But that doesn't mean he's completely blind to his new reality.

"I'm held to a high standard because of what I've done in the past," Reed said after Sunday's loss to the Cardinals dropped the Texans record to games he's played in to 0-7. ". . . But that was the past. I'm a totally different player now." 

Still, the signing qualifies as an acceptable risk that didn’t pay off.

Releasing Reed before Thanksgiving, treating him with the same disdain you show toward a longshot third round draft pick caught smoking pot in the team hotel on a business trip, turns an acceptable mistake into a colossal blunder.

What does this say to Andre Johnson who’s given so much to the Texans and excelled through all the garbage season after season after season. Dare talk out of turn and you’ll be gone the moment your production slips? What does it tell the brilliant Arian Foster? The instant you stop saying you’re just a chess piece, you’re in trouble too?

Why must this Texans franchise run from the slightest whiff of controversy?

Ed Reed Makes Waves

Sometimes a football team needs a little strife. The Texans had to know what they were getting in Ed Reed. This is the guy who infamously enraged Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh by swatting down the coach’s over-reactive decision to start practicing in full pads more after that blowout loss to the Texans last October.

I t’s time to stop obsessing over the image and fixate on the winning. 

Reed successfully ended that idea. And the Ravens ended up winning the Super Bowl with many players citing that moment — and the organizational soul searching it caused — as the turning point. Sure, Harbaugh remained irate about it. He reportedly decided right then and there that Ed Red wouldn’t be back on the Ravens this season — and that’s exactly what happened.

Still, do you think anyone in the Ravens organization is handing back those Super Bowl rings?

It’d be nice to see the Houston Texans organization show such confidence at some point. This isn’t an expansion team anymore.

It’s a two-time division champ. It’s a should have been Super Bowl contender.

It’s time to stop obsessing over the image and fixate on the winning. Winning can get messy. But it's still supposed to be the end goal.

Ed Reed challenged and shook up the status quo at Reliant Stadium. What makes the Texans so sure that's a bad thing?

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address