Ed Reed is a proud man.
Earlier this month, he responded to questions about his declining performance by saying he still believed he was playing at a high level and planned on extending his NFL career another two years.
On Friday, Reed didn't hold back when asked about the coverage and tackling woes that have haunted the Jets' secondary this season.
"That's football, man," Reed said, via The Star-Ledger. "We in this locker room have been playing football for a long time. Nobody's perfect out here on this football field. You guys' jobs is to critique, be critics. That's why you ask a controversial question -- to try to be controversial and then trash people in the media. I could care less about that.
"Missed tackles happen," Reed added. "Nobody's perfect. Big plays -- you can't have them. Not to win."
Reed stepped directly into a starting role upon signing with the Jets last month. He's made little impact, however, and a case can be made that a team already eliminated from playoff contention would be better off starting a younger player in Reed's place.
That's probably exactly the type of analysis that seems to bother the future Hall of Famer.
"Everything I've been through," Reed said, "I've been through for a reason, to learn a lot -- even reading you guys' blogs, listening to your comments, knowing half of ya'll don't know as much about football as you think you do, unless you come and sit in the film with us, and break the film down. You don't even know the schematic part of it.
"You can ask the questions, but that don't mean that you're an expert at what we do," Reed went on. "It's funny to me. Reading it, I smile at it, laugh at it, but that's your job. Some of your jobs, you tear people down, (or) try to, and tear the team down, not understand that it's a team. You'd rather point the finger at one individual. It's not an individual game. It's a team sport -- totally a team sport."