They finished the last two seasons on three-game losing streaks. When that was mentioned Monday to coach Rex Ryan, who has three games remaining in his fifth season, his face lost color. He looked like he had been informed of an IRS audit.
"Oh, gosh," he said.
It's hard to imagine Ryan surviving another three-game losing streak, but the good news (for him) is that the Jets are in a better place, mentally, than last year and the year before.
Right now, there are no headline-making distractions swirling around the team. Yes, trouble is always lurking -- the quarterback situation could explode again with a couple of interceptions by Geno Smith -- but the Jets have been quieter than in past years under Ryan.
The circus is gone, replaced by a library. Now let's see if these studious, hard-working players, as Ryan describes them, can go out and finish the season on an upswing.
"I hope that doesn't happen again, my gosh," said Ryan, alluding to his past closing problems. "I'm confident it won't, but you have to focus on this particular moment and go from there. But, man, we've got to fix that one."
Maybe the Jets (6-7) experienced their late-season woes a little earlier than usual, as they just snapped a three-game skid by beating the Oakland Raiders. Hanukkah came early, so why not the Jets' losing streak?
Tackle Austin Howard, one of the most perceptive players in the locker room, said the recent slump served as a wake-up call, reminding players of what it takes to be successful late in the season. He offered a candid assessment of what wasn't happening.
"We learned from the past few games the impact of a lack of preparedness," he said. "We didn't prepare well for the previous games like we did this past week. Now we have that feeling of how it feels to prepare well and we’re going to carry that through."
It might be too late, as the Jets' playoff hopes are slim. If Howard's observation is accurate, it begs the question: What took so long to find that mindset? They needed it coming out of the bye week, at 5-4, when the season still contained so much promise.
"I believe we let our frustrations get the best of us," Howard said. "Obviously, we were upset we lost games we shouldn't have. The tension of feeling the season slip away got the better of us."
They played three lousy games in a row, becoming the team we thought they were at the start of the season. The playoffs probably are out of reach. In fact, if they lose to the Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens beat the Detroit Lions, the Jets are eliminated.
Ryan can survive elimination; what could doom him is a repeat of the past two years.
In the season-ending losing streaks, the Jets were outscored, 162-86; finished minus-11 in turnover margin; never scored more than 19 points; bickered with each other (Santonio Holmes versus Wayne Hunter) and became a laughingstock by mismanaging the Mark Sanchez-Tim Tebow-Greg McElroy quarterback soap opera.
It was bad football by a dysfunctional team.
They've cleaned up their image, behaving like grownups. As for the football, well, the Jets aren't collapse-proof. They still have two games on the road, Smith is capable of reverting to Bad Geno at any moment and the defense, which carried them to their first five wins, appears to be wearing down.
Ryan, who believes he learned a thing or two from the mistakes of his previous stretch runs, said he's planning to cut back on practice reps to keep the team fresh.
They know what not to do. Now all they have to do is make nice, be respectable and avoid the dreaded December choke.
The New York Jets' rookie quarterback heard it from the coaching staff Monday for lowering his shoulder into the Oakland Raiders' Brandian Ross at the end of a long run in a 37-27 win Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Smith ran 32 yards to set up a Jets' fourth-quarter touchdown.
"Probably won't happen again," Smith said.
With the Jets ahead 30-20 early in the fourth quarter, Smith took off from the Jets' 48-yard line and shook a few defenders before getting to the left sideline. As Ross neared him around the 20, Smith went for the contact instead of just stepping out of bounds, lowering his right shoulder into the cornerback. Smith's hit ultimately didn't help the Jets as he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds before delivering the hit.
Keeping their quarterbacks healthy is a sensitive subject for the Jets as they have been criticized all season for playing returning starting quarterback Mark Sanchez in the fourth quarter of a preseason game, which ultimately resulted in Sanchez suffering a season-ending injury. Smith has started every game this season as a result.
"That's like, 'Really, kid?'" Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "I think the competitor in you loves seeing that competitive fight and that competitive fire. But no, you're a quarterback in the National Football League. It's tough enough to stay healthy anyway, let alone putting yourself in that kind of risk and it was unnecessary risk. He's got to learn that."
Smith agreed with his coach that it was unnecessary hit.
"I wanted to play hard and never back down," Smith said. "I don't think it was a smart thing to do, but in the moment it's what I did."
While the Jets want Smith to avoid those hits, they don't mind seeing him run free like he did Sunday. For the first game in quite some time, the Jets made it a priority to give Smith the chance to run, and he hurt Oakland with his feet. Smith ran five times for a career-high 50 yards, and tallied an 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
The Jets did a nice job of using rollouts to give Smith the option to take off if needed, and he wasn't shy to tuck the ball and run. On his 32-yard run, the play wasn't developing before Smith decided to run for it.
"It's good for our offense. It moves the pocket. Helps our offensive line out with not giving the defensive ends and D-tackles a set target for where the quarterback will be," Smith said. "It just helps out, it gets us going as offense and it's also good to pick up completions and just get some time to get the ball out to the flat with Kellen [Winslow] or Jeff [Cumberland] or get to the ball with flat with Tommy [Bohanon]. Getting the ball to the edge and getting the ball to a playmaker helps us out."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie suffered a concussion in Sunday's 37-27 win over the Raiders, according to head coach Rex Ryan. The team originally said after the game that Cromartie had a head injury, but he will now be going through the concussion protocol.
"He felt better today, so I think that's a positive thing," Ryan said. "These things are different. It was explained to me that it's a real positive sign that he improved from that point right after the game. Hopefully that's a good sign."
Cromartie played 66 out of 69 snaps Sunday, and Ryan said he was not evaluated for a concussion during the game. Following the win, Cromartie said he had a headache, which led to the evaluation. Cromartie wasn't available to the media Sunday, and was not in the Jets' locker room Monday.
"He certainly wasn't forced out there," Ryan said. "If anyone would have know about it or whatever, there would have been some concerns."
The cause of the concussion is unknown at this point. In the third quarter, Cromartie collided with safety Ed Reed on a play that resulted in a 48-yard Oakland touchdown. Cromartie left the game briefly after the collision, but returned. Cromartie had one tackle and two passes defended.
"I didn't see Cro until the last second and I'm glad I jumped or else we'd have probably went helmet to helmet," Reed said after the game. "I was breaking on a ball, saw it, and when I realized [Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin had] overthrown the guy in front of me I saw Cro. Come to find out the guy scored on that play, it's crazy. Just glad we came out the win and Cro's all right and I'm all right."
First, head coach Rex Ryan holds a defensive background leading from his days as the defensive coordinator in Baltimore. Looking back at the Jets' drafts since Ryan took the reins in January 2009, New York has used five of its six total first-round picks, including five straight, on the defensive side of the ball. QB Mark Sanchez has been the lone offensive player drafted by the Jets in the first round since Ryan's first draft in 2009.
Recently, the Jets have had a heavy focus on the defensive front line. In fact, they have used a first-round pick on a defensive lineman in three consecutive drafts. In 2011, they selected DT Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple) with the 30th overall pick while also selecting DT Kenrick Ellis (Hampton) in the third round. A year later, the Jets selected Quinton Coples (North Carolina) with the 16th overall pick.
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The Drive: Geno Smith threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Kerley in the first quarter, giving the Jets a 10-0 lead. It was a three-play, 58-yard drive.
What Happened: The Jets began the drive by throwing out of a run formation -- a play-action out of a three-tight end package. Smith rolled to his right and hit Kellen Winslow for 30 yards, taking a hit from linebacker Sio Moore in the process. After a run by Bilal Powell, the Jets employed a seldom-used personnel grouping -- no running backs, one tight end and four wide receivers. Smith threw into the end zone for the 5-foot-9 Kerley, who played big by winning a "jump ball" play for the touchdown.
The Impact: Big, big, big. It was Smith's first touchdown pass since before Halloween. The offense had 129 plays and 141 minutes, 19 seconds in elapsed time without a touchdown. It sparked the team, which went on to one of its better offensive days of the season.
Smith, cut by the Jets at the end of the preseason, has returned to his former rugby team in England, Saracens. He played there before signing with the Jets in April 2012. It was a terrific story because he had no prior experience in organized football. He ended up playing in five games in 2012, catching one pass for 16 yards.
“It’s fantastic to be back," Smith told a London newspaper. "I learned a huge amount in the NFL, various elements that will help me become a better rugby player, but there is nothing like the Saracens environment and I am now completely focused on working hard and helping the squad achieve all our goals."
Smith made an impact in the Jets' locker room, helping to caffeinate his teammates. He kept a portable coffee maker in his locker, serving espresso and cappuccino. A good dude, Smith.
OFFENSE (Based on 58 snaps)
Quarterback -- Geno Smith 58.
Running back -- Chris Ivory 29, Bilal Powell 28, Tommy Bohanon 23, Alex Green 2.
Wide receiver -- David Nelson 54, Santonio Holmes 42, Jeremy Kerley 27, Greg Salas 11.
Tight end -- Jeff Cumberland 46, Kellen Winslow 19, Zach Sudfeld 6, Vladimir Ducasse 3.
Offensive line -- D'Brickashaw Ferguson 58, Brian Winters 58, Nick Mangold 58, Willie Colon 58, Austin Howard 58.
Offensive analysis: Winslow, who openly wondered about his playing time after last week's loss, didn't see a significant spike. He played in 33 percent of the snaps, up only three percentage points. ... Holmes, healthy, played in 72 percent of the snaps. Kerley returned to the lineup in a situational role. It was easy to divide the reps because Stephen Hill was inactive. It might get tricky when Hill returns. ... This was the first time since Week 7 that Ivory played more than Powell.
DEFENSE (Based on 69 snaps)
Line -- Muhammad Wilkerson 67, Sheldon Richardson 56, Damon Harrison 34, Leger Douzable 18, Kenrick Ellis 14.
Linebacker -- David Harris 69, Quinton Coples 63, DeMario Davis 62, Calvin Pace 53, Garrett McIntyre 18.
Secondary -- Dawan Landry 69, Antonio Cromartie 66, Dee Milliner 65, Ed Reed 46, Kyle Wilson 25, Antonio Allen 25, Jaiquawn Jarrett 7, Josh Bush 3.
Defensive analysis: The news here is that Reed played a season-low 67 percent of the snaps. He averaged 92 percent in his first three games. Rex Ryan defended Reed's performance last week, yet still cut his playing time. It's not hard to read into that. The beneficiary was Allen, who played more snaps than he did in the previous three games combined. ... Cromartie played nearly the entire game despite a head injury, the team announced afterward. ... McIntyre returned after missing three games with a knee injury.
2. Run, Geno, run: Geno Smith is "definitely known as just trying to be a gunslinger," fellow quarterback David Garrard said, but the rookie has the ability to make plays outside the pocket. He showed it against the Raiders, rushing for 50 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown on a read-option play. What took so long? Smith has been reluctant to embrace the idea of becoming a running quarterback, but he needs to understand he can spark the offense with his athleticism. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg also did a better job of calling designed runs and rollouts, allowing Smith to throw on the run. If you have a weapon, use it. The Jets are 4-0 when Smith scores a rushing touchdown.
3. Disappearing defense: Rex Ryan's defense usually gets stronger late in the season, but this particular unit is backsliding. The Jets allowed a fourth-string running back -- Marcel Reece, who actually plays fullback -- to rush for 123 yards. Are you kidding? In the past two games, their once-feared run defense has allowed 275 yards. Part of the reason is because they're playing fewer eight-man boxes -- they need a second safety to help in pass coverage -- but they're also missing far too many tackles. Frankly, the tackling has been atrocious. They got away with it against the bad team like the Raiders, but they have no shot next week against the Carolina Panthers if they allow short gains to turn into big plays.
4. Special K's: Jeremy Kerley's return to the lineup sparked the slumping offense, which scored more points than it did in the previous three games combined. Another "K" player, Kellen Winslow, also provided a boost. For a change, Winslow played a significant role in the passing game, finishing with three catches for 61 yards. In recent weeks, he had become after afterthought, partly because of his chronic knee. But it also seemed like the coaching staff had phased him out. Well, he was phased in against the Raiders. Winslow knows how to get open, a big help to a rookie quarterback. He could be a key down the stretch.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rex Ryan's first victory occurred an hour before kickoff, when his owner, Woody Johnson, said in a radio interview he was "pretty happy" with the direction of the franchise -- and that was with a three-game losing streak.
One can only imagine the boss' giddiness Sunday after the New York Jets got done with the "Bad News Bears," as safety Charles Woodson described his Oakland Raiders. Johnson might have been ready to draw up papers for a long-term contract extension for his coach.
Kidding, of course. But clearly, Johnson has modest goals for 2013. He recognizes this is a rebuilding year and -- unless he was blowing smoke during his ESPN New York 98.7 interview -- he wants to make it work with Ryan, who deserves another shot in 2014 if he can squeeze another victory out of this season and remain competitive in the final three games.
The Jets haven't quit on Ryan, who is 40-37 in four-plus seasons. That was the biggest takeaway on a cold, gray day at MetLife Stadium, where the Jets' feeble offense scored not one, not two but three touchdowns in a 37-27 win -- the team's highest point total since the 2012 opener.
"It felt like we hadn't won in a century," tackle Austin Howard said.
It was 35 days, to be precise. In the NFL, a drought that long can destroy a team, especially when the team gets outscored 79-20 over a three-game losing streak. Finger-pointing begins, fissures form in the locker room and the rats take over the ship.
That could've been the Jets, but they showed they still have a pulse -- or at least a stronger pulse than the Raiders (4-9), a woefully undermanned team that dropped its 13th straight game in the Eastern time zone.
"I'll be the first to stand on the soap box and scream, 'Keep him!'" guard Willie Colon said, alluding to the speculation about Ryan's future.
In Ryan's eyes, the Jets are 1-0. He said last week he wants to be judged on how the team finishes the season, meaning how it performs at full strength. Coaches usually don't get to make the ground rules, but it looks as though Ryan will get that chance.
Finally, his offense was nearly whole, with Jeremy Kerley returning from a serious elbow injury and providing an early spark with a 25-yard touchdown catch. Santonio Holmes, coming off a two-snap cameo in last week's Miami debacle, was healthy and played his best game in more than two months.
For a change, the Jets looked like a real offense, reaching the end zone for the first time in three games.
For a change, the Jets were able to win on a day in which their defense didn't play well.
The Jets improved to 6-7, equaling last season's win total. If they finish 7-9, with a roster comprised largely of rookies and one-year stopgaps, Ryan should get a one-year extension. If they finish .500, it would be a major accomplishment.
"You have to judge us for the whole season, and I understand that -- that's the way it should be, absolutely -- but to get an accurate opinion on who we are, especially offensively, let's get some of our guys back," Ryan said Sunday.
Translation: Ignore the three-game losing streak, Woody.
Apparently, he did.
Beating the Raiders is no great feat, but it was hardly a gimme for the Jets, considering the recent waves. Ryan navigated a tough week, making the right choice by sticking with Smith. He responded with a solid game, throwing his first touchdown pass since Oct. 20 and running for a score.
Ryan's offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, cooked up a clever game plan, employing a no-huddle for a good part of the game and accentuating Smith's strengths by moving the pocket and calling designed runs.
Then there was the motivation part. That's Ryan's strength.
"He bleeds green and he believes in this team even sometimes when we don't believe in each other," Colon said of Ryan. "So many times he stood up in front of us and cried and did everything to show us that, if we stay together, it can get done.
"He gives us his heart. He gives us his fire."
Ryan didn't turn into a paranoid dictator last week, the way some coaches get when the heat is turned up. He gave the players their space, some said. Out of that mindset came a players-only meeting in which D'Brickashaw Ferguson and David Harris addressed the team.
Ryan praised his team's preparation, claiming the Jets worked extra hours during the week. As a result, they avoided their first four-game losing streak in the Ryan era.
"Whew! We needed that in the worst way, to say the least," a relieved Ryan said.
He offered the team a day off -- Victory Monday -- but the players rejected the idea, claiming this is no time to relax. Say this for the Jets: They're ready and willing.
Able? We'll find out over the next three weeks.
The Jets defeated the Oakland Raiders 37-27, their first win in four weeks and the first week back for Kerley. In his first quarter back, the slot receiver had the first touchdown reception from Geno Smith since Week 7 with a 25-yard catch.
"I just up and got it," Kerley said. "It felt like backyard football. I knew it was going to come to me based on the coverage. [Smith] threw it up and it seemed like it stayed up there forever. I caught it when I was coming down. It was a good throw, a big catch and it got us some points."
That was the start of a strong offensive performance, with Winslow and Holmes both contributing big catches as the Jets gained steam. The Jets won the game and are still technically in the hunt for a post-season berth.
"If anyone's down right now they should probably be slapping themselves in the face," Holmes said. "Seriously."
Winslow speculated that more no huddle offense might have helped the Jets. Winslow had wondered why he wasn’t playing more, and capitalized on the 19 plays he saw out of a possible 58. The snap totals are unofficial.
"We’re all playmakers and we need more time together I guess," said Winslow, who had three catches for 61 yards.
Holmes (41 snaps) added 3 catches for 55 yards. The receiver has been hit or miss with a foot and a hamstring injury, but said he felt fine on Sunday. Kerley, who did not wear padding on his elbow, said he took contact but it wasn’t as painful as he anticipated. Kerley played in 27 snaps.
"We looked a lot better," Winslow said.
Smith was asked if having the receivers back together made a difference, but said that wasn’t the only reason.
"Well, it’s great to have those guys back and to have them in the rotation," Smith said. "But that’s not the reason for the mistakes that were made in those three games and any of those games. It all comes down to my decision-making and accuracy."
The New York Jets' coach announced a Victory Monday -- an off day -- but the idea didn't gain much traction in the locker room. Willie Colon said he looked at D'Brickashaw Ferguson, and, speaking on behalf of the rest of the players, they decided to make it a work day.
"We realized, 'Hey, this is no time to relax,'" Colon said. "You give us two days off and we have to go down (to Charlotte) and play a lot that's kicking a lot of tail right now" -- the Carolina Panthers. "We have to put our foot on the gas."
Ryan said he was impressed with the players' attitude.
"Everyone was like, 'Yeah, let's go to work,'" Ryan said. "And that's what we have to do."
You call this defense?: This wasn't a good game by the defense, which allowed a season-high 150 rushing yards. Fullback Marcel Reece, the Raiders' fourth-string running back, ran for 123, including a 63-yard run in which he outraced cornerback Antonio Cromartie. The Jets let Matt McGloin, an undrafted rookie, pass for 245 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was receiver Rod Streater, who caught seven passes for 130 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown.
Ryan didn't sound that alarmed.
"We had a couple of amazing plays, which don't happen against us very often," he said. "We have a couple of things to fix. It's not something I'm overly concerned with."
Nice gesture: After the game, Ryan made a presentation in the locker room to general manager John Idzik, giving him the game ball. Idzik is mourning the death of his father, John Joseph Idzik, who died last Tuesday after a long illness. He was 85.
What the Hill?: Reciever Stephen Hill was inactive with a knee injury. He was a full practice participant last Friday, but was a late addition to the injury report, listed as questionable. It was his first missed game of the season.
Ryan said Hill has been bothered by knee swelling for several weeks.
"The young man has been competing his tail off, but he's just not himself," Ryan said. "He's not able to burst out of cuts. Quite honestly, as much as he wants it, it's best for us to make the decision to deactivate him this week."
The Jets used a four-receiver rotation, with Santonio Holmes, David Nelson, Jeremy Kerley and Greg Salas.
Injury Report: Cornerback Antonio Cromartie suffered a head injury, according to the team. He collided with teammate Ed Reed with 6:26 left in the third quarter, but he remained in the game.
Odds and Ends: Ferguson became the first player in Jets history to start the first 125 games of his career. ... The Jets scored a season-high 37 points and produced their third-highest yardage total, 352. ... Antonio Allen blocked Marquette King's punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. It was Allen’s second touchdown of the season (he scored on an interception return) and second blocked punt. Before leaving the locker room, Allen said he asked to no one in particular, "Who's going to give us that spark?" It turned out to be him. Allen became the first Jets defensive player to score multiple touchdowns in a season since safety Dwight Lowery in 2010. ... Nick Folk made three field goals, increasing his season total to 28-for-29.
In their preparation leading up to Sunday's game, the Jets noticed that Oakland long snapper Jon Condo didn't perform proper drops after his snaps. The Jets believed they could capitalize on this and worked all week on exploiting that tendency.
"We about to make money off this," Allen thought.
Allen blocked the punt and recovered it in the end zone to help the Jets to their 37-27 win over the Raiders on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. It marked Allen's second blocked punt of the season (his first was on Oct. 7 against the Falcons).
"It feels good to make a play on special teams. I've been trying to get out there and make whatever happens with my playing time," he said. "It's big for me and big for the team, and we got the victory."
Oakland has been susceptible to blocked punts in MetLife Stadium this season as they also had one blocked and returned for a score when they visited the Giants on Nov. 10. The Giants too said they saw something in Oakland's formations they believed they could take advantage of.
According to Allen, the Jets swung cornerback Ellis Lankster in front of Condo, and Allen shot the A-gap to get his free shot, knocking the ball down toward the Oakland end zone. He tried to pick it up, but Allen couldn't corral it and just fell on top of it in the end zone. Allen's touchdown marked his second of the season, and he's the first Jets' defensive back with multiple touchdowns since 2010.
"It felt weird, they just let me loose" Allen said. "I was surprised I thought the tackle was going to give me some kind of push but he didn't touch me, he just let me go right through. It was big for us."
As Allen made the big play on special teams, he also was more involved in the defensive game plan after three straight games of sparse playing time. Since the arrival of Ed Reed, Allen, who has shown promise in his sophomore campaign, has seen a reduction in his playing time to the point that he barely plays.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said he had made a mistake not playing Allen more and he aimed to remedy that Sunday. Allen played just 24 snaps in the previous three games, and he was in that neighborhood of snaps against the Raiders. He played extensively in the first half.
Allen, who believes he was having a "productive" season before Reed arrived, was down on himself after the game for not making an interception during Oakland's final drive.
"That's a play I got to make," Allen said. "With the defensive plays I do get I got to maximize my play time and make something happen."
The 12-year veteran had recorded at least one interception in each of his previous 11 seasons, but entering Sunday's game against Oakland, Reed had yet to tally a pick this season.
In the second quarter, Reed finally notched No. 62. And the streak lived on.
Reed has 12 straight seasons with at least one interception after he picked off Matt McGloin in the Jets' 37-27 win over the Raiders on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Reed is now tied for eighth all-time with 62 career interceptions, matching Dave Brown and Dick LeBeau.
With the Jets' win, Reed also participated in his first victory of the year. Reed had been 0-10 this season in games he played spanning his time with the Texans, and 0-3 as a Jet entering Sunday.
"I'm happy to have it," Reed said of the interception. "Happy to have 62. Happy to have a pick. More important -- just to get a win and give ourselves a chance going forward."
With the Jets ahead 10-3 in the second quarter and Oakland facing a third down at its own four, McGloin tried to sneak a pass to Andre Holmes. Reed jumped the route and returned it to the four-yard line. The Jets ultimately kicked a field goal to go ahead 13-3.
"I just knew it was coming. Sooner or later Ed's going to be Ed. He's always around the ball," said Jets safety Dawan Landry, who played with Reed in Baltimore. "One of the best ball hawkers to ever play the game. You knew it was going to come and I'm just glad he got one today."
Sunday provided a rare positive day for Reed in a season that perhaps has been the toughest of his career. He's had little effect in the 11 games he's played with the Jets and Texans, which ultimately led to the Texans releasing him midseason. With the Jets, he's failed to upgrade the secondary. He also went more than half a season without experiencing a win.
"I've won plenty of games in my life and I know one thing that you don't do about yourself -- it's a great team victory," Reed said of his first win. "We battled the last few weeks since I've been here and last week we fought hard to stay focused and maintain great work ethic and we did that as a team and came out and got a good victory against a good team."
While Reed previously had been playing almost every defensive play with the Jets, New York cut his snaps against Oakland. He was removed in the first half when quarterback Terrelle Pryor entered for a series, and didn't play every snap when McGloin was the quarterback. In the second half, however, he splayed his usual snaps.
Reed had no qualm with his reduced role.
"Coach just wanted to keep a good rotation of the safeties, like he has been," Reed said. "I'm alright with whatever coach wants to do. I played a lot of football. So for me to get a rest at any point it's welcomed, but at the same time you want to compete, you want to play. I know those guys want to play and we all watch film together. I know we all can do it."