Ed Reed Update: Rex Ryan's "Big Strong Man"

Categories: Game Time, Sports

Big Strong Man
If you watched the sitcom Wings back in the mid-'90s, you probably remember the episode with Big Strong Man.

(NOTE: Wings still gets my vote for "most underrated sitcom." If you look, it shared virtually the same chronological footprint as Seinfeld, the duration of the '90s, on the same network. If Seinfeld was Magic Johnson, then Wings was James Worthy, a great complementary show in the NBC lineup that would've stood on its own in a different time or on a different team. There, I said it.)

Big Strong Man was a TV superhero from the childhood days of Lowell Mather, the dopey mechanic who worked at the Nantucket airport where the show took place. In Lowell's childhood years, Big Strong Man was a crime-fighting Adonis. However, when the actor who played Big Strong Man showed up on Nantucket in costume (for a supermarket opening, of all things), he was a fat, out-of-shape dud in his mid-'60s, a drunk, pathetic, borderline homeless mooch.

Well, Big Strong Man spent the entire episode loitering around the airport, and not surprising, the only one of the regulars who would give this decrepit version of Big Strong Man the time of day was Lowell, who still saw him as the superhero from his childhood days and even let Big Strong Man crash on his couch, eat his food and empty his liquor cabinet.

Everyone else on the island saw Big Strong Man for what he was -- a taker, a parasite, a drunk, a broken-down con man. Not Lowell. He worshipped the ground Big Strong Man walked on, unwittingly to his own detriment.

Why am I bringing up an obscure episode of an equally obscure '90s sitcom? Because it's the best analogy I could come up with for New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan's inexplicable hero worship for this dilapidated "Big Strong Man" version of Ed Reed that is bumbling around in his secondary each Sunday.

When Reed was with the Houston Texans earlier this season, he openly blamed the coaching staff (specifically defensive coordinator Wade Phillips) for not putting him in position to make the types of plays that will one day send Reed to Canton. Now, anyone with a brain and a working set of eyeballs could see that Reed's complete lack of impact had everything to do with a diminishing set of skills and a speed gas tank that was on "EMPTY." It had next to nothing to do with the game plan.

After being let go by Houston, Reed claimed he just needed a change of scenery, and Jets head coach Rex Ryan (Reed's former defensive coordinator during a chunk of his Baltimore days and an unabashed Reed lover) agreed. After being dumped by the Texans following the loss at Arizona, Reed was quickly picked up by the Jets and immediately inserted into their starting lineup.

The results have been ugly, to say the least.

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Rex Ryan is no dummy?  Well, let's put it in context.  Buddy Ryan is credited with getting the Bears their Super Bowl title with his ferocious defense.  What should be noted is his post Bears career as head coach and defensive coordinator where he literally fought with other coaches, and fueded with the owners of the teams that employed him.  Rex and Rob Ryan seem to share their father's mastery of defense, and mastery of offensive personality.  Rex isn't alone as coaches who have moved through the NFL often bring in former players with washed up skills either as a favor or being overconfident in being able to "get the best out of them."  In Reed's case, each game appears to be one more chance at greatness.  Interesting that in contrast, Geno Smith is getting benched...


Ed Reed sucks the biggest suck that ever sucked a suck.  He is a washed up fraud and a loudmouth to boot. The best addition the Texans made this year was when they cut him.

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