- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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Offensive lineman Willie Colon looked up when asked what Reed -- who coach Rex Ryan said will definitely play Sunday against the Bills -- could bring to the team.
"Look at the locker room now," Colon said.
Sure enough, it was a louder, more upbeat group of players than it has been in weeks, something especially unusual for a Friday.
Safety Antonio Allen agreed.
"Since he's been here, it seems like the locker room's gotten a little more live," Allen said.
Potential Hall of Famers can have that effect. There was a similar boost when quarterback Brett Favre was brought in to the Jets in 2008 and two years later when running back LaDainian Tomlinson played the final two years of his career in green.
Reed, with one Super Bowl ring and 61 career interceptions, has that kind of juice.
"His presence is already felt, being in the presence of greatness," Dawan Landry said, "and we're just excited."
Ryan understands why the Jets have responded to Reed. The team is 5-4 coming out of a bye, with a slate of winnable games starting Sunday in Buffalo. Reed bolsters those chances, but he also validates this team's confidence in itself.
"He chose us," Ryan said. "You can almost look at it that way too. It wasn't like we were the only suitor for Ed Reed. He chose us; he chose to be a New York Jet. Some of our guys have played with him, and everyone knows him. They see the way he is; all eyes are on him. They see how he practices and they'll see how he prepares soon, and I think they're going to really enjoy him as a teammate."
Reed was on the field early in practice as the defense ran though plays as a unit. He stayed to the back of the field shadowing behind the safeties, pausing to ask questions of Landry or Allen once the drill was finished.
Reed played the teacher in Baltimore when Landry was a rookie, so the roles were reversed. But Reed comes in with all the knowledge from those years with Ryan and is a quick study. Ryan said Reed could be used situationally or more, depending on how quickly he settles in.
Kellen Winslow Jr., who played with Reed at the University of Miami, said there is no doubt that Reed completes that group. He recalled games where Reed gave a halftime speech that precipitated victory.
"He brings so much to the team, and our defense is already real good," Winslow said. "So he's going to be able to do what he does even more, just like he did with the Ravens. It's going to be a good fit."
One day after Ed Reed’s arrival, there was a new energy in the New York Jets' locker room.