Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips took the high road when asked about New York Jets safety Ed Reed's pointed criticism of him since being released.
“From what he said and what I can gather, I don't think he's gonna ask me to induct him into the Hall of Fame,” Phillips told Houston reporters. “But when he does go into the Hall of Fame, I'm going to clap my hands and say well deserved, because he's been a great, great player in this league.”
Signed to a three-year, $15 million contract in March and then undergoing hip surgery and having a disappointing season, Reed was cut after saying the Texans were “outplayed and outcoached.”
Then, Reed ripped Phillips during a conference call with Baltimore reporters, saying Phillips was probably the reason he was no longer on the team and said Phillips' scheme doesn't fit many players, adding: “The truth is the truth.”
“There's players cut, coaches fired,” Phillips said. “There's disappointments in this league and in life. I believe the way you deal with those things tells a lot about what you are and who you are.”
As for criticism of his scheme, Phillips said: “I think a lot of players have fit into it really well,” Phillips said. “I just let the record speak for itself. We have seven guys on defense that have been here since I've been here and I feel like they've played really well within it.”
Reed also said Phillips checked on him to make sure he left the team when he was cut. Phillips' version of the goodbye is different.
“When we let Ed go, I went down to the training room, I looked him right in the eye and shook hands with him,” Phillips said. “I said thank you and I said what I said to y'all that day, it was an honor to coach a guy that's going to be in the Hall of Fame and I wish you good luck.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.