The Chicago Bears’ defensive coaching staff could get a boost from a legend.
In a story by The Athletic’s Dan Pompei outlining why Chuck Pagano is the right guy at the right time to run the Bears defense, long-time NFL safety Ed Reed said he would be open to a coaching offer with the Bears.
“I’m a huge fan of Eddie Jackson’s,” Reed said. “He was my guy this year. (Kyle) Fuller over there, Khalil Mack. That was my favorite defense. I thought they’d still be trucking along right now. I love Chicago. I have some family out there and some Miami alumni I’m close with. There’s a connection there.”
There certainly is a connection there, Mr. Reed. What an astute observation. Pagano coached Reed from 2008-10 as the Baltimore Ravens’ Secondary Coach and in 2011 as the team’s defensive coordinator. Reed made the Pro Bowl in each of those years and was a first-team All-Pro twice. He came up with 23 interceptions, three pick-sixes, six forced fumbles (and six recoveries), and a returned fumble touchdown. It a four-year snapshot that was part of Reed establishing himself as the best safety of his era and one of the greatest of all time.
A player of Reed’s caliber needs no introduction, but if you lived under a rock between 2002 and 2013, then it’s worth pointing out that we’re talking about a nine-time Pro Bowler, five-time first-team All-Pro, 2012 Super Bowl champion, and a mortal lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Reed is five years removed from playing and his dabbling into the coaching side of things is intriguing, especially since one of his former coaches is now the Bears’ defensive coordinator.
But before we start penciling in Reed’s name on Pagano’s defensive staff, Reed took to Twitter to clarify some things:
I need to clear somethings up, I’m with Coach a Pagano now. We are Coaching NFLPA collegiate Bowl no talks. Lol https://t.co/YWNRKoFrAE
— Ed Reed (@TwentyER) January 14, 2019
Alright, so Reed isn’t jumping on board right away. Totally understandable. But still … Bears’ Defensive Backs Coach Ed Donatell is a free agent and the team is reportedly not bringing back Assistant DBs Coach Roy Anderson back for another season. So with that in mind, you can see where it would be easy to link Reed to a position with the Bears.
In the end, it’s worth knowing that Pagano will get a first-hand look at Reed as an assistant coach this weekend. Before taking the Bears’ DC gig, Pagano was scheduled to coach the American Team in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl (which features distinguished alumnae such as Tarik Cohen) on Saturday at the Rose Bowl Stadium in California. Reed is scheduled to be Pagano’s defensive coordinator, but it won’t be his first coaching opportunity. Back in 2016, Reed served as the Buffalo Bills’ Assistant Defensive Backs Coach working for Rex Ryan. That Reed is getting experience as a defensive coordinator after previously working his way into an assistant’s job as recently as 2016 is worth jotting down for future reference.