In a tweet sent out last month and clarified in an interview with our parent site, FanSided, Miami football legend Ed Reed stated he wants to be a head coach or defensive coordinator, not a position coach. Reed spoke to Fansided’s Mark Carman about his experience as an assistant coach with the 2016 Buffalo Bills.
Reed was the assistant defensive backs coach with Buffalo in 2016 under head coach Rex Ryan and DB coach Donnie Henderson. Ryan coached Reed as the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-08 and as the head coach with the New York Jets in 2013 when Reed was a player.
Reed told Carman that in his words, position coaches do not have a voice. The leader of the 2001 Miami National Championship team, Reed wanted to use his wisdom as a Superbowl Champion with Baltimore but stated that former players and particularly African American ones are not heard as coaches.
Reed was discouraged. After his experience in Buffalo in 2016, Reed was not part of a football organization until last year when he was hired by Miami as chief of staff in 2020. Head coach Manny Diaz has been frank in his praise of Reed and the impact he can have on the culture of the Miami football program.
"“A positioning coach doesn’t have a voice…I’ve been a position coach in Buffalo trying to impart my wisdom on a defense was not even being heard and these are people who I’ve coached with, played with. It was discouraging. I don’t see the respect coming towards players as coaches.When I was a coach there were not conversations with my head coach. They weren’t taking that wisdom that you have from the football field and take into consideration of you being around the locker room with players to understand if they could run the scheme or not.”"
Reed told Carman he is also frustrated with the way African-American players are treated by coaches and owners in the NFL. The NFL currently only has two minority owners. Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Rafiq Khan is of Pakistani descent and Buffalo Co-owner Kim Pegula is of South Korean descent.
"“We African-Americans definitely get treated differently it’s no secret…You can look at it from the coaches to the owners. When you go into that office to interview you are not looking at people like myself who are interviewing you. You tend to relate differently.”"
The NFL had only three head coaches during the 2020 season. The Dolphins Brian Flores, the Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin and since-fired Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers. Only new Houston Texans head coach David Culley is an African-American of the recently hired NFL head coaches.
Reed has a lot to bring to any program or NFL team. Reed has helped the Miami football program with culture and in recruiting. Reed will likely have to become a college defensive coordinator before an NFL job or being hired as a college head coach.
Diaz added play-calling duties on defense and the Hurricanes defensive coordinator is vacant since Blake Baker left Miami for LSU last month. If Diaz chooses to hire a defensive coordinator in the future, Reed, linebackers coach Travis Williams and DB coach Travaris Robinson would all be excellent candidates