HOUSTON (AP) - Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips believes his scheme with the Texans works just fine, despite what Ed Reed says.
Reed is a nine-time Pro Bowler who was released by the Texans on Nov. 12 and signed with the Jets. He said Wednesday that the Houston defense "is not a good fit for a lot of people who are still down there" and singled out Phillips as a big reason for his departure.
Phillips responded to Reed's criticism on Wednesday.
"I think a lot of players have fit into it real well," Phillips said of his defense. "I just let the record speak for itself. We've got seven guys on defense that have been here since I've been here, and I feel like they've played real well within it."
Houston defensive end Antonio Smith brushed off Reed's comments.
"You just have to take it for what it is," he said. "Everybody has their opinion ... I like the scheme."
Houston is mired in a franchise-record eight-game skid, but the defense is allowing the fewest yards in the NFL.
The 35-year-old Reed was signed to a three-year, $15 million contract in the offseason after he spent his entire 11-year career with Baltimore. The Texans courted him in an effort to beef up what they saw as an elite defensive unit that needed an upgrade in the secondary to make an expected run at the Super Bowl.
But Reed never showed the playmaking ability he had become known for in Baltimore and had just 16 tackles with the Texans.
He missed the first two games after hip surgery and was relegated to a backup role before he was released. A few days before he was cut, he expressed his displeasure at not starting. After his last game, he publicly criticized the team and said they had been outplayed and outcoached in a game where Phillips coached in place of Gary Kubiak, who was recovering from a mini-stroke.
Reed said Phillips didn't really talk to him when he was cut and just "basically just made sure I was leaving." He added that he thinks Phillips is the reason he isn't with the Texans anymore.
Phillips said that he found Reed in the training room the day he was released, shook his hand and told him thanks and that it was an honor to coach him. Phillips didn't take any direct shots at Reed on Thursday, but did mock one of his comments from a day before.
On Wednesday Reed said: "The truth is the truth. You've got to put your players in a position to make plays."
Phillips parroted his "the truth is the truth" quote the end of his comments about their last interaction before breaking into a wide smile.
He also questioned the way Reed is handling this situation.
"There's players cut, coaches fired. There's disappointments in this league and in life," said Phillips, who was fired as head coach of the Cowboys in 2010. "I believe the way you deal with those things tells a lot about what you are and who you are."
Despite their differences, Phillips still views Reed as a Hall of Fame player and said it's time for the team to move on.
"I don't think he's going to ask me to induct him into the Hall of Fame, give the Hall of Fame speech for him," Phillips said with a laugh. "But when he does go into the Hall of Fame, where ever I am, I'm going to be clapping my hands and saying, `Hey, well deserved.' Because he's been a great, great player in this league."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)