Rex Ryan thinks Ed Reed can be a head coach within five years

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Ed Reed's NFL coaching career began about two months ago when his longtime coach, Rex Ryan, called Reed and helped convince him -- and his son -- to join the Buffalo Bills' coaching staff as an assistant defensive backs coach.

Ryan believes Reed has what it takes to become a head coach, quickly.

"When we had him his last year with the Jets, he was the pied piper," Ryan said last week at the NFL owners meetings. "They all followed him and they all learned the game. And that's why I know this guy's going to be a great coach.

"I would not be shocked if Ed Reed ends up being a head coach within five years. That's how quick this dude's going to rise. Teaching guys how to study tape, how to get things, playing the game."

Reed, 37, made more of an impact in the meeting room than on the field in his brief time with Ryan's New York Jets in 2013, and Ryan has pointed frequently to those seven games as one reason why the future Hall of Fame safety will make a quick and easy transition into coaching. However, Reed was known for having an unpredictable personality in Baltimore, a quality that might have helped him on the field as a player but isn't always desirable in a coach.

Of the current 32 NFL head coaches, only two were tapped to run a team only five years after making their start in the profession: Dallas' Jason Garrett, who joined the Miami Dolphins as a quarterbacks coach in 2005 and was the Cowboys' head coach by 2010, and Jack Del Rio, who was named the Saints' linebackers coach in 1998 before landing a head-coaching gig with the Jaguars in 2003.