Manny Diaz believes Miami legend Ed Reed would make ‘great’ head coach one day

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David Furones, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·4 min read
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Miami Hurricanes chief of staff Ed Reed turned heads with his tweets during NFL’s Championship Sunday on Jan. 24.

“Dear #NFL and #College, I AM A Coach u know. Okay Carry on,” tweeted Reed, the legendary UM safety and Hall of Famer in both the college and pro game, in one tweet. He followed it up with: “HC or DC let me be clear.”

Could Reed, currently serving his alma mater and Miami coach Manny Diaz in his advisory role, make a successful head coach?

Diaz seems to think so.

“I think that makes sense,” Diaz told NFL Network on Tuesday afternoon. “Ed has such a knack for seeing the game from that 30,000-foot perspective, which, really, you need to do as a head football coach. To be able to pay attention, whether it’s 53 in a locker room or over 100 like we have here in college, and to be in tune with each one of those guys is really, I think, what Ed did great as a player and you could see him being great as that as a head coach as well.”

Of course, Diaz currently doesn’t have a defensive coordinator on his staff, but Reed’s voice within the program is one of the reasons why Diaz feels he has the necessary support to run the defense while leading the program as head coach.

Diaz added that Reed, who has coaching experience as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Buffalo Bills in 2016, has been extremely valuable to him in going from 6-7 in his first season as head coach in 2019 to 8-3 in 2020.

“We unusually throw the word GOAT around a lot, but this guy, really, it fits. He may be the greatest ever to play the position,” Diaz said. “His experience — not just from the ball aspect — but what you find out about Ed, his understanding of team dynamics, his understanding of the locker room, of little non-verbals, just the little way that a certain player goes about doing things is off the charts. He’s provided great mentorship to me, to our players, helped us early in recruiting and he’s a pure Hurricane. All he wants to see is the Miami Hurricanes be great. What a great asset to have to our program.”

Diaz also touched on the potential of the two Hurricanes draft prospects widely projected to go in the first round, defensive ends Gregory Rousseau and Jaelan Phillips.

“He has measurables that you just can’t coach, you can’t teach,” said Diaz of Rousseau, who had 15 1/2 sacks in 2019. “His length, his ability to bend, and then you look at a lot of his sacks are just high-motor sacks. Coming off of a block and getting a quarterback on the ground that was getting ready to scramble out of there. He’s got a unique set of skills, and that’s what makes him very valuable.”

Rousseau remains a highly touted draft prospect despite opting out of the 2020 season amid the pandemic.

“We wanted to be supportive,” Diaz said. “No one knew what the world was looking like back when he made the decision, how the fall would be, whether we’d get the whole season in. We want to be here for Greg. We certainly support his decision. We miss him like crazy — not just because he’s a great player, but he’s a great person, as well.”

Phillips’ stock skyrocketed in 2020. After sitting out from his momentary retirement and subsequent transfer to Miami from UCLA, the former No. 1 recruit nationally had 15 1/2 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 10 games last fall.

“It’s all about relentless effort,” said Diaz of Phillips. “Obviously, he’s a freak in terms of his athleticism, as well, but he practices so hard, he plays so hard, was a great leader for our team this year, was the same guy every week, really brought it week in and week out. Just a fun guy to be around. Great to see him get his career going and play like a pure Miami Hurricane.”