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New Texan Reed hopes to play in opener

HOUSTON (AP) - Safety Ed Reed isn't making any promises that he'll be ready to go Sept. 9 against San Diego.

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Houston's biggest offseason acquisition spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since he started training camp on the physically unable to perform list after surgery to repair a partly torn labrum on April 30.

``I can tell you that it is close, but I can't say that it is the first game because I don't know,'' Reed said.

Texans receiver Andre Johnson said last week that Reed told him he planned to play in Week 1. Reed joked a bit when asked about those comments on Tuesday,

``I guess I've got to do it,'' he said with a laugh. ``This is his team.''

The 34-year-old Reed spent his entire 11-year career with the Ravens before joining the Texans in March. He said he still feels ``tightness and soreness'' constantly in his hip and that he'll know more about when he can play once he progresses past those problems.

``Once I get that out, I can kind of push it more,'' he said. ``I'm not to the point where I can run 100 percent.''

However, he is doing a lot of work as part of his rehabilitation including, pulling a sled, backpedaling and working on starting and stopping.

``I'm opening the hip up and stuff like that, but at some point it kind of grabs,'' he said. ``So I've just got to get that scar tissue out and that edema out and everything. Once that that subsides, I can have a better timeline.''

With a career that many believe will culminate in the Hall of Fame, coach Gary Kubiak and the Texans aren't worried about Reed sitting out the entire preseason. They know that he'll be prepared to step in and contribute as soon as he's healthy.

``I'm impressed with where he's at,'' Kubiak said. ``We're going to listen to him. He's been through this before. I'm not concerned about him being ready for a preseason game. Right now, we're trying to get him ready for our season, so we're going to listen to him.''

While he's unable to practice, Reed has assumed the role of an extra coach for Houston's secondary. Many of the players idolized Reed growing up and are eager to soak in everything he has to say.

Rookie second-round pick D.J. Swearinger has watched video of Reed before each of his games since he was in high school. Swearinger, who could fill in for Reed if he isn't ready for the opener, raved about all the veteran has taught him so far.

``Just being a pro about everything, on the field and off the field,'' Swearinger said. ``Learning the full defense, it will help you a lot as safety because we are the quarterbacks on the defense. Off the field, you have to handle yourself as a pro no matter what - all eyes on you.''

Reed's enjoyed providing tips his younger teammates and helping them improve. However, he feels a little strange about it because he's not able to be on the field to work with them.

``You can't be out there with your teammates moving around, communicating and it's a little tougher,'' he said. ``Just talking in the meeting rooms and learning it just from a book standpoint and not physically doing it, it's always tougher. But I'm doing as much as I can to learn it mentally and watch the guys move around and communicate in meeting rooms. It's coming along well.''

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