By DEEPI SIDHU, SportsRadio 610

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Is an 34-year old Ed Reed better than most safeties in their prime? Hall of Fame wide receiver and ESPN analyst Cris Carter certainly thinks so.

“Well, he has football instincts that you can’t teach.  He gets reads and jumps on the quarterbacks. I don’t call it guessing. He’s a once-every-25-year type player,” Carter said in an interview with SportsRadio 610’s MaD Radio on Wednesday.

“You guys are getting him at the end of his career so is Ed Reed as good as he was 5, 6 years ago? No, but he’s still better than any safety that’s played for the Texans and if he can give them some leadership on the back end, also it gives them a greater ability to turn the football over. They are going to get a rush on people. They got Cush coming back in the middle, but it’s just like a good baseball team. If you want to be great on defense, you got to be great up the middle. J.J. Watt, defensive tackle/defensive end, Cush in the middle, and Ed Reed manning the middle of the field. I believe that defense is a lot better today than they have been.”

With the addition of Reed, Brian Cushing returning from his ACL injury, and NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt playing without the elbow injury he endured for most of the season, the Texans defense is certainly expected to improve. Reed’s presence gives the Texans’ secondary a boost of confidence but also effectively undermines a quarterback’s decision-making ability.

“He definitely does have that. If you look at the last four or five games of the season and also in the playoffs, some of the jumps he was getting on footballs, some of the reads he was making.” Carter said of Reed’s ability to thwart a quarterback’s game plan.

“It gives those cornerbacks a lot confidence knowing that Ed is going to be back there. So, not only consciously is the offense and opposition aware of Ed Reed, but the defensive players and I believe he makes those other ten guys on the field with him better.”