Can Jordan Reed get up to speed?

Can Jordan Reed get up to speed?
July 13, 2013, 11:45 am
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Can Redskins make Richmond feel like home?

Tandler - Tarik

By Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler

Twenty questions No. 12—How much can Jordan Reed contribute in 2013?

The 2013 Redskins are loaded with storylines. Between now and the start of training camp, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will be examining the top 20 questions the Redskins face as they get ready for the season.

The Redskins even surprised themselves when they took tight end Jordan Reed in the third round of this year’s draft. Mike Shanahan said that they had not planned on taking a tight end but when the saw Jordan on the board they thought he was too good to pass up. The immediate question is how good can he be in 2013? He missed all of the offseason workouts with a leg injury and he has a lot of catching up to do when training camp starts. Can he catch up and contribute?

Rich Tandler: I have very low expectations for Reed for 2013. The position he will play, a hybrid of H-back, motion tight end, and occasional slot receiver, would have been difficult to pick up even under ideal circumstances. After missing the offseason program with the injury, Kyle Shanahan said that Reed’s head will be swimming in camp and that he likely will go through a phase where he gets worse before he gets better. I don’t think there is enough time for him to get good enough in his complex role in the Redskins’ complex offense to be able to contribute much this season. I look at 2013 as a redshirt season for Reed. He might contribute something here and there but he will spend more time on the game day inactive list than he will in uniform.

Tarik El-Bashir: Reed did, indeed, miss every offseason practice because of his injury. But it wasn’t a total wash. He was in the building, talking to coaches, picking the brains of veteran teammates, sitting in position meetings, etc. Reed was also able to run routes alongside fellow rehabbing teammates Fred Davis and Pierre Garçon during OTAs and minicamp. And, of course, he was able to develop some timing and chemistry while catching passes from Robert Griffin III. Does that completely make up for all of the missed individual and team drills? No, it doesn’t. But if he’s on the field for the opening day of training camp (as Coach Mike Shanahan has said he expects), I suspect Reed will be up to speed by Week 1. Two more reasons I’m looking for the Florida product to have a strong debut season: 1) Just like RG3 and Alfred Morris before him, no one outside of the organization knows how the Shanahans intend to deploy him and 2) with opponents scheming to stop Garçon and Davis, Reed could find an abundance of time and space in which to operate.

Upcoming on 20 questions

  • Question 11 tomorrow: Who will be the nickel cornerback?
  • Question 10 Monday: What should expected of Fred Davis?
  • Question 9 Tuesday: Is defensive line depth a concern?