Kyle Shanahan knew this was coming for Jordan Reed.
The team’s third-round draft choice missed all of minicamp and OTAs with a quad problem. Reed did get some time in catching passes from Robert Griffin III off to the side but that’s no substitute for being in the lineup while the plays are being installed.
At the end of minicamp, Shanahan was asked what effect missing that time would have on him when he got to training camp.
“I think any rookie who comes in, there’s always a time where they’ve got to get worse before they get better,” he said. “You know you throw a lot at them, they try and take it all in and they usually struggle and then by the time they come back to camp you hope that they’ve been through it and can start getting better.”
When he got to camp, Reed missed about a week of practice after he suffered a bruised foot. That cost him even more time.
He is a good enough athlete to overcome not knowing the fine points of the offense to an extent but it caught up with him. Reed did catch his first pro pass but he later made a mistake that cost his team possession of the ball and possibly some points.
In a play in the red zone he ran the wrong route and Rex Grossman ended up throwing the ball right at Steelers defensive back Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith. It looked like a bad play for Grossman, who has a reputation for being a turnover machine. But in reality, Reed should have cut in front of the defender where he would have been able to catch the pass.
Reed will learn to be at the right place at the right time someday. Until then, his coaches and teammates and Redskins fans will have to learn to live with a few rookie moments.