Pete Carroll: Seahawks CB D.J. Reed’s edge reminiscent of Doug Baldwin
If there was a defensive player of the game for the Seahawks in their 20-15 win over the Washington Football Team, it would have to be cornerback D.J. Reed.
Reed’s emergence from forgotten injured player to defensive standout has been pretty incredible. Due to a torn pectoral muscle, Reed’s original team, the San Francisco 49ers, waived him as they didn’t think he’d play in 2020. The Seahawks claimed Reed, and he rewarded them upon his return from the pec injury with a revenge game of sorts against the Niners.
Reed missed the Seahawks’ first six games of the season while on the physically unable to perform list, but he made his debut in Week 8 against the 49ers, who drafted Reed in the fifth round in 2018. Playing nickel corner, Reed picked off a pass, flew around the field, rushed the quarterback and made life very difficult for San Francisco’s offense.
Since then, Reed has been put in an even larger role due to injuries at outside cornerback for Seattle. He’s now started five games on the outside, and this last game against Washington may have been his best yet as he recorded an interception, broke up three passes and made six tackles. In eight games, Reed has two interceptions, broken up six passes, recovered two fumbles, and made 41 tackles, including two tackles for loss.
Oh yeah, he also returns kicks and punts as well.
Simply put, Reed makes plays.
A big reason for Reed’s play, he said in his postgame press conference Sunday, is the chip on his shoulder.
“I’ll have a chip on my shoulder forever,” Reed said. “For real, it’s heavy. Honestly, I came into the game pretty angry, (ticked) off just because.”
Reed was often matched up Sunday with star Washington receiver Terry McLaurin, so he knew he was going to be tested and often.
“I knew they were going to try me, I knew I was guarding (McLaurin),” he said. “I came into the game with that chip on my shoulder and I just let it out, talking, all that, I had fun out there.”
In his Monday morning show on 710 ESPN Seattle, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said he’s a big fan of Reed’s play, and that his mentality is similar to one of the better players Carroll has coached in Seattle.
“I don’t know that, but he does have it,” Carroll said when asked if Reed has the biggest chip on his shoulder on the Seahawks. “… He reminds me of Doug Baldwin.”
Baldwin entered the NFL in 2011 as an undrafted free agent wide receiver and promptly led the Seahawks in receiving yards that year. He soon developed a tremendous chemistry with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and helped Seattle win a Super Bowl and appear in another. Baldwin had two 1,000-yard seasons and led the NFL in touchdowns in 2015 with 14.
Even with all those accomplishments, Baldwin was known just as much for his intensity in how he played and approached the game, earning the nickname “Angry Doug.” Carroll sees some of that out of his young defensive back.
“(Baldwin) just played with this marvelous attitude that just drives him into crazy stuff and craziness, and (Reed’s) got it,” Carroll said. “I’m kind of happy to know that he knows it, because then he can fuel it and use it and feed off of it.”
Reed’s best play in Week 15 was likely his interception, which Carroll said came on a play where Reed perfectly played his zone and passed off his original receiver before assisting with who eventually became the target. Reed made a leaping snag to give Seattle the ball.
The 2️⃣nd interception of the day belongs to @D7_Reed!
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 20, 2020
“That was a really good play … When they gave him a shot at it, he stole it,” Carroll said. “He has tremendous instincts and he continues to show us all of the things he can do. He had a really, really good game yesterday, and I’m really fired up about him.”
The Seahawks are known for their tall, long-armed cornerbacks playing on the outside, such as Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell and Brandon Browner in the past and now Shaquill Griffin, Quinton Dunbar and Tre Flowers. But while Seattle likes corners who are at least 6-feet tall and have 32-inch arms, Reed is listed as 5-9 and per his NFL Scouting Combine measurements has 31.63-inch arms.
Flowers and Dunbar are both recovering from injuries and could return to action as soon as this week, but that doesn’t mean they’ll knock Reed out of a starting job with the way he’s been playing.
“Coming off this game, this was as good of a game a corner has played in a while for us and he deserves to keep playing, and that’s all,” Carroll said.
Listen to The Pete Carroll Show at this link or in the player below.