Ray Roberts: Why Jarran Reed is ‘the key’ to Seahawks defense

Aug 18, 2023, 11:13 AM | Updated: 11:14 am

Seattle Seahawks Jarran Reed...

Jarran Reed of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a sack on Dec. 20, 2020. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It’s clear how important quarterback Geno Smith will be to the Seattle Seahawks’ success this year.

Seattle Seahawks’ Smith-Njigba: Lockett, Metcalf ‘made the transition very easy for me’

But outside of the team’s Pro Bowl quarterback, which Seahawks player could take the team to a new level if they have a good year?

That was the question Mike Salk had for former NFL offensive lineman and current Seahawks radio analyst Ray Roberts on Friday. Roberts’ answer may surprise you.

“I would say on the defensive side of the ball, Jarran Reed,” Roberts said during Friday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports.

Reed, 30, is back with the Seahawks after spending two years away from Seattle. The 2016 second-round pick was brought back as part of a major overall of Seattle’s defensive line, which struggled mightily to stop the run last year.

That’s a big part of why Reed is back with the team.

“When you have a legit threat in the middle of the defense, it makes it difficult for the offense and offensive line to deploy help in other places along the line, which opens things up for like the edge rushers in the pass game and it buys more time for the second-level defenders to engage the run game,” Roberts. “So by having a dominant player in the middle of the defense that other offenses have the game plan around – not just another guy, just another body, just another number – but a guy that when you’re getting your scouting report as an offensive lineman, that dude is circled like, ‘Hey, we need to make sure that we handle this guy.’ And I think Jarran Reed will be or should be the key to unlock some of that stuff with the defense.”

So what has Roberts seen from Reed during practices?

One thing that’s notable, Roberts said, is that the veteran defensive lineman has changed positions. He’s now the nose tackle in the middle of Seattle’s 3-4 defense.

“I think the first thing was him accepting the part because he normally played like a wide three-technique or something,” Roberts said. “So for him to be able to want to go over the center, be in the middle of all that mess where you’re getting double-teamed all the time and you’re probably not going to have all the stats that you want because you’re gonna be creating opportunities for other people.”

Reed’s leadership has also stood out.

“And the thing that I’ve seen the most of them is every single time that I’ve been at practice, he has had one of the young guys by his side, and he’s kind of coaching and giving them advice and telling them what he sees and providing that type of leadership along the defensive line,” Roberts said. “So to me, that is just as valuable as what his skill-set is that he brings to the table.”

Listen to the full second hour of Friday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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