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Need to Know: Redskins’ Jordan Reed off to a hot start

Sep 28, 2015, 5:19 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, September 28, six days before the Redskins host the Eagles.

Jordan Reed off to a hot start

The Redskins are getting what they need out of Jordan Reed.

Going into yesterday’s games, the third-year tight end led the NFL with 14 receptions for first downs (having played three games with most of the rest of the pass catchers having played two). He has 19 receptions for 241 yards and a touchdown. Over a 16-game season those numbers project to 101 catches for 1,285 yards and five touchdowns.

Reed and Kirk Cousins got together for what was perhaps the team’s most important play so far this season. With the Redskins leading the Rams by just a touchdown and facing third and four in their own territory midway through the fourth quarter. Reed ran an option pattern down the middle, Cousins hit him with a perfect pass and the Redskins had a first down in Rams territory. The went on to score the clinching touchdown.

Reed had a chance to make a couple of other important plays last Thursday against the Giants. Twice in the first half, when the game was still competitive, he beat his defender in the end zone. But Cousins was not as sharp has he had been just a few days earlier and he underthrew both passes. Instead of the score being 15-6 at halftime it could have been 15-14.

And he has improved his weakest area on the field, blocking. “You saw Jordan Reed I think had his best game as a tight end as a blocker by far that I’ve been with him,” said Jay Gruden after the Rams game. “He’s starting to buy in obviously which is huge. They understand that it’s going to open up everything else down the road for us. So far everything has been positive.”

I know exactly what the readers here are thinking—as long as he stays healthy, he’s great. But he can’t stay on the field.

And that’s fair. Going into this season he had been on the Redskins’ roster for 32 games. And he was either on injured reserve or listed on the injury report for 17 of them, over half.

Then when he missed a good chunk of training camp and all but one preseason game with a hamstring, it was “here we go again”. He made it through the season opener but in practice for Week 2 he suffered a pulled quad that had him questionable for the Rams game.

When asked how Reed suffered the injury, Jay Gruden simply said, “Running,” in an exasperated tone of voice. The head coach seemed to be in the “here we go again” frame of mind, too.

But he played against the Rams with no apparent ill effects with six receptions on six targets for 82 yards, including the key play noted above. And he played well four days later against the Giants.

Of course, three games played constitute baby steps. There is still a long way to go. Sometimes players go through their careers an have difficulty staying on the field. Others might start out perpetually injured and then learn how to take care of their bodies better. We will see where Reed falls in that spectrum. In the meantime, he should continue to help the Redskins’ offense.


Today’s schedule: Practice 11:45 a.m.; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 12:45

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 6; Redskins @ Falcons 13; Redskins @ Jets 20


  1. sidepull - Sep 28, 2015 at 6:29 AM

    That is positive takeaway from the Giants game, Reed is not on the injury report. That guy is a tough match up and I hope he stays healthy.

  2. kenlinkins - Sep 28, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Rich: You quote head coach Gruden saying “That he is starting to buy in”, has there been a problem with Reed NOT buying into date? Was he not working on his blocking the first two years he was here? I could understand a coach saying his blocking is getting better but using the “BUY IN” comment leads me to think that maybe Reed was not fully on board with being a bigger part of the running game. Or did the head coach just misspeak again?

    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 28, 2015 at 9:13 AM

      It was pretty easy to see he was not bought into the importance of blocking.

      You can just see it last 2 years. Somewhat of a premadonna as if catching was his only job. I think the way they got him to buyin was buy promoting Niles to stsrting position for his willingness to block.

      That did it for sure.

      • thirdistheworrd - Sep 28, 2015 at 9:42 AM

        I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying he only played 10% of last season and 25% of the season before that, seems like a pretty small sample size to accuse him of being a primadonna. Besides, Paul might be the worst pass blocker on the team, so I’m not sure to what extent that really motivated Reed

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 28, 2015 at 10:33 AM

          “seems like a pretty small sample size to accuse him of being a primadonna.’

          Welcome to the world’s most fickle fans here in DC!

      • thirdistheworrd - Sep 28, 2015 at 9:42 AM

        I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying he only played 10% of last season and 25% of the season before that, seems like a pretty small sample size to accuse him of being a primadonna. Besides, Paul might be the worst pass blocker on the team, so I’m not sure to what extent that really motivated Reed.

        • abanig - Sep 28, 2015 at 10:17 AM

          Paul wasn’t the worst blocker on the team. Reed has been since he got here.

          Paul struggled to block DE’s & 3-4 OLBs on his own as a 235 to 240 pound converted WR in 2013 & 14 which is understandable because he was undersized.

          We’ll never know how this year would have played out but seeing that Paul came into camp much bigger and stronger than Reed, I think Paul would have been the team’s blocker this season.

          Too bad we won’t know if Paul was in fact improved in this area in 2015.

        • ET - Sep 28, 2015 at 12:55 PM

          I nominate DeSean as the worst blocker. He doesn’t even pretend.

  3. colmac69 - Sep 28, 2015 at 7:54 AM

    Him staying healthy is huge….match up nightmare for linebackers/safeties

    Said on previous post if he stays healthy entire season he be in pro bowl for sure

    Get Jackson back even better

  4. voice4thefans - Sep 28, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    This will be a 9 and 7 season or 7 and 9

    • hk2000 - Sep 28, 2015 at 9:57 AM

      Yeah, also, a herd of pigs will fly over FedEx in salute of Gruden.

  5. redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 28, 2015 at 8:23 AM

    If Reed keeps the penalties down then he could be the MVP on this offense.

  6. colorofmyskinz - Sep 28, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Reed has done great on the field as we all know he can if he stays on the field. He also had an injury excuse to not play, but ponied up and played anyway that was good as well.

    If we get 12+ games out of him with him available to compete in a wild card game I will be very impressed.

  7. abanig - Sep 28, 2015 at 9:27 AM

    I will have people remember that in 2013 when Reed was a rookie and Griffin was coming off his knee injury, Reed quickly became Griffin’s safety blanket.

    In 9 games, with only 4 starts, Reed had 45 catches, 499 yards and 3 TDs.

    When Reed had his concussion and missed the final month of the season, that’s when Griffin started to struggle more and was benched for Cousins for the final 3 games – against 3 of the worst defenses in the NFL – to keep “Griffin healthy” :-/.

    It’s pretty clear to me that Reed and the running game are the glue that makes the Redskins offense work, no matter who starts at Qb. In 2013, Reed and Griffin had some good games together, last year Reed had good games with all 3 qbs and the same this year with Cousins.

    I hope Cousins is more accurate in the future because with Reed a part of the passing game and getting passes thrown to him in rythm and on time, there isn’t anything he can’t do.

  8. hk2000 - Sep 28, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Maybe Gruden can make better use of his time by being a real head coach and making sure all players buy in, and let a real OC handle the offense. I think he may be able to save his career if he does that. I don’t want that to happen bc I still don’t want him here but I’m just saying ….

    • colmac69 - Sep 28, 2015 at 10:34 AM

      So basically what your saying with “I think he may be able to save his career if he does that.I don’t want that to happen bc I still don’t want him here” you want skins to lose rest of season so they can get rid of gruden? Obviously more wins they get less likely they get rid of gruden

      • hail74 - Sep 28, 2015 at 10:48 AM

        Seems to be a popular mindset which makes no sense. Most Redskins fans want success and are willing to wait patiently while observing improvement. Most RG3 fans would rather see the team burn than succeed without him. Personally I think what’s happening now is a great approach. Give RG3 time to learn an nfl offense on the bench, that’s hardly insulting or detrimental to his development, while playing a QB who is adept at a pro offense. The Gruden hate is ridiculous as well.

        • bangkokben - Sep 28, 2015 at 11:27 AM

          I’m in agreement here, although, I think the learn from the bench approach may be too little too late. It would be a fantastic story, if somehow he sees the field and proves that he can convert “mental reps” into outstanding quarterback play; but I’d put the chances of him seeing the field at less than 10% and then if he does miraculously get a chance, a less than 10% chance he plays well. Both times Griffin has come back from “mental reps” (2013 and after the ankle injury last year) he has looked worse than previously. How much was it rushing back from injury, rust from not playing, or simply being a person that learns practically more than a person that learns theoretically? I don’t know; but it all adds up to super slim odds.

        • kenlinkins - Sep 28, 2015 at 11:28 AM

          While I am not sure if most of the Gruden hate is due to him picking Cousins are his starter, I do agree that RG3 is not yet done. He is still a asset with has talent and that equals value. Value is never just thrown away by good GM’s, they find a way to use it. I do not know what this GM has planned but just cutting RG3 doesn’t seem to be in the cards. IMO the NFL is not yet done with RG3.

        • bangkokben - Sep 28, 2015 at 11:39 AM

          BTW, Keim absolutely nails it today with his latest take on the QB situation. Griffin fans can cling onto the last line in the second to last paragraph for hope or just label it hogwash.

        • ET - Sep 28, 2015 at 1:11 PM

          Griffin can (and perhaps should) learn from the bench, but I’m skeptical that this is the coach or offense that will best let him do so. Either way, he’s not done in this league, not when there are two McCowns, a Vick and a Clausen behind center. Yikes.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 28, 2015 at 2:11 PM

          Funny I find ones that try to fluff facts for a QB at the cost of the team to be ones that would rather see the team burn.

          “The Redskins have run 221 offensive plays and Cousins has thrown 4 interceptions with zero fumbles. That’s one turnover every 55 plays. ”

          Cousins has thrown 107 pass attempts with 4 interceptions. Simple math reveals that to be 1 interception for ever 26.75. Try excluding run plays next time to put the accurate stats out there.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 28, 2015 at 2:33 PM

          “Most RG3 fans would rather see the team burn than succeed without him. ”

          That is total BS there! Now I support RG3 as a player because he has a far more higher ceiling than Cousins. However, I’m aware that RG3 will probably never work in Gruden’s west coast offense. So I’m fine with the benching of RG3. I support letting him work out of the spotlight to develop. If he moves onto to another team then I’d wager any fan here that, with time, this kid will out perform Cousins with whatever team he plays for in the future. Now I have friends and family that both love and hate RG3. The ones that still want him to start believe he’ll make the team better, but none would ever look to start him at the cost of hurting the team. Only a loser fan with no class thinks other fans that support RG3 look at their support that way.

          You guys are a joke to support such a notion! Grow up! I’d never call other fans that support Cousins ones willing to do so at the expense of the team.

        • brucefan1 - Sep 28, 2015 at 7:47 PM

          Why do some people who post here persist in planning for a Redskin future with Robert Gfiffin in it, as in, “Let him learn & improve on the bench…”.LOL

          Now if you qualify such statements with an admission like “…so he will be better prepared for his next team!” then I might agree with you.

          Said it before MANY times and now say it again (with none of my usual caveats about “speculating”); why would the Skins pay $16 million to a BACKUP? Or do you think RG3 will be named the STARTER next season?!

          If he does, that means Cuz musta flopped (as did COLT, probably) and Gru is must be GONE. Short of that, Griffin will be released in the off-season. He will never be brought back for an just another “open competition”; not at that price.

          And is Griffin gonna lower his price, renegotiate that contract downward so it’s “team friendly”, and/or drop that fully-paid injury clause, just for another chance to wear the B&G — maybe as a backup — for a head coach and fan base who have so much love for, and faith in, him?! (You don’t really answer that; we all KNOW the answer.)

          Soooo — OTHER than a complete collapse & exile of Gru/Cuz — does anyone here really think there’s a snowball’s chance that Griffin will be on the Skins next season? If yes, I’d love to hear why!

        • abanig - Sep 28, 2015 at 8:17 PM

          It’s pretty obvious a lot of people seeing Gruden as the problem because neither Kirk or Robert have improved under his coaching.

          Some feel Gruden will be gone unless he and Kirk have the team in playoff contention.

          We all know Snyder loves Griffin. We also know that Scott wants to evaluate Robert more because he’s intrigued by his talent. Put it all together and there’s a chance Gruden & Kirk are gone and Robert is back next year as the starter.

        • brucefan1 - Sep 28, 2015 at 10:03 PM

          That’s it abaning; only if Gruden fails does Griffin come back. And as much as I’ve felt Griffin has too much potential to give up on, if Gruden CAN succeed with Kirk — this season and beyond — I will accept that, and say a sad “hasta la vista baby” to RG3. (And I think he will say pretty much the same thing to us.)

          But really, doesn’t it seem like even MORE of the infamous Redskin dysfunction if the head coach and the starting QB are constantly aware that the Front Office is keeping a HUGE “#10” insurance in its back pocket, due to a belief that they may both be on shaky ground?

          Dunno know for sure tho; some feel that keeping guys uncomfortably looking over their shoulders makes them perform harder. Some swear it makes them choke it up. Personally? I’d hope that the powers-that-be had a lot more faith in me than to have my replacement or the cause of my firing smirking at me every day!

        • abanig - Sep 29, 2015 at 9:02 AM

          If in Snyder, Allen & McCloughan and Cousins & Gruden are worried about Griffin, they need to grow a sack!

          I’m tired of hearing that crap.

          How do you think Griffin felt when the Shanahan’s took a traditional west coast qb who’d be perfect for the system if he wasn’t a colored blind robot on the football field?

          All Griffin did was go out and be rookie of the year and lead the Skins to the first nfce division championship in 13 years his rookie season

          So I say to all the Cousins fan boys & those who side with Gruden over Grifgin go show me your right! Kirk & Jay show us you’re right! Coach right, make the right adjustments and execute. Kirk, quit throwing ints that high school qbs throw!

          You guys don’t that, I’ll admit it was the right choice to start Kirk and it was the right choice to not tailor an offense that Griffin could succeed in but if you don’t do it… YA BOTH GONE!

          And I’m hiring a guy like Bevell to give Griffin one more year in 2016 just to make sure that he didn’t the guy once and for all.

      • hk2000 - Sep 28, 2015 at 1:07 PM

        No, I don’t want him here regardless of the record, but of course it’s not up to me. What I’m saying is, if he cares about his job, that’s what he would do which would make it less likely I get my wish. I don’t want them to lose, if I did, I would be advocating what I believe to be a recipe for failure, which is let Gruden control everything- That’ll do it. And no, RG3 is not the reason I don’t like this coach, Gruden is the reason, from the day he was hired- I wasn’t as adamant, but I did not like him then and was hoping for Zimmer, oh well.

  9. mr.moneylover - Sep 28, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    Report came out scot m. Been studying rg3 to see if what hes good at and what hes not good at its safe to say weather jay gruden is here next year or not that the rg3 era is not over in DC….ohh and theres a chance rg3 might play sometime this season possibly in a few weeks if kirk cousins dont step up

  10. mr.moneylover - Sep 28, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    Surprise he still healthy maybe with the new GM coming in not taking no BS made him step up or get replace

  11. colmac69 - Sep 28, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Gd article and absolutely spot on

    However rgiii apologists on here will determine that article is bull and that John keim is completely bias toward cousins

    As article states we (as fans) will have little understanding on how the whole process works and how coaches determine who gets starting jobs

    • mr.moneylover - Sep 28, 2015 at 12:25 PM

      This is rg3 first year reading defense it take time and thats what hes been doing studying the game and working on his footwork with the coaches and the O-line and so far was told hes looking good to the point we might see him at some point this season possibly in a few weeks at the earliest if kirk cousins dont step up…

    • bangkokben - Sep 28, 2015 at 12:46 PM

      Nov. 3: All trading ends for 2015 at 4 p.m. ET.

      That is the deadline. Anything can happen between now and then. The are five weeks of games between now and then and the Redskins will play four as that date is the Tuesday after the Redskins’ bye week. As it stands, New Orleans, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Cleveland, and Oakland have had to go to their backups due to injury and Houston made a change due to performance. Who knows if any team will make a play on any of our guys but there is certainly a chance.

      • kenlinkins - Sep 28, 2015 at 1:30 PM

        Very true, Until Nov. 3rd the Redskins are in control but after that it is all on RG3 and his team/crew. If the Redskins cut him he is a free agent, and if the Redskins just let his contract run out he is a free agent and that is where it gets real interesting. How many on here believe that RG3 will resign with the Redskins or that the Redskins will tag him, (not me)? IMO he will be looking for a fresh start somewhere and that just might be the best deal for him. I wonder if he will be able to keep quite about his time in DC if he signs with another team?

        • goback2rfk - Sep 28, 2015 at 6:37 PM

          Rob needs a fresh start and he will get it. I see Rg3 leading the Denver Broncos into the playoffs as early as next year but certainly within 2 years when Manning has vacated. Rub will be hitting Demarius Thomas over and over again on those quick slant routes. 3 step drop Rob! 3 Step. Not 7 not 5 not 6, a 3 step drop.
          He will get it, Rob will once again be a star in this league at some point.

      • abanig - Sep 28, 2015 at 1:43 PM

        Id say there is zero chance. None of those teams back ups are really worse that our three qbs at this point in any of their careers. There’s no way I see any of them trading for McCoynor Griffin.

        IMO there’s 100% certainty that the three qbs we have our roster are the three we will end up with at the end of the year. Whether or not any of them stay on our team depends on their performance and for Griffin it depends on how he’s getting a long with people on the team, as well as coaches and if he plays at all this season and shows he’s improved.

        The way things are looking now, I’d have to guess both Cousins and Griffin are gone next year and McCoy may be back to compete for he job again – especially if Jay Gruden is back for his third season.

        • bangkokben - Sep 28, 2015 at 2:42 PM

          You don’t think there is a chance they trade Cousins? Suppose he is as you say he is and the team wants to give Griffin one more chance at the bye week. I mentioned those teams – not a possible trade partners – but to paint the picture of how tenuous it is being a starting QB in the NFL. 1/4 of the teams have had to go a back up for some point after three weeks. The same could be true in the next three weeks.

        • abanig - Sep 28, 2015 at 4:13 PM

          I just don’t know what any of them have proven as to why anyone would trade for them.

          Why trade for a player who’s going to be a free agent in a few months and isn’t a lot better than your back up?

          Why trade for Griffin he hasn’t looked improved lately, he’s got the 5th year option and he’ll likely be a free agent in March also along with Kirk & Colt.

        • bangkokben - Sep 28, 2015 at 5:43 PM

          If you’re the Bears and your staring at the first pick in the draft, do you put John Beck 1.1 back out there or do you do what the Redskins are doing and kick the tires on a guy this year to determine draft priority. Cousins and Griffin are both better than Mallet and Clausen and there are other factors out there as well. With Houston the difference between an upgrade at QB and what they have could determine whether they’re competing for the division or not. Cousins is basically Ryan Fitzpatrick and had the Texans kept Fitz they’re probably 2-1 and leading the division. There are a boatload of factors. I say there is a CHANCE for a trade, you say no. Fine.

        • colmac69 - Sep 28, 2015 at 3:52 PM

          Appears McCoy has inj….if he out Sunday here what happens

          Scenario one

          Cousins throws 3 ints..Def keeps game close…rgiii of bench and leads skins to winning fg cue qb controversy for atlanta

          Scenario two

          Cousins gets Hurt. …rgiii comes in and plays horrible…skins get rolled over 34-0 and rgiii picks up major inj that blows 16 mill in skin cap for nxt yr

          That would b typical redskin scenarios lol

    • jumbo611 - Sep 28, 2015 at 1:17 PM

      All of the behind the scenes aside. Can You,Kiem or anyone else seriously say that he’s handle these 2 men the same in the public.

      After a really bad game. How many times have you heard him say Robert played fine. The team needs to play better around him???

    • mr.moneylover - Sep 28, 2015 at 9:42 PM

      Hes not bein cut or traded…scot m. Believe rg3 is to young and talented to give up on

  12. goback2rfk - Sep 28, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    Chris Cooley is working out for the Giants. Wtf. The Skins should have signed him to a shit deal just cause he is Cooley. He was a beast during his tenure as a Skin. I remember when he caught a ball and stiff armed a defender mush face all the way into the ground choke slam style and kept running. Cooley was tough. Would of loved to see him work out for the Skins. One thing about Cooley is he never missed leg day like Rg3 and company. However, Reed is the new man around here if he can stay healthy, however, there is always enough room for a washed up Cooley. I think even Rg3 had one reception to Chris.

    Let me see who would I rather have a old Chris Cooley or Andre Droperts I mean Andre Roberts. We are deep enough at the WR position and Andre Roberts was never a big time guy.

    • bangkokben - Sep 28, 2015 at 6:45 PM

      Droperts has really been ‘catching on’ here as most appropriate nick-name.

  13. goback2rfk - Sep 28, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    Its the perfect storm this weekend if McCoy cant get back. Maybe the cut will get infected and McCoy is ruled out. Rg3 is taking reps in practice this week preparing for the back up role against the Eagles.
    Kirk Cousins comes in and stinks it up in the 1st half of the Eagles game and the BoO BiRdS come out and the Rg3 chants start reigning down from the crowd. Rob better start warming the arm up

    • abanig - Sep 29, 2015 at 8:50 AM

      Kirk is going to have to play bad for a month – like last year – before they even consider benching him. He’s had one average game, one good game and one bad game so far this year. For as much as I thought Griffin should have started the season, you can’t take the ball from Kirk after just 2 bad games.

      We also have to remember that this offense is night and day better when Djax is in it be side he’s the only explosive playmaker we have no matter who’s at qb.

      When Djax comes back, he’ll get 100 yards receiving on his own and a TD every 2 games. That will bump up Kirk’s TD & yard #s

  14. goback2rfk - Sep 29, 2015 at 12:27 AM

    There are very small whispers leaking out that the Steelers may in fact be interested in one Mr. Robert Griffin III now that Ben may be out 6 weeks. The 16.1 M contract may get in the way but rg3 that could be renegotiated. We will see if Rob makes it without being traded.
    ‘One 1st round pick and one late 2nd round pick for Rob sounds about right eh?

    • abanig - Sep 29, 2015 at 8:46 AM

      Might be the most unrealistic comment I’ve read ever in my lifetime.

      Griffin hasn’t proven he’s better than Vick from the pocket at this point, and it took Vick a decade to get there and Andy Reid’s coaching.

      You got jokes?

  15. Blackbutcolorblind - Sep 29, 2015 at 8:58 PM

    Reed haters galore. Reed gets 100 yards a game almost. He’s a pass catching tight end. Gibbs and many use to have them and Gibbs had big sets and blocking tight ends

  16. Blackbutcolorblind - Sep 29, 2015 at 9:00 PM

    And I agree. It was insane not to sign Cooley. He is 33. He offered a deal they couldn’t refuse. Cost the. Nothing. Had riders galore. And they turned hi. Down. Crazy

  17. Blackbutcolorblind - Sep 29, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    We should at least get welker. He had to b as good as our backups. I don’t get that either Archives

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