If there was concern about how quickly Jordan Reed would get up to speed after missing the Redskins’ offseason program and part of training camp, those worries should be put to rest now.
Reed is ready to contribute, and the playmaking tight end proved it Monday night against the Eagles. Reed played 25 snaps on offense and hauled in five passes (on six targets) for 38 yards.
“I was happy with how Jordan played,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said, “I thought he did a real good job. Every ball we threw to him, he separated, caught the ball, got up the field fast.”
Added head coach Mike Shanahan: "I though Jordan, for his first game, really took advantage of his opportunities when he was in there, both in the running game and the passing game."
Indeed he did. Reed was one of Robert Griffin III’s most trusted targets in the third and fourth quarters are the Redskins mounted a furious comeback bid.
On Washington's second drive of the third, in fact, Reed twice got open and hauled in drive-extending passes as Griffin was flushed from the pocket.
“I know he's going to get out of a lot of stuff, so when the play breaks down I just pay attention and try to get open for him,” Reed said Friday.
Reed showed that he can be clutch, too. Just before the two-minute warning, he made his most important reception of the night as he reeled in a four-yard pass to convert a fourth and three. By the time Reed turned around on the play, Griffin’s laser beam of a pass was already there. Four plays after that, the Redskins trimmed Philly’s lead to 33-26.
Reed said the chemistry he enjoys with Griffin actually was developed in OTAs and minicamp. Because they were not allowed to practice with the team as they worked their way back from knee injuries, Reed spent most afternoons running routes and catching dozens of passes from RG3.
“Seeing how the ball comes out of his hand and where it’s going to be,” Reed said of his comfort level with Griffin. “The type of touch and how hard he throws in certain situations definitely helps a lot.”
Kyle Shanahan said Reed aced his first test as a pro by producing on the NFL’s biggest regular season stage, calling his debut effort “encouraging.”
“He showed us out on the field in practice and he showed us in college that he’s got a chance to be a hell of a player,” Shanahan said. “It was good to see him come out on Monday Night Football and show us that the game wasn’t too big for him. You never know with a rookie in his first game, with the bright lights and everything, how they will react, and he seemed the same as he did on tape in college and how he has in practice and he was encouraging.”