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Thursday, November 7, 2013
Kyle Shanahan: Jordan Reed has it

By John Keim

It’s not just his athleticism or the catches he makes. When the Washington Redskins coaches talk about rookie tight end Jordan Reed, they point to other factors that get them just as excited.

He’s not an accomplished blocker, but he likes doing it and pumps his fists after good ones, as he did against Dallas (or he slaps his hands in disgust if he misses one). Reed has caught 38 passes for 425 yards (he has more catches than any other rookie in the NFL). He’s also hard on himself and will stay after practice longer than anyone -- after he dropped a pass recently, he caught more throws in the next practice.

“It doesn’t surprise me. Jordan, he enjoys football,” Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s not just his job, he gets excited. He likes it when he makes a run. He likes it when he blocks. He likes it when he catches. He likes it when someone else scores. It’s not tough to get him to work. He enjoys what he does.”

And that’s why they are so high on his future.

“It’s obvious how good he is in the passing game, but he’s good in every aspect,” Shanahan said. “He doesn’t flinch. He fights for yards when he has the ball in his hand as a carrier. He does everything we ask him, blocking situations, whether we’re using him as tight end or as a fullback on some of those insert looks, he does everything we ask him to do and he enjoys doing it.”

Reed blocks well in space, in large part because he moves his feet so well. He still misses blocks every game, sometimes it’s experience in knowing how to handle a situation. Sometimes it’s just because the other guy wins. But it’s his willingness that matters just as much because the coaches can build on that.

“When you insert a guy you’ve got to be tough, you can’t flinch, you can’t just throw your shoulder in there, you’ve got to put your face in people, and that’s kind of a tough thing to coach,” Shanahan said. “Guys usually have it or they don’t, and Jordan’s a guy who has it. He doesn’t flinch and the game’s not too big for him.”