The Emergence of Brooks Reed
Patrick D. Starr
When the Houston Texans selected Brooks Reed out of the University of Arizona in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Texans' fan base went scrambling to find out who he was. The second round draft pick, the 42nd overall selection matched his college number #42, was a potential late first round draft pick who slid to the Texans in the early part of the second round. Thought to be headed to the New England Patriots was scooped up by the Texans and the rest is history.
Reed was brought in as a college defensive end to make the switch to the outside linebacker in the new 3-4 defensive scheme in Houston. Reed signed a 4-year deal worth $4.701 million dollars with $2.779 of that guaranteed, to backup defensive standout Mario Williams. This would provide time for Reed adapt to the learning curve of the NFL and contribute later in the season. See what the "Scouts" said of Reed coming out of Arizona.
In camp Reed seemed lost and trying to get accustomed to playing on his feet, and linebacker coach Reggie Herring was in his ear the whole time coaching him up. Reed just didn't seem ready for the NFL, and at one point seemed stagnant with his learning. Media outlets were saying how lost Reed looked and the bust word started creeping around. Not much was known of Reed during camp because of his inconsistent play.
Fast forward to the second preseason game against the New Orleans Saints and Reed showed flashes of what could happen. He had 3 tackles with 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Reed raised some eyebrows as a rookie making plays like these, but once again it was preseason.
The season kicks off and Reed is relegated to the special teams unit and is lost in the shuffle. He does get some snaps in the first 4 weeks, but they were scarce and Reed once again looked lost. His plays were limited and his inability to get into the flow of the game hurt his production in limited time.
Mario Williams gets hurt on a fluke play on a sack of Oakland Raiders' quarterback Jason Campbell and insert Brooks Reed into the lineup and the emergence of Brooks Reed takes shape.
From that point Reed has looked like anything but a rookie that has changed positions. In 5 starts and majority of the game played against Oakland, Reed has been a huge part in the Texans defensive success. Reed has registered a sack in four consecutive games, and has 5 for the season which currently ties him for the team lead with the injured Williams. What people over look with Reed, is his ability to play the run with authority. Since becoming a started Reed has tallied 22 tackles and 2 pass deflections. Among rookies he is currently tied for third in the sack category.
Reed's success can be attributed to his college days in Arizona and how much time he puts in, according to his teammates, here in Houston. His teammates talk about how he practices and how it transitions to the game. As a rookie to earn your teammates trust with the way you practice speaks volumes on what type of player is lining up for the Texans. His low-key demeanor and no-nonsense attitude is something the Texans franchise has been waiting on. He refuses to compare himself to Williams and just want to play the game.
The Texans have been battling injuries all year-long, but the next player has stepped up. Once again this shows the job the Texans have been doing as a front office finding a player like Reed to handle situations like these. Reed can make a run at the Defensive Rookie Year honors with good play these last 6 weeks of the season. Reed has a chance to solidify his spot in the Texans locker room for some time if he continues his play like he has.
Really would you want any of this?