Redskins TE Jordan Reed crucial to team success in 2019
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed must rebound after a subpar 2018 in order for the team to be successful in the upcoming season.
The quarterback the Washington Redskins choose to start the season will need to depend on the veteran target early and often in 2019. It is crucial that he is at his best in the upcoming year.
Jordan Reed had to breathe a sigh of relief after this past year’s draft when the Redskins chose not select a tight end. The Redskins projected final tight ends coming out of training camp will most likely be Reed, Vernon Davis, and Jeremy Sprinkle. However, it would not be surprising to see either Davis or Sprinkle cut in the preseason after then-rookie TE Matt Flanagan showed well in limited action in 2018. The Redskins roster is desperately in need of a contributing blocking TE in the run game, and those not signed to long contracts should be on notice.
The now veteran twenty-nine year old Reed was not able to make the impact needed by the team in 2018. He finished the year with 54 catches for 558 yards and only 2 touchdowns. Interestingly enough, his catch percentage was the lowest of his career at 64.3%. With the flashes of elite skill shown by Reed throughout his career, the organization and fans alike expect better from this Pro Bowl caliber player.
In the 2015 season, Reed was spectacular as he provided his best season to date. The TE amassed 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. This is the type of production expected by such a dynamic player. His ability to run routes combined with his supreme athleticism is second to none as linebackers and safeties have a hard time guarding the Redskins TE when he is in the lineup.
Jordan Reed was drafted by the Redskins in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. The Redskins have not made the playoffs since 2015, and it is not coincidental that the former Gator’s best season in his career to date was in fact the 2015 NFL season. When Jordan Reed goes the offense goes. If the Redskins have any hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2015, Jordan Reed needs to break through and revert back to his old ways.
There are too many question marks in 2019 when it comes to the Redskins skill players on offense. Reed must take the burden off of his new teammates and carry the load. The Redskins coaching staff, including head coach Jay Gruden and new offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, also have to do a better job targeting him in the passing game. Last year, Reed was only targeted 84 times compared to his best year in 2015, in which he was targeted an astounding 114 times. In May 2016, Jordan Reed was signed to a five-year extension worth approximately $50 million, making him one of the highest paid TE’s in the league at the time. The Redskins must use this elite pass catcher and top flight red-zone target as such.
The new quarterbacks of the Redskins, Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins, have to familiarize themselves with Reed and his game changing abilities in training camp and the preseason. Both are new to the offense, and a good tight end is usually a quarterback’s best friend. For them to get on the same page, the oft-injured Reed has to stay healthy. He has never played a full 16-game season because of injuries, including a hamstring injury (among other ailments) that caused him to miss most of the 2017 season. If he does not perform up to his capabilities in 2019, the team must consider parting ways and drafting his replacement in 2020.