With one week of Houston Texans training camp in the books, Brooks Reed’s much-talked about move to 3-4 inside linebacker this offseason hasn’t happened yet.
Makes you wonder if it ever will.
But should first-year defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel say the word, Reed says he’d be ready.
“I know middle linebacker and outside linebacker,” Reed said after Sunday’s practice session. “So it wouldn’t be much for me, mentally.”
Reed, a second-round pick in 2011, took several reps at inside linebacker during OTAs this offseason. And with No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney’s arrival at outside linebacker and Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Cushing coming off a season-ending knee injury, Reed looked primed for a move inside in time for the regular season opener on Sept. 7 against Washington.
But with one week away from the preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night, Reed has yet to see any time there in training camp.
“They’re playing to what they need right now,” Reed said. “Right now, they need me to play outside linebacker.”
Reed’s had his struggles there. After a solid rookie campaign in 2011, he earned the second-worst overall grade among 3-4 outside linebackers last season, per advanced stats site Pro Football Focus, to only teammate Whitney Mercilus.
For perspective, Justin Houston’s plus-31.9 for the Kansas City Chiefs last season was good for the highest grade at the position. Reed and Mercilus were given a minus-17.7 and minus-18.1, the two worst of 42 qualifying players.
Suffice it to say, from maybe the premier position in a 3-4 system, the Texans need better production.
Reed said that whatever the team needs, and wherever the team needs it, he’s up for the challenge.
“I love rushing the passer,” he said. “And I think I’m pretty good at playing the run.”
As for the mental aspect of a potential move inside:
“That’s what OTAs were kind of for, to make sure if I really needed to go in there I could do it and be able to play right away.”
Given the number of personnel packages in Crennel’s scheme, Reed said he expects to play on the inside at some point this season, in certain situations.
“I’m not just going to be playing outside,” he said. “I’ve got multiple responsibilities on this team.”
With Cushing still sidelined after being placed on the physically unable to perform list before the start of camp, and with Clowney missing his second straight day of practice on Sunday, the Texans linebacker group is still very much in a state of flux, making Reed’s status much of the same.
“It could change really any day,” he said. “Depending on who’s healthy, who’s not and what kind of offense we’re adjusting for. A lot of factors, really.”
Hear Matt weekends on SportsRadio 610
Follow him on Twitter @MattHammondShow
LATEST SPORTS STORIES:
[display-posts category=”sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]