Ravens Q&A with rookie wide receiver David Reed

  • Ravens rookie kickoff returner David Reed returns a kick 84 yards in the second half against the Carolina Panthers. The Ravens won 37-13.
Ravens rookie kickoff returner David Reed returns a kick 84… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
December 21, 2010|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Each week, we bring you a Q&A with a Ravens player to help you learn a little more about the team. Today's guest is kick returner David Reed, the rookie who recorded the longest kick return in team history with his 103-yard return against the Houston Texans on Dec. 13 but suffered a concussion in Sunday's win against the New Orleans Saints. Reed, who declined to comment about the pending investigation of "possible narcotics," at his home, discussed the injury, the record-setting return and his developing role in the offense.

Question: It was announced at halftime of Sunday's game that you had suffered a concussion and would not return. How did it occur?

Answer: It happened on a kickoff [in the first quarter]. They came down and the wedge came up on me, and I caught my head up with the dude.

Q: What symptoms are you dealing with and will they prevent you from playing Sunday against the Cleveland Browns?

A: I've got a headache, I've got nausea, all that. I've got dizziness, no balance. … [But] I'm going to go out. I've got to play.

Q: How would you describe your transition to the Ravens?

A: I'd say it was about what I expected. I knew it was going to be tough, I knew things were going to be magnified like routes and details to everything, but it was a little tougher than I thought. I thought I'd come around a little sooner than I did. Maybe it's because I've got the vets in front of me and stuff like that.

Q: What was the most difficult part and the easiest part about the transition?

A: The easiest part was learning how to be a pro and just taking care of your body. It's easy because I've got guys like [wide receivers] Anquan [Boldin] and Mase [ Derrick Mason] and just watching them every day, that made it real easy for me. But the hardest part was the details and learning the offense and the protections.

Q: Was it difficult to go from being a starter at the University of Utah to being a reserve in the NFL?

A: I kind of like it. I would like to just jump right into it and just play, but I feel like I get a chance to learn and really grow a little bit before I get to go out on the field on offense. So I kind of like it, but at the same time, I would like to just jump into it and learn quick and fast and learn as I go.

Q: Have you been surprised at the team's decision to slowly incorporate into the offensive game plan?

A: I definitely would love to develop faster and be a part of the offense. But with my role on special teams, I like my role. On offense, we've got amazing receivers. So I've just got to wait my turn.

Q: You were a fifth-round draft pick in April. Did you think that assured you a spot on the roster in the preseason?

A: I didn't know because we had Demetrius Williams, and I thought he was an awesome receiver. Even back to the OTAs, there were some great receivers on this squad, and I just knew that I had a real battle. I thought those guys were just as good as me. So I just stuck with it, and I'm here.

Q: What are your thoughts on registering the longest kick return in franchise history?

A: That's amazing. That's a blessing right there. I can only thank the man upstairs for that and of course my teammates and my buddy right here. [Turns and slaps cornerback Cary Williams on the right knee.] We've got some great guys and they blocked for me. I couldn't have done it without them.

Q: What do you remember seeing when you caught the kick and began running upfield?

A: It was a bounce return. So I caught it, and I saw a little lane and I hit it. Guys came out of nowhere and they kind of got on top of each other and got off of me. I got a little push from him [Williams] and then I hit it.

Q: How surprised were you that three Texans players couldn't tackle you?

A: You don't think about surprises. It just happened. I always think that I can break tackles if a guy is trying to tackle me up top because I've got a strong core and everything. So it wasn't really surprising. It was just about breaking tackles.

Q: Did you plan to dive into the end zone before the kick?

A: It just came up. Spur of the moment. I'm not a big dancer. I'm not going to go into the end zone and do a dance like [running back] Ray Rice. I just did a little dive and then celebrated with my team.

Q: If you had a chance to do it over again, would you do something other than the dive? Something like Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson's falling-backwards-into-the-end-zone move against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 12?

A: That was tight. He was gangster [cool] for that. I like that, but that's him. That's not me.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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