Signed to a multi-year contract extension recently, Jordan Reed provides the rest of the Redskins an example of what working hard and excelling on the field can do.
Jordan Reed is proof that hard work can pay off in the long run.
Entering the 2015 season, Reed was known as one of the best young pass catching tight ends in the NFL. But his injury history was also a discussion point, too.
Reed knew something needed to be changed, and after altering his offseason workout regimen, the University of Florida product reaped the reward, leading the Redskins in receptions (87), receiving yards (952) and receiving touchdowns (11).
It was the first Redskins tight end to lead the franchise in all three receiving categories since 1978 when Jean Fugett achieved the same feat.
Earlier this month, the Redskins extended Reed's contract, ensuring he'll remain in Washington for the long run.
Head coach Jay Gruden believes the move will serve as a positive message for the entire team.
"You know, it's a great testament to him and the work that he's put in, obviously learning the system, production and then in the weight room," Gruden said. "He's worked extremely hard, and he's earned that contract. You know, I love the fact that when you have guys that you draft and you build through the system that perform, you reward them and he's a perfect example of that. It's a great message to send to the rest of the guys, man.
Gruden added that when "you work hard [and] you produce, good things will happen."
"It did for Jordan," Gruden said. "He's a great kid and obviously we have high aspirations for him."
Like Reed, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan also earned a long-term contract extension from the team that drafted him.
Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed on Wednesday was named to the NFL's 'Top 100 Players of 2016' list, checking in at No. 77.
But unlike Kerrigan, who has started every game for the Redskins since being selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Reed had to work his way into even potential discussion about a long-term deal.
"It's cool because it's a great bout of confidence," Kerrigan said. "And it lets you know that what you've been doing for the past three or four years is appreciated. And it's great to know that you're going to be around the team that drafted you, great to know that you're going to be around the community that you've come into, it's just, like I said, a great bout of confidence from the organization."
Even with his new deal, Reed has been at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., every day, putting in extra hours to turn himself into an even better player.
As he enters his fourth season, Reed believes his college background – he played tight end, wide receiver and even quarterback – has also helped in his development, too.
Thinking like a quarterback gives him an advantage of when lining up against opposing defenses.
"Honestly, I feel like playing quarterback helped me out a lot – knowing which guys were going to cover me, being able to read the defense, things like that," Reed said. "Just having the feel for the game where I can feel guys, where he's leaning and things like that where I can get him to jump and overcommit… I think that will help me out a lot."