Reed Makes Huge Plays While Flying Under the Radar
Wednesday May 7, 2014
Every championship team has its headliners, its superstars, the guys that get most of the publicity. But a big key to staying at the top is having those “grind” players – the ones who do all the little things to make sure the team wins. For the Arizona Rattlers, that player is Kerry Reed.
Whether it be on offense, defense or special teams, Reed continues to make crucial plays while maintaining a low profile.
Two examples during Arizona's 7-0 start to the 2014 season really stand out.
Last weekend, Reed made the play of the game to ensure an Arizona win at the Jacksonville Sharks
. With neither team able to get a defensive stop in a nip-and-tuck affair, Reed tipped an RJ Archer fourth-down pass to the turf late in the fourth quarter.
In the Arena Football League, one defensive stop can often be the difference in the game, and that was case as Reed's defensive gem sealed a 70-61 victory.
Against the San Jose SaberCats
on April 12, Reed stepped in for an injured Maurice Purify and calmly caught the game-winning touchdown with seven seconds left as the Rattlers downed the rival SaberCats 57-51.
Reed makes big plays, but he's the last one to talk about it. When asked about his key defensive play against the Sharks, Reed maintained his low-key attitude.
“Our coaches gave us a great game plan and we went out and executed it,” Reed said on the CBS Sports Network broadcast.
Playing Ironman football, one of the staples of the original AFL, seems to fit Reed quite well. He is embracing the jack linebacker position in 2014. He is tied for third on the team in tackles, with two passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception in limited time on defense.
On offense, nine of Reed's 14 pass receptions have gone for touchdowns.
If the Rattlers need more from Reed at receiver, they can get it. He caught 100 passes in 2012 and another 70 in 2013. He tallied 51 receiving touchdowns during those two seasons.
I also like to call Reed the Rattlers' “designated onside kick recoverer.” I can't remember the last time the sure-handed Michigan State product didn't step up to recover a kick or bat the football into the stands. He even scored a touchdown on a recovered onside kick earlier this season against the San Antonio Talons
With the Rattlers seeking a third straight AFL championship, Purify, quarterback Nick Davila and others will deservedly get a lot of press.
But don't forget about Reed, doing the dirty work to keep Arizona on track for another title.
Photo Credit: Andy Lopusnak, ArenaFan.com
Matt Loeschman is the business editor/city reporter at the Williamson County Sun and a color commentator for SHN Sports in Georgetown, Texas. As a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he bleeds burnt orange but is also an avid fan of the Arizona Rattlers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Stars, Texas Stars, Houston Rockets, Houston Dynamo and Austin Aztex. With nearly 20 years of experience in print journalism and radio, Matt has covered sports ranging from high school to the pros along with local news. He has followed the AFL since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter @MattLoeschman
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.