• Joey Jarzynka

Broncos' OLB Malik Reed Quotes 9.2.20

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER MALIK REED

On what he learned from the games he played last year and how that has helped him this year

“You definitely learn a lot as far as coming from college to the NFL. Schemes are way different. The players—it’s another level that you have to raise your game to. Really for me, I feel like it was a learning experience every week. Being able to see different guys and different teams and see how they’re trying to attack our defense and see what they’re trying to do on offense as well, I definitely took a lot from each and every week. I tried to just take it one step at a time, one day at a time and continue to grow and learn. That’s the biggest point you can do each and every day.”

On if understanding the defensive scheme is easier in Year 2 and where he thinks that will have the biggest impact on the field

“Definitely, for me even going from—I played linebacker one year in college—to coming to this system as well, and I know there were a lot of guys who were new to the system. It’s a lot of learning that goes into it. I feel like even with it being the first year and us going through that year, I feel like we definitely did a lot of good things on defense, but we had a lot of things we had to learn from as well. Last year was a great opportunity for us to continue to build and build. I feel like here in training camp this year we are lightyears head of where we were last year. I’m looking forward to what we can do as a defense.”

On how much weight he put on in the offseason and how he wants to contribute if OLB Bradley Chubb is on a play count

“Weight-wise, when I got here, I put on I think five to six pounds last year. It wasn’t a weight that I wanted. I didn’t put it on the right way. I tried to focus this offseason on getting with a nutritionist and working up a plan to where we could get to a good weight but trim it up so that I can move well with it. I feel good at where I’m at right now. As far as Bradley and what’s going on, I’m praying that he gets back healthy, that he’s ready to go by the beginning of the season. I just stay ready for each and every opportunity that’s presented whenever it comes and just stay ready for when my number is called.”

On what kind of challenge T Demar Dotson poses when going against him

“Demar is a 12-year veteran, I think. Having a guy as big as that who has seen so many guys throughout the years, he knows how to adapt to different kinds of rushes. It just helps promote each of our games when we go up against him, seeing where we can attack him, if he has any weakness—which he doesn’t have many. You just try and keep working against him, keep finding areas that you can improve your game. I feel like having him and going against him each and every day will help us going into the year because, like you said, you don’t see guys like that every year, a guy who’s been in the league for that long. It’s great to have a guy like him and to go against him.”

On if he has had time to reflect on making the team last year as a college free agent

“Last year each week—from the preseason going into the year, making the team and everything, I count as a blessing. To still be in this position, I count as a blessing as well. I thank God for it all because without Him I wouldn’t be here at all. I continue to take what I’ve learned at take the path that I have been on and continue to drive and push forward, never get complacent and continue to try to work on my game, work on areas where I can improve and be able to take coaching and learn from whether it’s [OLB] Von [Miller], Chubb, guys that have been doing it for a long time. Continue to have that drive to improve and never get complacent, I feel like that’s what I internalized.”

On where he feels he has made the biggest step from last season

“I feel like just in the understanding of the defense really—last year I feel like I was trying to learn it on the fly each and every week. Against different teams, we did different things in our defense. Having the understanding of NFL football which is different from college football, I feel like that’s where I took some of the biggest steps in just understanding what we need to do in the defense and how to be aggressive in our defense as well. I feel like that’s a big step that I’ve taken this year personally.”

On how difficult he thinks it would have been for him last year to make an impact without having preseason games like college free agents such as CB Essang Bassey are challenged with this year

“Definitely, that’s something tough to do, something that nobody has dealt with before or at least that I know of. It’s definitely a grind. For him to be able to have made an impression so early on and to be doing it so well, doing good in things at camp is just a testament to the type of person he is, the type of player he is to take every day, learn every day and be able to be better in the following days. I feel like that’s something that [Head] Coach [Vic] Fangio has seen. I feel like that’s something that is a testament to the person and player he is.”

On why he thinks the social justice meetings the team has had as a team will make them stronger

“It’s tough. To see the conversation that we had back in the summer and really one of our points being that we didn’t want the social justice and the drive for change to fall by the wayside when football and everybody got back to their lives and things of that sort—which I feel like it did somewhat fall to the wayside—I feel like having that discussion definitely gave us a new mindset on how to move forward and definitely making sure that this is important to us and that we attack it and not just let it go on for months and months and not have said anything about it. I feel like what we did last week and coming up with things that we can do to have an impact in our community and being able to talk with the law enforcement as well was huge and seeing their side of the fence—not even the fence, but getting their perspective on things and seeing how they want to help improve things and how they want to work cooperation with us as well was definitely great to see. I hope we can definitely keep this driving force going.”

On if he will have conversations with some of the younger players about the prospects of making the team

“I’m open to always talking to anyone. If they have any questions or concerns about anything or how it can be, I feel like my central point would be you only can control what you can control. Get everything you can under each and every day and let God handle the rest. That’s going to be pretty much my advice to them.”

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