Green Bay has succeeded in slowing down opposing tight ends this season, but Redskins coach Jay Gruden points out the Packers haven't played Jordan Reed. The Redskins tight end has gone for more than 370 yards and five touchdowns in his last four games, emerging as a dynamic threat for Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense.
"They haven’t seen a tight end like Jordan," Gruden said. "He’s different, he’s a different animal."
Pass defense ranks as a strength for the Packers, as the team comes in ranked 6th in the NFL in both pass yards allowed and pass TDS allowed. But the Green Bay coaches must also recognize that devoting too much attention to Reed will mean leaving the vertical threat open to DeSean Jackson.
"If they choose to double him or take him away that’s where DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, our halfbacks come into play and Jamison Crowder. We feel good about dispersing the field with the weapons that we have," Gruden explained. "If they choose to take one guy away, we like our matchups across the board."
The Pack have not faced a top flight tight end mid-December when they hosted the Cowboys. In that game, Jason WitteN hauled in five catches for 40 yards, though it's worth pointing out the Dallas offense looked particularly inept with Matt Cassell at QB.
A better comparison for Reed against the Packers might be an early November matchup against the Panthers. In that game, Carolina tight end Greg Olsen grabbed four catches for 66 yards and a TD. Reed may not be Olsen yet, but each week he seems like he is getting close, and Olsen is used as much in the Panthers offense as Reed is by the Redskins.
For the year, Reed has brought in 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 TDs. All that, just in 14 games. A different kind of animal indeed.