Jarran Reed said all the right things on Tuesday. He didn’t mince words in regard to his expectations for himself, his disappointment with 2019 and why he had tunnel vision during his brief time as a free agent this offseason.
The fifth-year defensive tackle signed a two-year, $23 million deal with the Seahawks in March.
“I didn’t want to leave Seattle,” Reed said. “I felt I had unfinished business here with the year I had last year. … The team had faith in me and gave me an opportunity to have another chance by re-signing me. It was pretty easy. I wanted to stay here. I love it here in Seattle.”
Reed’s unfinished business with the Seahawks is two-fold: He’s equal parts disappointed in how Seattle’s season ended against the Packers and frustrated he wasn’t a bigger contributor personally. He opened the year serving a six-game suspension and was largely a non-factor when he returned to the field.
“I didn’t want to leave on that note, especially the way the season went and especially the way it went for myself personally,” Reed said. “I didn’t want to go out like that.”
Reed generated just two sacks in 12 games in 2019 (playoffs included), a far cry from his 10.5-sack outburst the year prior. Beyond the rust stemming from his suspension and a nagging ankle injury, he admitted to pressing upon his return.
“I tried so hard not to overtry, but when you come in late, you want to be effective for your team so much,” Reed said. “Sometimes you’ve got to let the game come to you without forcing it.”
His $23 million contract is far from a prove-it deal that some were anticipating after Reed’s underwhelming 2019 campaign. That means the Seahawks believe his 2018 season wasn’t an aberration, but rather will be the norm for Reed moving forward.
With that comes pressure to deliver on those expectations. Reed shared that he’s in “tremendous” shape following a focused offseason. He’s eager for a clean slate and to be in the lineup in Week 1 this time around.
“I’ve worked really hard, and I’m not going to let these guys down,” Reed said.
As a whole, the Seahawks defensive line has been a scrutinized group for more than a year now. Seattle generated just 28 sacks in 2019, and while the addition of Jamal Adams should help in that department, Reed knows his group can’t be a liability this season.
“We’re very hungry to get back to where we were in 2018. Pass rush is key. If you can get to the quarterback, you can rattle him a little bit,” Reed said. “We’re looking for guys to go eat, for guys to be hungry and for guys to make plays.”