Being that best version doesn’t mean racking up gaudy pass defense numbers. In fact, Reed has no interceptions and also hasn’t been credited yet with his first pass defense. Yet PFF gives him their top rating at corner this week with an 86.9 grade, built on 85.5 in coverage — where he has yet to allow a touchdown catch this season — and an 82.5 in run support.
The PFF ratings have their strong supporters and their naysayers. But one interesting measure that the NFL evaluators have come up with over the past two years concurs with what Reed has observed about his own game in his two Jets seasons. Reed’s grade last season was 72.5, 23rd among corners.
“I felt like this season, just coming in, I know the defense more, being my second year playing it,” he said. “Last year I felt I was having a good season up to the first nine weeks. When the bye came, I didn’t really continue training. I kind of just took that week off. So this year I emphasized during the bye week to make sure that I was working out. I definitely did that, I’m happy I did that, so I can finish out the season stronger than I did last year, in my opinion.”
Again, based on PFF’s grades, that plan is paying off. In his first game back in action after sitting out two games in the NFL’s concussion protocol, Reed’s play against the Chargers earned him a 91.8 grade, fourth-highest in the league. And no matter the grades, or whether it’s Sauce and DJ or DJ and Sauce, Reed offered the most important thing he can do, against Adams under the Sunday night lights and for the rest of the season.
“Just do the same things I’ve been doing,” he said. “Just winning at the line, playing with great eye discipline, being aggressive in my cues from my film study, and just trusting what I see.”