April 9, 2007

Reed, Box both show major steps forward

When we talked to Mike Reed on Thursday of last week, the junior college transfer felt like he was starting to make solid progress through the first 12 spring practices at middle linebacker.

Reed was able to put that claim to the test during Saturday's Red & White Game. After it was over, Brent Venables liked what he saw of his talented, but inexperienced linebacker.

"I was just pleased with him and he just started right," Venables said. "We've had so many inside drills and whatever else at practice where (he struggled) and today was like hitting the sweet spot on the bat. Now he's got a feel for it."

Reed has been developing a feel for Venables expectations since he arrived. In junior college, Reed was the alpha male. He could do whatever he wanted on a football field and that usually ended up in a positive result at that level of competition.

You could compare Reed's performances in JUCO to that of Kelly Leak's in the Bad News Bears championship game against the Yankees.

He played centerfield and his coach told him to catch everything hit in the outfield. It didn't mind if he was getting in the way out of the rightfielder or leftfielder, he was the one who could make the plays.

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