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Jets CB D.J. Reed: 'I Want to Play Against the Best'

Veteran DB Says Returning to Seattle on New Year’s Day Will Be ‘Dope'


Two months after signing his contract with the Jets, cornerback D.J. Reed is finally settling in and embracing his new home.

"The first week was rough, just trying to get my living situation set and figuring things out on the go, but now that I'm settled in it feels like home," Reed said. "All the dudes here are good people … guys are very knowledgeable when we're talking football. When talking to the young dudes, I'm giving them advice that I had when I was a rookie. I'm even learning from the rookies, too, and the guys that played last year. It's a great vibe throughout the whole locker room and it's pretty exciting over here."

One rookie that Reed has already been impressed with is CB Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner. Gardner was the Jets' No. 4 overall draft pick out of the University of Cincinnati, where he did not give up a single touchdown out of his 1,000-plus career coverage snaps and only allowed 13 catches for 117 yards in the 2021 season.

"I love him man. I watched his tape and he's everything that the media is saying he is, he's a lockdown cornerback," Reed said. "He did it in college, and I believe he can do it at the NFL. He's prototypical, he has elite characteristics, and he plays with great eye discipline. He can catch, too. He makes great plays on the ball and it's just an overall complete cornerback in my opinion. I'm looking forward to balling with him."

When the Jets schedule was released last week, Reed learned he will be starting the season by facing Lamar Jackson and the Ravens at MetLife Stadium on September 11th.

"I'm looking forward to it," Reed said. "I want to play against Lamar Jackson, I think he's one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL as a former MVP," Reed said. "The whole schedule is a good schedule. I want to play against the best and we're playing against a lot of good teams, so I'm looking forward to it."

The Jets will see the entire AFC North in the first four games, marking the first time the Green & White play four straight games against any opposing division since the 1970 NFL/AFLmerger.

"I love it," Reed said. "Like I said, all those teams are really great teams. You think about the Ravens, Lamar Jackson, the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have a great wide receiver unit over there. The Browns just got Deshaun Watson, so I get to play against him and Amari Cooper. I could keep naming guys, but as a competitor I want to play against all of those guys."

One game that will be circled on Reed's calendar will be his return to Seattle in Week 16. After seeing his former QB, Russell Wilson, in Week 7 at Denver, Reed will line up against a bunch of former teammates on New Year's Day.

"It's going to be dope," he said. "Seeing Jamal [Adams], Quandre [Diggs], seeing all the guys over there. It's nothing but love over there. I'm looking forward to playing against D.K. [Metcalf], one of the best receivers in the league."

Reed, who broke into the league in 2018 with the 49ers, is coming off a career year in Seattle where he started 14 games and totaled 10 PDs and 2 INTs.

"I'm looking forward to showcasing who I am on the field."

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