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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Reid wants to show that he's a well-rounded tight end

Reid wants to show that he's a well-rounded tight end
August 14, 2006
By Larry Mayer

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Breaking a tackle and scoring a touchdown on a 12-yard reception Friday night against the 49ers no doubt enhanced Gabe Reid's chances of earning a roster spot.

But the fourth-year pro from Brigham Young University is determined to show Bears coaches that he can block just as well as he can catch at the NFL level.

Gabe Reid heads into the end zone after breaking a tackle in Friday night's preseason loss to the 49ers.
"That's really important," Reid said. "I don't want to be one-dimensional. I want to be a well-rounded tight end. I don't want to be a liability because I can only do one thing.

"I don't want them to think that they can't run to my side because I can't block. I need to work on everything, but that's one area I really want to improve on."

Reid believes that blocking is all about attitude and fundamentals, and he's honing both in training camp. After playing in the pass-happy Mountain West Conference in college, run-blocking against NFL defensive ends has been a big adjustment.

"A lot of guys I blocked in college are not playing in the NFL," he said. "The guys in the NFL are a lot faster and stronger, so you've got to have really good technique and you just have to get after them. I have goals that I've set and I haven't met them yet. But it's been going pretty well."

Reid's touchdown in Friday night's 28-14 loss in San Francisco drew the Bears to within 17-7 with 1:01 remaining in the first half. The 6-3, 252-pounder caught a short pass from Brian Griese and shook off safety Keith Lewis before rumbling into the end zone.

In the third quarter, Reid hauled in a 26-yard pass from Kyle Orton.

"I'm at a point where I'm still trying to make the team, so anything that I do that's good hopefully is going to help my cause," Reid said.

Reid, who remains third on the depth chart behind Desmond Clark and John Gilmore, played in all 16 games with the Bears last season. He made three starts in a two-tight end formation but caught just three passes for 20 yards while playing predominantly on special teams.

A native of American Samoa, Reid made his NFL debut in the Bears' 2003 season finale at Kansas City after being signed off the Tennessee Titans' practice squad. He then missed the entire 2004 campaign after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during training camp.

Battling for a roster spot, Reid plays every snap like it could be his last. It's a mentality that he insists he will always maintain even if he establishes himself as a regular contributor.

"Every year I come in with that mindset because that's usually the situation that I'm in," he said. "If I ever get to that point where I have a (secure) spot, I'm still going to come in with that mindset because I don't want to take anything for granted. It can end any day.

"Two years ago there were seven tight ends here and I think I was No. 7. So I know that anything can change. You've just got to work hard and do the best you can and take advantage of your opportunities."

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