Jarran Reed spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Seahawks, then spent the past two years in Kansas City and Green Bay. In other words, he's been around some very good football teams during his seven-year career.
But even with all the experience he has playing for winning teams, Reed has felt something special brewing leading up to the 2023 season after returning to Seattle this offseason.
"I'm feeling great man, I think this is one of the better camps that I've been a part of," Reed said Thursday. "Just as far as energy, the dominance that's going on, on the field, the players buying into the philosophy that we are teaching. The young guys coming along fast, the defense looking good, fast, physical, running and hitting."
Asked to elaborate on what he's seeing in terms of that energy, Reed added, "Just the energy from beginning to end, the focused energy, the mental energy, the toughness out there on that field. We're having fun, that's all you can ask for when you going through long hard practices. People are running fast; we're going top-end speed with the catapults it's very great you see this and what it's molding into."
While the signing of defensive Dre'Mont Jones got a lot of attention—the Seahawks rarely are active on the first day of free agency, but made a big move to add Jones—garnered a lot of attention, another big move for the Seahawks defense this offseason was the signing of Reed, a player the Seahawks selected in the second round of the 2016 draft. Reed was an important part of Seattle's defense during his five years with the team, including a 2018 campaign that saw him become just the third interior lineman in franchise history to record double-digit sacks along with Hall of Famers Cortez Kennedy and John Randle. And now that he's back, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and the rest of the coaching staff are expecting Reed to be a big factor as the team looks to improve upon a subpar defensive performance in 2022.
"We are building the thing around J-Reed," Carroll said early in training camp when asked about the team's new-look line. "He's such a stud nose tackle. He knows exactly what we're asking for and is giving us just what we're looking for… He's just such a solid part of it. He's the leader, he's the smartest and the most instinctive of those guys in terms of handling the packaging. He knows us. He knows what we're asking and can represent the notebook the way the coaches want to. It's really valuable as we're trying to put it together."
While Bobby Wagner and Quandre Diggs are leaders in the middle and on the back end of the defense, Reed is expected to help lead a line that will feature three new starters when the team opens the regular season against the Rams next week.
"We're so fortunate that Jarran came back to us, really are," Carroll said. "More than just the playing; he is such a leader for us. He's got a great mentality. He's tough. He's demanding of the young guys. He coaches them up. He's assumed that role that he's kind of the statesman there. He's not that old, but he assumes that kind of posture with them. He's got a great kind of approach to it. He can play three technique, he can play the one technique. We can move him around… We're lucky we have him back."
Reed is very much embracing that role as one of the team's most experienced players, and when it comes to the job and he and his fellow defensive linemen have to do, he fully expects a big change after the Seahawks ranked 30th in the league in run defense last season.
"Everything starts up front," he said. "If you're the 30th running defense they're going to blame the front. I can guarantee it's not going to happen this year. We're not going for that, we're playing hard, we're practicing hard, we're very confident, we're not being arrogant. That just shows the work that we are putting in, all we have to do is go out there and play every week. We want to be a dominant defense, but it's going to start with practice and that's going to carry over to the game on Sundays, Thursdays, Mondays, and whatever day that game may be."
The Seahawks held practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on Aug. 31, 2023.