After a run in restricted free agency, OLB Malik Reed decided Denver was the best place for him.
“It was a conversation between me, my agent and my family,” he explained, noting that there were teams showing interest in him, “Ultimately, this is where I wanted to be, and that’s why I ended up coming back here. I’m excited about what we have going forward.”
Asked what motivated his decision, the linebacker mentioned the city, the relationships, and everything that’s up and coming with the Broncos.
“I enjoy Denver. I’ve built relationships here, and I love the trajectory of everything that’s going on,” he added. “I want to be a part of a winning team and winning organization. That’s why.”
He also thinks highly of new outside linebackers coach Bert Watts.
“He’s a high energy guy. He’s a young coach in the game, and you enjoy that energy when you come to the field,” he said. “It makes days enjoyable. He’s really invested in learning this defense and getting it down. I feel like he’s been doing a great job of that so far.”
On his vision of himself as a player, Reed believes he’s improved each year; and this year he’s going back to his foundations and getting the entire “system” down pat.
“With the new coaches coming in, it’s really getting the system down,” he said, “I feel like that’s what this time is about. Going in and being able to learn from mistakes and be better. The better you know the system, you can actually go out and play free.”
Reed added that among the things that can develop a player, “getting back to the fundamentals” in the run game is a key one. “Using your hands and being able to rush the passer in different ways.”
Ultimately, he wants to build on what he knows and learn what he doesn’t.
He doesn’t turn his nose up at the new talent coming into the locker room, either, and it’s his opinion that the more pass rushers, the merrier.
“I feel like it’s a position they prioritize to really be a force out there on the field. That’s what you want,” Reed said, adding that competition brings out the best in everybody, “You can’t have enough guys that can rush the passer and enough guys that can set the edge.”
Because he originally signed with Denver as an undrafted free agent in 2019, reporters asked if he’d been able to encourage any college free agents as they enter the team. He admitted that he hasn’t been specifically encouraging free agents, but that he tries to be positive with all the rookies as they come in — undrafted or drafted.
“I try to do a good job of talking to not just the undrafted guys, but rookies in general. I know when I first got here, the older guys did an amazing job,” he said.
The OLB recalled joining the team and having seasoned veterans there to come alongside him and help him grow as a player.
“I try to do that and give back to the game and give back to those younger guys—not just the undrafted guys, but the rookies in general,” he reiterated, “I answer any questions they need and make sure they are good on a day-to-day basis.”
I might be biased in saying he picked the best team to ride with, but so far the Broncos have a really exciting outlook this year. I can’t wait to see what’s brought forth from all this promise.