- The Washington Times - Friday, September 18, 2015

ASHBURN — Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed proved to be a valuable asset in the passing game against the Dolphins in Week 1.

He caught seven passed for 63 yards and was a dependable outlet for quarterback Kirk Cousins, catching three passes on third down, including a four-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

As the Redskins prepare to play their first game this season without receiver DeSean Jackson, Reed expects to be counted on in the passing game. At the same time, Reed is committed to improving his performance as a run protector as the Redskins face another aggressive defensive front.

Reed showed spurts of good blocking on Sunday against the Dolphins when they used a two tight end set, though he needs to clean up his technique.

In the second quarter, Alfred Morris rushed for a 14-yard gain, but it was called back when Reed was flagged for holding Miami cornerback Brent Grimes.

Reed said it was an unnecessary penalty to take, as he got tangled with Grimes after Morris had already gained eight yards.

“That was definitely holding,” Reed said on Wednesday. “I kind of got off balance, Grimes is a quick player so I got off balance and grabbed him. I didn’t know he was so light.”

Reed also had some miscommunication issues last week with Cousins, particularly on one of the interceptions.

The Redskins are confident that once Reed cleans up the minor miscues, he’ll possess a well-rounded skill set that can make him more reliable than he already is.

“I think the biggest thing with Jordan is that we’ve really only scratched the surface because of some injuries, because of the fact that I haven’t worked with him that long,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said.

“He’s so talented, I feel like we’re only in the beginning. There’s going to be miscommunication at times. There’s going to be growing pains but I’m excited because I think over the long haul, if he can stay out there and stay healthy and keep being productive, he’s only going to get more experienced and you’re going to see him more and making more plays.”

Reed, whose first two seasons have been marred by injuries, says he feels healthier this season. 

He strained his hamstring in the preseason and he also tweaked his quad in Thursday’s practice.

Reed participated on Friday in team drills and Gruden said he was questionable for Sunday, though he seemed optimistic about his status.

“It’s a muscle so there’s always concern, but he did some good things today so we have reason for hope,” Gruden said. 

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