How about this for role reversal? Safety Tashaun Gipson, who has played 98 games in the NFL, picks the brain of 22-year-old Justin Reid, who has played all 16 career games for the Houston Texans.
The free agent, who signed a three-year contract to come over from the Jacksonville Jaguars, spoke with the media Tuesday during the club’s offseason workouts at NRG Stadium and praised the former 2018 third-round pick from Stanford.
“Oh man, the first thing that you realize is that he’s definitely a smart guy,” said Gipson. “I sit next to him in the meetings and I try to pick his brain. Other people had said he’s almost too smart. He’s a guy who knows everything.”
Gipson learned that Reid, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, was an intelligent safety when he tried to stump him after coming to the Texans.
“There hasn’t been a question yet — and I’ve asked him a lot of questions — he hasn’t not had the answer to one question,” Gipson said. “For a guy being that young — I don’t think he’s even 23 yet — so, for him being this young and understanding the game, that’s the biggest part about it.”
Gipson admits that when he was first in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns from 2012-2015 that he just wanted to play football and out-athlete the player across from him. It worked to the tune of a Pro Bowl selection in 2014 and leading the NFL with 158 interception return yards on six picks. It wasn’t until later that he added the mental component.
For Reid, he has already added the mental side of the game to his skill.
Said Gipson: “That’s one of the things that they told me. They said, ‘Hey, the one thing you have to realize with him is he might be too smart.’ I don’t think I’ve ever heard that about a football player. That’s awesome. You realize that. Just being able to pair with a guy like him, obviously the athleticism is there, the talent is there.”
Gipson was also impressed with Reid’s rookie year, which he called “one of the more underrated seasons” in 2018. The former Cardinal recorded 88 combined tackles, three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, deflected 10 passes, forced a fumble, and recovered two others.
“You combine that with the mental skill set, I think that him and I will mesh well,” said Gipson. “Our skill set is similar and I’m excited to pair up with him.”