GREEN BAY, Wis. – With 10 members of the Chicago Bears running full speed downfield to tackle him, Green Bay Packers rookie receiver Jayden Reed caught the punt.
And stood there.
“The pause,” he called it.
Why? In a sport in which 4.5-second times in the 40-yard dash are commonplace, why stand still, if only for a fraction of a second, to catch a ball that travels a little more than 40 yards downfield?
“It’s really just to let everybody get on their blocks and try to bring the punt team in a little bit,” Reed explained after Thursday’s practice. “Pause them, draw them more to me so I can make my decision, whether I hit it vertical, if I hit it around the outside. I just want to freeze the punt team a little bit. That’s really my plan with that. I want to freeze them a little bit to create more space for me.”
Early in the third quarter against the Bears, Reed fielded a 42-yard punt on the right side of the field near the “0” that marks the 20-yard line. Chicago’s Travis Homer, one of the team’s best special teams players, approached from Reed’s left.
“I’ve got to win with speed at that point. Hit the edge,” Reed said.
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