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Old 05-12-2006, 08:19 AM   #1
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Default Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

Willie Reid was the Steelers? third-round draft pick after a furious finish at Florida State. In his final two games, against Virginia Tech and Penn State, Reid returned 11 punts for 290 yards and two touchdowns, and caught nine passes for 133 yards.

WILLIE REID Pittsburgh Steelers

Steel City Insider: What can you tell me about your hometown of Kathleen, Georgia?

Willie Reid: It was a small, real small town. It was like dirt roads and a stop sign. I don?t think Kathleen has a red light up in it. I grew up in a nice little country part of Georgia, where you learn about hard work and values and things of that nature. I?m a real country boy.

SCI: Did you work on a farm?

WR: No. I grew up on a nice bit of land, nothing real big but it was real country.

SCI: Did you play a lot of ball?

WR: We had a nice little neighborhood for kids. We played baseball, football, basketball growing up.

SCI: Were you the fastest one?

WR: I?ve been the fastest for a long time, up through middle school and high school.

SCI: What?s your family like?

WR: My family?s real good. Dad?s a preacher; mom?s a teacher. I have an older sister and younger brother. We?re real family oriented, so that?s a big plus.

SCI: What was it like to be a 2,000-yard rusher in high school?

WR: We had a nice little offense designed in high school. I came from a football high school. Really, there?s nothing but football where I?m from in Georgia. I was very fortunate to grow up in a football environment. I had a pretty nice little four years of high school.

SCI: What was your highlight in high school?

WR: Breaking the school record in rushing yards. James Brooks held it.

SCI: Did he come down for the celebration?

WR: Yes. He was actually down there. The night that I broke the record he was in attendance. I know he didn?t like to see it happen, but it had to be done.

SCI: Did you need the 2,000 yards to break his record?

WR: I rushed for 2,000 yards my junior year. My senior year I broke his record. He held the career record. The single-season record I broke as a junior.

SCI: What else can you tell me about high school?

WR: I just four year letterman football, basketball and ran track my senior year.

SCI: Were you a standout in basketball?

WR: I was pretty good. I was a nice little point guard.

SCI: So why did you pick Georgia?

WR: I went to Florida State.

SCI: Of course. I?m sorry. I knew better. I have Georgia in my head and was going to ask you about following in Hines Ward?s footsteps. Did you hear of Hines much while growing up in Georgia?

WR: Yes. Everybody knew about Hines and how good he was at the University of Georgia. Everybody who?s from the state knows about Hines.

SCI: Was he one of your heroes?

WR: I?ve always admired his game, but I was never really a big Georgia Bulldog fan when he was in college.

SCI: Why not?

WR: I always liked Florida football, Florida State and the Florida Gators about that time.

SCI: So why did you pick Florida State?

WR: Coach Bowden had a lot to do with it. His legacy had a lot to do with it.

SCI: How much did you like playing running back and was it difficult to move to receiver?

WR: I liked it a lot. My coach felt it was best for our team for me to move from running back to receiver, since I wasn?t gaining that much weight. I stayed around 188, 190 pounds, so I told him whatever helped the team I would do. There was no problem with me switching positions.

SCI: You sound like a dream to coach.

WR: I?m real team-oriented. I?m one of those guys who just wants to win championships, like Pittsburgh did last year. That?s one of the things I want to do is win championships.

SCI: What was the transition to receiver like?

WR: It wasn?t as difficult as I thought. It was just a whole ?nother ball game, but it was still football. You have to have the same toughness, the same mental awareness. It was just a different position. It wasn?t that bad.

SCI: Why didn?t they run many reverses with you?

WR: We didn?t run too many reverses at Florida State at the position I played. It would?ve been nice to get some, but we didn?t run too many.

SCI: Did the team run many?

WR: We ran maybe a couple of them, but it was always designed to the other side of the field. I might have had one or two my junior year.

SCI: Did you miss running the ball?

WR: Yeah, I miss it a whole lot. I still do miss it. It was something I?d been doing since I was eight years old. It was real natural to me.

SCI: Do you expect the Steelers to use you on reverses and trick plays?

WR: Yeah (laughs). They run lot of nice little trick plays. I just hope to be a part of the game plan. It?ll be a real pleasure for me to play for Pittsburgh, period.

SCI: Did you follow the Steelers down there?

WR: We used to watch them. They came on TV all the time. We always got their games and I was a big NFL fan. I like every team in the NFL. I?m just real fortunate to go to a playoff team, a championship team, like the Steelers are.

SCI: They have a young quarterback who?s pretty good, too.

WR: Really good. It?s really exciting being in Pittsburgh.

SCI: What?s your family saying about you being drafted by the Steelers?

WR: They?re really enjoying me going to Pittsburgh. It?s a good football city and I?ve always been in good football cities from here to Tallahassee and now Pittsburgh. It?s another thing I?m used to and it?s really exciting.

SCI: Were you born to play football?

WR: I wouldn?t say born to play football but it?s something I like.

SCI: What else do you like to do?

WR: I enjoy playing video games and chilling around the house. I?m more of a homebody than anything.

SCI: So you don?t go out much?

WR: I don?t go out too much, from time to time maybe, but I?m more comfortable at the house, just chillin? at the house.

SCI: Do you get up real early and work out?

WR: I tend to get up kind of early. I don?t know what it is, but it?s tough for me to sleep late. I just have to get up and do something. I?m an early type of guy, and I think that will help out a lot during two-a-days and stuff like that.

SCI: Can you give me an example of your workouts?

WR: I go to the gym and workout. I run a lot with our track team back here.

SCI: Will you be able to handle the cold weather up here?

WR: I don?t think it?ll be a problem at all. As long as they?ve got those little heaters on the sideline I?ll be straight (laughs).

SCI: What were your highlights in college?

WR: I?d say the ACC championship game and the BCS bowl game at the end.

SCI: Tell me about the championship game against Virginia Tech.

WR: It was a real good game for me, as far as going against one of the best corners, Jimmy Williams. Playing against him was a real good experience and I think I did really well. Playing against a good, hard-nosed defense and good special teams, running back a punt on them was really big. Having good field position for my team was really big for my team.

SCI: You returned one for a touchdown in the bowl game, too, so you finished strong, didn?t you?

WR: Right, I finished real strong. I think the one against Virginia Tech was 83 yards and the one against Penn State was 87, so I kind of racked up at the end a little bit. I finished pretty strong.

SCI: Did Williams cover you man to man?

WR: Yeah, he covered me man to man a lot of times, but they play a little different scheme. They had a little zone but I caught some passes on him.

SCI: Did you expect your success against Penn State?

WR: Yeah. I expect greatness out of myself. I expect to be one of the best on the field. That?s how I carry myself. That?s how I go about practicing. If you don?t expect to be one of the better players out there on the field than you?re selling yourself short. I expected to make those plays and I think I did pretty well.

SCI: It seemed like you kept Florida State in that game by yourself.

WR: It was a team effort. The ball didn?t bounce our way a couple times as far as field goals and penalties, but we bounced back and played a hard game. I?m proud of the guys who played and the coaching staff, who did a real good job of putting us in the best position, but we just didn?t execute down the stretch and got beat.

SCI: As a wide receiver, how much more work do you need?

WR: I just want to sharpen up on a lot of things as far as route-running. I think I read coverages pretty well. I need work on the route-running aspect and be a complete receiver every down, making the right blocks, small things that will make you great. Everything that Hines is about, that?s what I?m going to try to be. I?m going to try to emulate him.

SCI: Who has been your mentor?

WR: My father, Willie Sr. He taught me how to be a man and he was always there for me. A lot of guys don?t have father figures in their life and I?m just very fortunate to have mine. He really taught me a lot about the game of football and life.

SCI: Who is your role model as an athlete?

WR: The person I look up to the most was Michael Jordan. He played big in big games and just got the job done no matter what the circumstance was.

SCI: Could that describe you and the way you finished in those big games?

WR: Uh, yeah, but I don?t have those six championships.

SCI: Are you apprehensive or excited before beginning your Steelers career?

WR: I?m more excited than anything, just ready to play. I?m ready to get out there in that black and gold uniform and give it my best shot.

SCI: Do you look good in black and gold?

WR: Oh, yeah. Most definitely.

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Old 05-12-2006, 08:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

Great read, I stoked about this pick. Unlike ARE was, Reid is fearless and doesn't dance around on punt returns, he just runs fast at you and then dances.

WR: I’m more excited than anything, just ready to play. I’m ready to get out there in that black and gold uniform and give it my best shot.
Thats what I'm talkin about!!!

l The College Endzone l
~Welcome to the Steel City Santonio Holmes~
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Old 05-12-2006, 05:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

I officially love this pick now.
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Old 05-12-2006, 05:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

seems like a great guy
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Old 05-12-2006, 06:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

this goes along with Cowhers recnt philosophy of wanting players, who eat drink and sleep football. Sounds like he wants to play and not just as a special team guy either.
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Old 05-13-2006, 12:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

that was a great reid lol, can't wait to see him on special teams, and i'm almost starting to feel sorry for cedrick wilson, cause if this dude develops into a good number 3 there'll be no room for him on the roster
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Old 05-13-2006, 10:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

He's the son of a preacher man...
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

Originally Posted by BB2W
He's the son of a preacher man...
hmmm. i wonder what the odds are of that song being played during player introductions. i can see heinz rocking out to it.
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

According to an article in todays Tribune, Reid did extremely well today catching the ball and showing his speed and shiftiness. I think he is a big upgrade over El who lacked speed and danced way too much instead of just hitting the hole on his punt returns. On the few big returns El had this year it was when he immediately hit the hole and forgot his tiresome dance, dance, reverse pivot, dance and lose 3 yards. el made it very difficult on the punt return blockers as they were always having to adjust to the constant change of directions resulting in block in the back penalties, etc.

With reid hitting the designated hole I think we will be much better CONSISTENTLY in the return game and his deep speed brings a weapon El lacked as a WR. What we lose in El's great abil;ity to pass in gimmick plays we may get a better traditional WR and punt returner.
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Old 05-14-2006, 06:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Rookie snapshot: Willie Reid.....Pt.1

With a preacher for a father, I`m sure his father should be happy that a team witgh such moral values drafted their son. Great article, he sounds as if he could assume some of the El role right now.
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