I want to thank Bernard for taking the time to interview with me. He's been working hard in hopes to land on an NFL roster in 2 weeks. The thing I loved about working with Bernard is that he told me he'd get back to me about finishing our interview once he was done with his homework! I love that about this kid.
I've noticed that with the tremendous depth at the WR position this year, that Bernard's name seems to be getting passed over by many draftniks and analysts. However, this is a man that truly believes in his abilities and that his performance at the Shrine Game helped answer some of the questions about his abilities. In late 2013 and again just last week, I tweeted and Vined some video clips from Bernard's film because, among other things, I noticed two traits that truly matter in the NFL - explosiveness and speed. Bernard Reedy has both and appears to be able to get into top gear rather quickly.
While his smaller size may limit the amount of touches a head coach and offensive coordinator can dial up for Reedy in the NFL, his speed alone should land him a home at some point in the upcoming NFL Draft. Like many college players anxiously hoping to realize their dreams, he'll have to wait to see where his name is called in the Draft. I wish him all the best!
MK: Where did you grow up? And what other sports did you play?
BR: St. Petersburg, Florida. I played basketball and ran a couple 4x100 relays in track.
MK: How did you start playing football?
BR: Always been active and football so happened to be the favorite for me.
MK: What about football did you like the most?
BR: I would have to say the best thing about playing football and what I liked most was the excitement of a special play that couldn't be explained. Basically a KR or PR that takes about 13 or 14 seconds due to making people miss and turning around to go the other way.
MK: Who was you most influential coach or mentor and why?
BR: High School Running Back Coach (Brinson) because I never could be good enough.
MK: What do you mean by that?
BR: Just that no matter what I do I could have always did better. Such as if I scored 6 times in practice I should of got 7. It was special because we argued who scored the most times vs how many times they touched the ball in both practices and games!
MK: What NFL player do you remind yourself of?
BR: Steve Smith.
MK: Steve Smith was a pretty special NFL receiver. Why do you feel you have a chance to be that special in the NFL?
BR: I believe in myself enough to know that the sky is the limit and with the way I go about playing the sport with a nasty and humble mentality I'm sure I can be special. The main thing that stands out for me to compare myself to him is the nasty attitude to harass a defender all game. Meaning instead of taking the punishment I hand it out.
MK : What are the 3 biggest strengths of your game?
BR: Speed, Durability, Elusiveness
MK: Do you feel you can excel in a RB role like Darren Sproles or in a WR role like Dexter McCluster?
BR: I know I could excel in both a running and receiving role because I can do both naturally well. It's funny you asked that because McCluster has always been my "comparison twin" since I reached 9th grade.
MK: What are the 3 biggest weaknesses? How are you working to get better with these?
BR: Staying low on routes and doing excessive drills running under chutes that forces you to stay down.
MK: Talk to me about route running. How extensive of a route tree did you run at Toledo? What are some of your favorite routes that play into your strengths and what are some routes you could work on?
BR: I believe I ran every route you could possibly run on a route tree. Some of my favorites routes would have to be Post, Go, and Options because all of the can be ran so many different ways and that gives the DB hours and hours of studying film. Only one route I can sharpen up would be the curl because I used to tend to raise my shoulders before breaking down giving away the route.
MK: Have NFL teams given you anything to work on?
BR: No. Bucs receiver coach said work on eyes down the field when running routes.
MK: What does that mean for you on Sundays? What will you be looking for down field?
BR: I will be looking directly at the DB eyes so he can get any keys of what route I'm going to run. I know where I have to be, he doesn't.
MK: Does your size concern you at the next level?
BR: No. Never did, never will.
MK: What has been your fastest official / clocked 40 time and where did you run it?
BR: 4.39 at the indoor facility
MK: What was the highest vertical and broad jump you've ever posted?
BR: 39 vertical jump and 10' broad jump at our Pro Day
MK: Who are some of the best DB's you've played against? What made them to tough to beat? What did you learn from them?
BR: Bene Benwikere from San Jose State was very good at reading body language. I learned that every route has to be crisp and on point with the QB.
MK: Describe how valuable your Shrine game / week experience was?
BR: I thought it was very valuable especially with the talent that was there. Practicing in front of every team scout and the best of the best college athletes brought the best out of me.
MK: What was the highlight of that week?
BR: The highlight to me was being relaxed and breezing through the drills like I was at Toledo practicing all over again.
MK: Was there a moment that stood out for you?
BR: Yes a moment that stood out to me was when I caught a screen in practice and juked the corner to the turf and jogged back to the huddle and everybody was looking at me like 'Wow!!'
MK: Which other WR did you work closely with? What were your biggest takeaways from them?
BR: Chandler jones, helped me on the play book and staying low in routes.
MK: Staying low in routes is important, especially in and our of breaks but how strong do you feel your hand usage is to create separation vs press man?
BR: Hands definitely means a lot like the low balls you want to have pinkys together with strong hands before more times than not your going to the ground and late high hands on outside shoulder catches. And me personally man coverage was my favorite because the DB is in a Lose, lose situation regardless of the pass. Because I try to create so much separation for the qb that the catch radius is easy to just throw anywhere near me.
MK: Some scouts and draftniks worry that you drop too many passes... how do you respond to that as a player? What are you doing to get better?
BR: All I can do is fix it and catch every ball thrown my way. It never really bothered me much because I always felt I caught a high percentage of my passes and most went for TDs.
MK: Do you feel you are more than a ST returner? If that's the role you're expected to play, are you OK with that?
BR: Yes I feel like you can line me up anywhere from slot to RB, PR, KR, X and Z. I feel I can play any offensive position, I would try OL but I'm about 200 pounds short. I can play anywhere on the field. Always felt this way and don't seeing it change anytime soon.
MK: Let's put you in a situation. Take me through the plan when you're lined up against a shutdown corner like Joe Haden or Richard Sherman. How can YOU create separation against guys like that on Sunday's to get open for your QB?
BR: When you line up across from great players like that you have to have a plan before you get to the line. Meaning you know your route and you watched film to know how they are going to play YOU. Use what you watched to your advantage and execute it when the time comes an always have a plan B.
MK: Why should an NFL draft you?
BR: The NFL should draft me because I am willing to do whatever it takes to win for the team and be on the team. Not only are you getting a maniac relentless player on the field but off the field you're getting a player with a outspoken character and just wants to have fun and play the sport I love.
MK: We see a lot of discussion about character throughout the draft process. What does having "character" mean to you and how do you show it every day?
BR: Character goes a long way in my book. I practice it everyday by saying "Yes mam" and "No sir" to those who are older than I am and treat everyone with respect. Everyone has a angry side and nice side but the great ones have a switch so when it's game time I get angry and when the game over I'm "Mr. nice guy".
MK: Who would be your dream team to play for?
BR: Never had one, doesn't matter to me I just want to play
MK: What type of football player are you? Cerebral? Emotional? Instinctual, etc? In other words, how would you describe your game?
BR: My game is based off emotions. There are plays I need to be calm, smooth and relaxed to focus on the deep ball and some plays I need to be a defensive killer going to make that touchdown winning block.
MK: What makes you tick as a football player? In other words, besides the love for the sport, what drives you every day?
BR: Coming from a smaller school I like to prove it doesn't have a single affect when I play against a bigger school. And what drives me is my family smiling, and having a chance to better myself and others around me. Meaning being able to play professional football and travel and see different ways of living. And the teammates you meet are the ones you'll be close to for the rest of your life.
MK: Are you a film junkie? How much time a week do you spend watching and preparing for your opponents or watching yourself to help improve?
BR: Yes. I watch at least 10 hours of film each week.
MK: As you know, I love watching film too. What the keys ( or secrets if you want to call them that ) that you look for during your film study to help you get better? Are you watching yourself or your opponent?
BR: The keys I watch of me on film is am I giving away keys to show which route I'm running. Do I fire off the ball 100% of every deep route or 80% of every intermediate route. And when I study my opponent I look for feet placement and alignment. I can most usually tell everything by how many yards they are off or pressed.