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#pounditWednesday, July 24, 2024

Justin Reid seemingly confirms big new role with Chiefs

Justin Reid smiling on the field

Sep 11, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid (20) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid seemingly confirmed recently that he will have a significant new role for the 2024 season.

In an appearance on the “Green Light with Chris Long” podcast, Reid suggested the Chiefs have decided to deploy him as a kickoff specialist in light of the new kickoff rules the NFL is implementing for 2024.

“The advantage for us is that if I’m doing the job, which is what we’re planning on doing, then I can fill that last gap, so it makes it a little bit easier, and nobody needs to win two gaps,” Reid said, via Garrett Podell of CBS Sports. “We’re in a great place with it. Although I know (Harrison Butker) can make some tackles, I think he’s excited to preserve himself, and we can use him where we really need him, which is those fourth-quarter situations to go nail a 60-yard field goal and win the game. It would be devastating to try and trot a guy out there who’s still nicked up from trying to make a tackle in the second quarter.”

Under the new rules, kick coverage units start at the receiving team’s 40-yard line, with the kicker back at his own 35. That means there may be situations where the kicker is the last line of defense in coverage, and it may happen much more frequently than it used to. For that reason, having a safety like Reid kicking off instead of Harrison Butker could prove beneficial in certain situations.

Not many teams will have this luxury, but the Chiefs do. Reid has been an emergency kicker in the past, so he can probably handle the job competently. That is why the Chiefs floated this possibility earlier in the offseason, and appear to be committing to it for now.

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