Perhaps no Charger ended the 2016 season in more impressive fashion than Trovon Reed, who nabbed a pair of clutch red zone picks over the final four weeks of the season.
In fact, his strong finish caused General Manager Tom Telesco earlier this offseason to name him the under the radar Charger he was most looking forward to seeing back on the field.
"The first one that comes to my mind is Trovon Reed," the GM said at the time. "What he did in such a short period of time was impressive. He played really good football for us, and I'm looking forward to seeing if he can build on that for this next year."
The 6-0, 191-pounder spent time on three practice squads (Rams, Dolphins and Seahawks) before joining the Bolts' in late October. One month later, he was promoted to the active roster, appearing in six games down the stretch. He contributed mainly on special teams his first two weeks before seeing extended action on defense, including one start, over the final month.
It's crazy to think that he was able to do what he did last year without really knowing how to play the position.
At least, that's how Reed put it as the former Auburn wide receiver maintains he is still a work in progress. He insists he's been able to get by on pure athletic ability and instincts up to this point. Now that he is really beginning to learn the position, Reed predicts a "scary" season in 2017.
"I'm telling you, it's honestly going to be scary because now I can actually sit down and learn how to play corner," he said. "With that experience (last year) and now time this offseason with the team, it's going to be real scary. I have big expectations for myself. I'm looking forward to it. I was still learning it last year when I was out there. I only played corner one year in college, and I didn't have time to learn it really in the NFL. Everything was so rushed my first couple years. Everybody (else) knew how to play corner, so when coaches were talking they were (explaining it to the group) as if I already knew what they were talking about. But I didn't. It was hard. But I've learned it over the last couple years, and I've really learned it being around Casey Hayward, Jason Verrett and those guys. I'm learning the right techniques. I'm telling you, it's going to be scary!"
Reed understands that his name isn't mentioned in the same breath as Hayward and Verrett, who each made the Pro Bowl over the past two seasons. His goal is to make that happen, and in true Trovon Reed fashion, is certain he can do just that.
"I am going to bring it. My name is going to be just like those guys. I'm not being cocky. I'm just confident. I've been cut five times. I don't ever want that feeling again. There is nothing like going home to your family after you've gotten cut. You're mad. You're grumpy at everybody, and they didn't do anything to you! So I don't ever want that feeling again. I don't want to treat anyone like that again. So I am going out there with pure confidence, put my head down ready to play some hardnosed football. (The NFL) is going to notice me."
The fact they didn't when he was eligible in the draft two years ago motivates him to this day.
"There are 32 teams that passed on me over and over and over again," he said. "I have a huge chip on my shoulder. They all overlooked me. But it's cool. God works in mysterious ways. I'm here now, and all those teams are going to have to deal with me."
While Reed made his presence felt late in the year, he focuses more on his shortcomings than successes. If anything, he relives the plays he left on the field most of all.
"I was happy with my performance overall, but there was more I should have done. I caught two picks, but I should have had five or six. I'm looking at the bigger picture. Yeah, those two picks were good and I'm thankful for them, but I should have done more for this team. I'm coming out here determined to be a better me. I left some plays on the field last year. I'm looking forward to making those plays for this team this season because they believed in me. If coach asks me to run through a wall, I'm going to run right through that wall. Whatever he needs me to do, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability."
Presenting your 2017 Los Angeles Chargers.