The Falcons agreed to terms with Brooks Reed, who spent four seasons in Houston after being selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2011 draft
1. Defined by Discipline: Falcons outside linebacker Brooks Reed made his way to the NFL with a work ethic fueled by discipline. His workouts and practice routines led to productive seasons in Houston, highlighted by a game-ball-worthy effort against Washington last season.
"Brooks Reed played one of the better games that I've seen an outside linebacker play," Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said after a Week 1 win over Washington. "He went out there and played a very disciplined game. (He) got great pressure on the quarterback (and) played good against the run game." Reed, who finished the game with five tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits, will be asked to do similar feats in Dan Quinn's attack-style scheme.
2. Lessons from Watt: Reed spent his first four NFL seasons playing with the NFL's absolute best, 2014 NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J Watt. Both defenders benefited from each other, and while Watt has received the well-deserved attention, Reed also was praised for his efforts in Houston, much to Watt's pleasure.
"It's well deserved," Watt said. "He's a great football player." The Falcons were equally impressed by Reed's efforts, excited to have him now in Atlanta.
3. Versatility Matters: Quinn has preached the significance of adding versatile players, and Reed fits the bill. During his time with the Texans, Reed's played a wide variety of positions, embracing the challenge at each spot. In 2014, he played middle linebacker full-time but was prepared to play outside at any given time. That very type of versatility makes Reed's spot in Atlanta all the more exciting, entering 2015.
4. Playoff Punch: Players are often defined by their performances in the postseason. Despite having just four playoff opportunities in Houston, Reed made the most of each, starting all four and recording five sacks, forcing one fumble and making 13 tackles and six assists. The Falcons are focused on returning to the playoffs and beyond; Reed's presence and skills will only help the cause.
5. Rock-Star Hair: The Falcons new linebacker has quite a reputation for not just his defensive skills but also a hairstyle that resembles a rock star.
"During my freshman year of college, when they switched me over to defense, I was like, 'I'm just going to grow out the hair,' it kind of fits that mentality, kind of like a rock star kind of a thing going on, wild man look going on," Reed said. "So, I kind of kept it and rolled with it."