Justin Reid: Chiefs Eye Kicking Role to Boost My Career Longevity

Chiefs innovate with Reid's new special teams strategy

by Zain ul Abedin
Justin Reid: Chiefs Eye Kicking Role to Boost My Career Longevity
© Chris Unger/Getty Images

A possible new development that can alter his career, Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid has declared his intention to replace Harrison Butker as the Chiefs kicker for kickoffs. This decision, analyzed on Chris Long’s Green Light Podcast, places Reid not only as a defensive lineman but as one of the special team players who could play a significant role in extending his NFL career.

The reason behind this rather untraditional approach lies in the new NFL kickoff rule, which is expected to raise both the number and length of returned plays. This change suggests that kickers will end up in tackling positions more frequently.

To this end, the Chiefs are already thinking of using Reid’s defensive prowess on kickoffs. He had already shown this versatility by performing this dual role when Butker was unavailable due to an injury he sustained.

Strategic Role Shift

Reid explained the tactical advantage of his potential new role: "If I’m handling kickoffs, I can actively engage in the final phase of the play. This not only simplifies our strategy - eliminating the need for one player to cover two gaps - but also enhances our on-field dynamics during critical returns." It also appears to be a health-related move to ensure Butker’s well-being and utilise his skills more on field goals.

"We’re in a great place with this decision," Reid remarked. The kicker Butker, who executes critical field goals here, seems to be on board with proper diet and fitness for those game-deciding moments in the fourth quarter.

"It’s crucial to have him fully prepared and uninjured, especially when the game hangs on a long field goal," Reid said. This role expansion is not just a strategic shift, but a promotional promotion for Reid, who believes this can add years to his NFL career.

He also said he was eager about how long this position could last him and even said that after becoming a starting safety, he could turn to a third-string safety/kickoff guy.