HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Reid used to frequent his older brother’s house to watch NFL game film and study game preparations.
The Texans rookie safety was at Stanford then, and the visits gave him a behind-the-scenes look at the NFL life of his older brother, Eric Reid, who was thriving with the San Francisco 49ers. On Friday afternoon, Justin Reid was looking forward to calling his brother back in the Bay Area to talk about Day 1 of his own NFL journey with Houston.
Earlier this week, the NFL players union filed a non-injury grievance on behalf of Eric Reid, now a free agent after five seasons in San Francisco, including a Pro Bowl rookie season in 2013. Eric Reid has been a strong supporter of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 became the first player to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
Last week, Eric Reid filed a collusion claim similar to one filed by Kaepernick in 2017 where several league owners and executives were deposed, including Texans owner Bob McNair.
Justin Reid said he he hasn’t had a lot of time to digest his feelings on his brother’s decisions — but he supports all of them.
“I’m proud of my brother and supportive of everything he does, the same way I support all of my family members,” Justin Reid said. “If they believe what they’re doing is right, then they should do it.”
Asked to describe for NFL owners what kind of person his older brother is, Justin Reid vouched for him, emphatically.
“You should just hold a conversation with him,” Justin Reid said. “I won’t speak for Eric, I’ll let him deliver his own message. But if you held a conversation with him, then you’d really understand what he’s standing for.”
The Texans used their first draft pick on Justin Reid, selecting him 68th overall in the third round. He is expected to compete with Andre Hal at free safety next to strong safety Tyrann Mathieu, who played alongside Eric Reid at LSU.
Coach Bill O’Brien praised Justin Reid for his size, speed and smarts. Reid raised eyebrows at the NFL combine with a 40-yard dash time of 4.40 seconds, second-fastest among safeties.
“He’s a guy that’s a versatile guy who can do some different things for us, help us on special teams and obviously, help us on defense,” O’Brien said. “He just got here, so we’ll see how he does in our system.”
Reid is hoping that his experience of living vicariously through his brother over the past few years will help him adjust to the NFL. He said he feels like he’s coming into the league with the mentality of a third-year veteran. He said he watched the Texans’ most recent five games from last season and has been studying the playbook to enter camp as prepared as possible.
“I kind of have a feel for how this process goes before having even gone through it,” Reid said. “It’s still different going through it myself for the first time, but it is nice for having that rough road map and having a feel for how these things go.”