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Ex-Wildcat Reed prepares in Tucson as he waits out NFL lockout

Brooks Reed can't show the Texans his on-field moves until the lockout is over. Photo by Mark Evans, TucsonCitizen.com

Former Arizona Wildcats defensive end Brooks Reed says he “kind of feels like a hamster.”

We assume that has to do with the whole thing of running in a wheel and never getting anywhere.

Reed, a second-round pick of the Houston Texans as an outside linebacker, is still in Tucson. He’s not getting anywhere. The NFL lockout prevents him from having contact with the coaches, prevents him from getting the playbook, prevents him from working out at the team’s facilities.

So, he’s working out in Tucson, doing the best he can to get ready, until the NFL labor situation is resolved.

Getting ready means working extra on his conditioning to deal with Houston’s strength-sapping humidity and leaning on the knowledge of former Arizona defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who was a rookie with the Texans last season.

“I have a few DVDs of games that Earl gave me,” Reed said after a Monday workout. “And Wade Phillips is there; he ran the Cowboys defense. We have some of their film, so I will be watching some of that.”

Phillips is Houston’s new defensive coordinator, switching the Texans from a 4-3 front to a 3-4, which created a need for an outside linebacker. That’s why Reed said he had a hunch Houston would take him when he was available with the 42nd overall pick of the draft.

“It was pretty overwhelming,” Reed said.

“I was up at Frog & Firkin, and every local news station was there, and ESPN cameras. As soon as it happened, they all wanted an interview at the same time, and it like, dang, I can’t even sit down and think about what happened.”

Houston is moving defensive end Mario Williams to the weak-side linebacker spot as a pass rusher. Reed will be competing for playing time on the strong side.

“I’m just working out trying to get in the best possible shape for camp,” Reed said. “It will be a learning curve for me because I will have less time to learn the playbook, and they’re expecting me to compete for that starting job.”

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