Reed Looks to the Future

With leadership positions to fill, the nation's second-longest winning streak to defend and extend, a revenge game to open the season and a trip to the historic Rose Bowl, there are no shortage of BYU football topics to discuss. One Cougar wide receiver shared his thoughts after the first day of Spring practice.

BYU wide receiver Michael Reed will be catching passes from a new quarterback this upcoming season, but that won't change his or his team's mindset, he said after Monday's practice, the first of the Spring season.

"We just want to be a team that's known," Reed said.

But success and recognition don't come without hard work, and the Cougars are preparing for the 2007 season. Reed said things were sloppy at first during the first practice because of the adjustments to new players, such as the search for a new starting quarterback. However, he said things got better from there.

"We picked it up later in practice and I feel good about the offense, and the defense did a good job today too," Reed said.

Practices aren't only a time to work on conditioning and execution. They are also a time to step up and find out who is a leader.

"The difference [between this season and last season] is just leadership…I take it upon myself to be a leader," Reed said, adding that other players are taking it upon themselves as well.

According to Reed, the Cougars do not simply want to be well-known; they want to be a well-respected team, and one that other teams will know what they are in for whenever they face the Cougars. He said the desire to reach that point is one that the offense, defense, special teams, coaches and even trainers all have.

Gaining attention is something that is easier to achieve when playing on the national stage, and facing two Pac-10 teams, Arizona and UCLA, can certainly help that cause. Reed said the UCLA game in particular is great publicity for BYU.

"It's almost a dream to play in [the Rose Bowl]," Reed said.

But, as Reed said, the team is stressing a one-game-at-a-time philosophy, and the Cougars will first have a rematch against Arizona in the season opener.

Reed described last year's game against Arizona as a tough game that came down to the wire. He said that had BYU gotten a few calls here or there go their way, they could have won. However, he was not looking to make excuses, and said it was a case of "shoulda, woulda, coulda, but didn't." Fortunately, BYU will get a shot at redemption and revenge.

"Well, of course we want to take back that win. We're playing [Arizona] at home, and our intention is not to lose at LaVell Edwards Stadium," Reed said.

BYU will head into the upcoming Arizona game with the nation's second-longest winning streak, having won their last 10 games. That streak is second only to Boise State, which has won its last 13 games. Winning streaks and other statistics aren't the most important things, though, according to Reed.

"It's a great feeling to know those stats, but also it's a great feeling not to know those stats. That's not what we're worried about. What we're worried about is just winning," Reed said.

Reed added that statistics can get in the way if they become more important than the team. He said the team could come out and say they are going to go 13-0, but they must simply take it one game at a time and see how the season goes.

Hopefully in doing so, BYU will achieve success and gain the recognition and respect they seek. Reed said that while the Cougars respect every team they play, there is nothing they can do if those teams don't respect them back. The most recent example was when Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said BYU couldn't compete in the Pac-10.

Reed said Oregon was a good team, but in the end people saw who won. And, with a smile, he added that it's not always good to trash talk because doing so can come back to bite you.

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