Nick Reed Straddling the Cut Line

Nick Reed is in the middle of a heated roster battle for the fourth and final defensive end spot. The third-year pro believes he can be a contributor for the Bears this season and beyond.

It was abundantly clear there were many things LB Nick Reed would have preferred to be doing in the Halas Hall locker room other than talking to a reporter just a few days before the team's final cuts.

Reed hunkered down and listened to his iPod, hoping the recorder held a few inches from his face would just keep moving down the line of lockers. No such luck. Reed reluctantly agreed to say a few words about life on the NFL bubble.

"It's something I try not to think about since it's also something I have absolutely no control over," Reed told Bear Report.

DE Nick Reed
Scott Boehm/Getty

Reed was a seventh-round pick in 2009, selected 247th overall by the Seattle Seahawks. He is currently in a battle with undrafted rookies Mario Addison and Jake Laptad for the team's fourth and final defensive end spot. Right now, Addison is in the lead, yet the injury to Corey Wootton could create an opening through which Reed may be able to slip onto the roster.

"What am I supposed to do, give up? I don't think so," Reed said. "We've got a game coming up this Thursday night and my goal is to show the coaches exactly what I can do."

At 6-1, 247 Reed is slightly undersized for a defensive end, but the University of Oregon product thinks that he has what it takes to make it in the pros.

"I was with the Seahawks last year," Reed said. "It was all good until I had an injury that necessitated a knee scope."

Now Reed is hoping a team, preferably Chicago, will see his potential as a situational pass rusher. Tim Ruskell, Bears director of player personnel, drafted Reed when Ruskell was with Seattle. Before being injured, Reed had 17 tackles and one sack as a rookie. Chicago signed Reed to a futures contract last January.

Professional football is a fickle business and the potential that Ruskell once saw in Reed could have diminished by now. Whether he'll continue to get an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong all depends on Reed's performance against the Browns in the final preseason game.

And what if things don't work out with the Bears? Is there a Plan B?

"In this business, you always have to have a Plan B," said Reed, shaking his head and going back to his iPod.

Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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