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Mile High Morning: Malik Reed relishes opportunity to learn from, teach pass-rushing peers

The Lead

HENDERSON, Nev. — Malik Reed is accustomed to having a rival in Las Vegas.

Reed and the Broncos will battle the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium once a year for the foreseeable future, but Reed has been playing rivalry games in Sin City for far longer.

While at the University of Nevada, Reed and his teammates faced off annually against UNLV, and Reed recorded two sacks and a pair of wins in four years against the Rebels.

Reed was back in the greater Las Vegas area on Saturday in search of tips to build upon his eight-sack 2020 season. For Reed, having the chance to learn from teammate Von Miller and future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware was an opportunity that would've been hard to believe just a couple of years ago.

"It's good to be back in Nevada," Reed told at the fifth-annual Von Miller Pass Rush Summit. "You can feel the dryness of the area. The turf is hot, so it made me feel like I was back in college. It's amazing to be out here with so many guys — two guys with 100[-plus] career sacks — and just to soak up the knowledge and grow as a player.

"… To be able to [learn from] Von and finally get a chance to meet DeMarcus Ware and learn from them and learn how they approach the game and little things that they did throughout their careers to be successful, it's amazing. It would have been a dream if someone had told me that a few years ago."

Reed also had the opportunity to trade tips and techniques with players like the Raiders' Maxx Crosby, who posted 10 sacks as a rookie in 2019. Reed knows, though, that each player must take the advice they received at the Pass Rush Summit and mold it to fit their own game.

"Everybody's different," Reed said. "Everybody wants to do their own thing. You can only be yourself. You can pick up little things from other people, but it's just how you put your own spin on it and make it your own."

Of course, several of the young players in attendance would have done well to listen to Reed. While Miller, Crosby and former third-overall pick Solomon Thomas were all in attendance, Reed's eight sacks were the most last season by any player in attendance.

"I had a chance to talk to [New England's] Josh Uche and just tell him the little nuances of the game, because I think he's in his second year," Reed said. "I was telling him how [I improved] from Year 1 to Year 2, just little things that I've learned in pass rush. It was just little things like using your hands and getting off the ball is a transition. 

"That's something I learned Year 1 to Year 2, and I can see a world of difference between those years."

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