That player is new arrival D.J. Reader, who met with media this week and revealed he spent some of the offseason training with Watt.
“He was proud of me. (He said) I deserved it. He’s always been a big fan and always hyping me up,” Reader said, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “He was just proud of me and happy. And then I got to spend the whole offseason training with him. So it’s just a great opportunity to push each other and know that I have that friendship for life. ”
Not only was Reader training with one of the NFL’s best and the guy who took him under his wing as a pro, the new runningmate for Geno Atkins says he’s cut a ton of weight to handle an increased workload, per ESPN’s Ben Baby:
DJ Reader said he cut weight 30 pounds since the end of last season. Said he just wanted to be in better shape and anticipated a bigger role in CIN
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) August 12, 2020
Bengals coaches have previously hinted at a bigger role for Reader, who played about 58 percent of the snaps last season.
An uptick given his quality of play in Houston is nothing but a good thing for a team looking for some big production alongside Geno Atkins.
From training with Watt for years to now linking up with Atkins, it’s understandable if Bengals fans feel the most hype for Reader when it comes to non-Burrow players.