Washington Football Team tight end Sammis Reyes continues to grow and feel increasingly comfortable with the NFL game as each week passes.
Reyes is the first Chilean-born player to be part of a 53-man NFL roster and is embracing a new role on special teams with coordinator Nate Kaczor. He's been active each of the last three games after tight end Logan Thomas suffered a hamstring injury in the Week 4 victory over the Falcons.
Reyes, who Washington signed after an impressive workout during the University of Florida's Pro Day, has gained increased confidence and a better understanding of the league's nuances.
"I think my overall confidence. That's the biggest thing," Reyes said of his growth. "I've played against enough defenses; I've played enough fronts. I'm really getting a feel for what it takes to play the tight end position. Whether it's outside running routes or in the trenches blocking doing the tough work. I'm very happy with where I am."
The Washington Football Team gets to work in preparation for a Week 8 matchup with the Denver Broncos. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team)
However, Reyes is ready to move beyond the tight end position and contribute in other facets of the game. Outside of the facility, the new tight end often facetimes with Kaczor to watch film and go over specific areas of special teams.
Still relatively new to the game of football, Reyes' participation on special teams offers another opportunity to further his football acumen. It doesn't matter where he is, whenever Kaczor calls, Reyes immediately answers the phone.
Those calls have been extremely beneficial for Reyes in terms of learning the details of special teams. Beginning to better understand the specificities of special teams, Reyes relishes the opportunity to contribute and is eager to make an impact on the game in any way possible.
"We always say playing special teams is a privilege, you don't take that for granted and I definitely don't take that for granted," Reyes said. "I'm giving it my all every time I'm out there whether it's punt return, punt, whatever. Like I said, it's an honor to play on special teams, I take it with great energy, power and enthusiasm."
That thirst for knowledge and continued growth during his tenure is a testament to Reyes' work-ethic. Signed by Washington April 13, he immediately dove into the playbook and is now able to process things faster. His vastly improved processing ability is an essential skill working on the special teams units, collaborating with both members of the offense and defense.
While mental preparation is important, Reyes also places a heavy focus on the physical aspect of his growth. Although he's not playing many snaps during the game, Reyes knows that remaining physically ready is vitally important. Therefore, he's often working out in the evening after games to prepare his body.
"I think if I'm not out there on the field getting the reps that everyone else is getting, I make sure when I get home on Sundays I get on the treadmill and do sprints," Reyes said. "You want to be conditioned to play the game. It doesn't matter how good you are if you can't play 20 snaps in a row, you're going to be in trouble. You need that conditioning, that lung capacity to be able to sustain it over and over again."
Moving forward, Reyes' knowledge and confidence on special teams will evolve, similar to his development at the tight-end position. Nearly seven months removed from joining Washington, Reyes' versatility is developing into an essential part of his skillset. His willingness to play multiple areas increases Reyes' value to the team and represents another example of his consistent development since arriving in Washington.
"It doesn't matter where I play, what position I'm playing," Reyes said. "I'm just trying to get out there and do the best I can every single time."