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The Two Sides Of Tight End Tip Reiman

Cardinals third-round pick creates off the field, but looks to wipe out opponents

Cardinals tight end Tip Reiman smiles during his press conference on Thursday.
Cardinals tight end Tip Reiman smiles during his press conference on Thursday.

Tip Reiman, devastating blocker and self-proclaimed mauler, enjoys making pottery.

And yes, the Cardinals' new tight end and one of four third-round picks understands that doesn't necessarily go together.

"I feel like the Lord has given me some awesome gifts of gentleness, kindness, patience off the field," Reiman said. "But also on the field, the physicality, the mauler, and I honor Him in flipping that switch.

"It's getting to a new level where I can flip a switch and become someone that is legal to be between the white lines."

Reiman smiled as he said it. He knows the "two sides of the coin" attract attention, and they certainly did for Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon. Listening to Reiman, he sounds like someone who has been built to Gannon's exact specifications as the perfect type of player.

The Cardinals brought in all their rookies Thursday with rookie minicamp starting Friday. There may be no more interesting candidate than Reiman, a player with only 19 receptions in each of his final two college seasons but one who brings what seems like serious potential to play alongside the blossoming Trey McBride.

He aims to be a "great hybrid" at tight end, like his hero Rob Gronkowski or his new NFC West rival, George Kittle. The blocking part – the want-to crucial for that role – seems to already be in place.

"I feel like a lot of things are nurture in life but I feel this one is nature," Reiman said. "From the day I was born my mom and dad told me stories of how aggressive and physical I was, getting kicked out of a flag football league for tackling, making any non-contact sport a contact sport. It's innately in me."

Putting him with McBride – who had 81 catches for 825 yards last season – feels like the perfect pairing for an offense that is also adding top pick Marvin Harrison Jr. at wide receiver.

"As a tight end you're required to do both, and Tip is a very talented blocker," McBride said. "He's a big guy, and it excites me that he's willing to block because some guys come in and they don't. We can be a good duo."

An athletic testing score that has been around for decades show that Reiman has the potential to be the hybrid of which he speaks -- since 1987, out of 1,199 tight ends measured, Reiman's score was ranked 10th all-time.

GM Monti Ossenfort said Reiman's testing shows smaller than his 6-foot-5, 270-pound frame, bringing with him traits that can be seen on the field if not the stat sheet.

"If you look at me as just a big white dude from the Midwest, probably a good blocker, can't really move – that's fine," Reiman said. "I have all these opportunities to prove people wrong. It's something I'm fine with.

"I like to earn stuff."

And make stuff too, apparently. Driving out from Illinois, he brought his pottery wheel, the one with which he made wedding gifts for both his older sisters. He took up the craft during the pandemic, learning through YouTube.

He has always been "artsy," a gene passed down from his mother, who as painter is "better than Bob Ross," Reiman emphasized.

For now, though, Reiman said he is better at football than pottery. He spends more time on the sport. When he's near it, you never know when the switch can be flipped, which can't be good for fragile homemade pots and dishes.

When asked about how he would measure his excitement to finally get to Tempe and start his NFL career, for instance, the mauler peeked out.

"If there's a scale," Reiman said, "I'd break it."


Rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is indeed wearing No. 18 as he had announced on social media. Linebacker BJ Ojulari, who had been wearing 18, now will wear the No. 9, and quarterback Desmond Ridder, who had been assigned 9, moves to No. 19.

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