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Battle of the Reid Brothers: Eric and Justin eager for first ever matchup


CHARLOTTE – Eric Reid is generally a pretty serious guy.

There's an intensity to him – a business-like approach on the field, in the weight room, etc.

But with the game against the Houston Texans and his little brother Justin on the horizon, the veteran safety was all smiles as he talked to the assembled media.

"(Justin and I) have been talking about this for a while now," said Reid, who is five years older than Justin. "I've never played with him or against him at any level. Pretty cool."

Said Justin: "This is really a special moment in my life. This is going to be something I'm going to remember forever."

From the sounds of it, Eric and Justin, who is a starting safety for the Texans in his second season, had a pretty typical sibling relationship growing up in Louisiana. As the big brother, Eric imparted some tough love.

"I always tried to toughen him up. I always was hard on him," Eric said. "But I think it worked out for him."

After Eric starred at LSU and went on to be a first-round draft choice of the 49ers, he helped Justin, who chose to attend Stanford, forge his own path in football.

"My older brother has always been a role model to me," Justin told the Texans' official website during training camp. "He really made me a lot better just because of the things that he learned when he was a kid – his mistakes, his experiences – I was able to learn from those without even having to go through them myself. So, it kind of put me ahead of the game, it really helped me with football, with him teaching me safety skills before I had to get in the games."

"That's what family does, football or not," Eric said. "Grown folks have passed on wisdom to me and I've tried to do the same for my siblings."

Table inside Article
Year Panthers Player Opponent Brother
1998 Raghib Ismail Qadry Ismail (New Orleans)
2004 Kris Jenkins Cullen Jenkins (Green Bay)
2006 Ma'ake Kemoeatu Chris Kemoeatu (Pittsburgh)
2008 Josh McCown Luke McCown (Tampa Bay)
2013, 2014 Ryan Kalil Matt Kalil (Minnesota)
2019 Eric Reid Justin Reid (Houston)

Houston selected Justin in the third round of last year's draft, and he played well as a rookie, recording three interceptions, including a 101-yard pick-six.

"I've never had a pick-six, so I guess he's beating me with that," Eric said.

This year, Justin made a game-winning play in Week 2, stopping Jaguars running Leonard Fournette on a two-point conversion attempt to secure a 13-12 win.

"It makes me proud," Eric said. "You want your family to do well. To see him do well makes me happy."

Neither Reid brother has an interception so far in 2019, but Eric has one sack, which gives him a leg up in their weekly stats contest.

"He's up on me because he got a sack last week. I felt like I should have had a sack but I got held," Justin said earlier this week. "That's another story. He's slightly ahead in our sibling competition."

Of course, the ultimate bragging rights are at stake this Sunday.

Justin said around 30 family members will be in attendance for this special Reid family reunion.

"My parents already have the split jerseys made," said Justin, who added that he's trying to convince others to wear Houston colors.

"It doesn't matter what they wear," Eric declared, "because I know who is going to win.

"He's never beaten me at anything, so we ain't starting now."