Earlier this afternoon, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio announced that Eric Reid was going to be the team's free safety heading into the 2013 season. Player availability was immediately after Fangio's press conference, and Reid had a chance to discuss the news.
According to Reid, he learned of the job just then when the media mentioned it to him. Shortly after, Fangio walked through the locker room and they had this exchange:
Rookie S Eric Reid to #49ers DC Vic Fangio in locker rm after being named starter: "What's up, Coach? I heard the news." Fangio: "You knew."— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) August 27, 2013
Maybe Reid was sand-bagging the media a little bit, but either way, it's good news for the 49ers. The team appears happy with their first round pick, and he is ready to take up the challenge of facing some seriously high powered passing attacks.
Donte Whitner has been a key part of Reid's development, and it sounds like he has taken to the leadership role. In BASG's article on Reid's ascension to the starting role, he had an interesting comment from Donte Whitner about challenging Reid from day one. He challenged him to be in there early, working out, and Reid was there.
Reid was asked how much help Whitner has provided:
Oh, a ton. When I'm on the field with him it's very easy because he knows what he's doing. Sometime he tells me, "You make all of the calls in this period," just to see where I'm at with it. If he sees that I'm confused, he'll help me out. We just communicate.
The 49ers will have their share of growing pains with a rookie in the secondary. Yet, given his apparent athleticism, work ethic and intelligence, there was no point in waiting to get him in the starting lineup. I understand making him earn it in camp, but for Week 1 of the regular season, the 49ers had to get Reid out there and challenge him against the best. It's safe to say facing Aaron Rodgers in Week 1 is a nice challenge to get things started.
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