PFWA awards: Eric Reid claims rookie award, veterans get All-NFL respect

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers continue to bring home postseason honors after a strong 2013 regular season. We break down the latest from the Professional Football Writers of America.

The San Francisco 49ers season has not yet come to a close, but the postseason awards are coming along. We'll find out in the coming weeks if NaVorro Bowman wins Defensive Player of the Year, but in the meantime, the All-NFL teams continue to be unveiled.

A week and a half ago, the Associated Press announced NaVorro Bowman as a first team All-Pro, and Vernon Davis, Joe Staley, Justin Smith and Ahmad Brooks as second team members. We had some discussion about that when the news first came out.

Earlier this week, the Pro Football Writers Association of America released their own All-Pro lists. They release teams for All-NFL, All-NFC and All-AFC. Joe Staley was named All-NFL, alongside Browns OT Joe Thomas. Naturally that means Staley was also All-NFC. He was joined on the conference team by Ahmad Brooks and Donte Whitner.

Earlier today, the PFWA released their All-Rookie team, and Rookie of the Year awards. Packers running back Eddie Lacy was named Rookie of the Year, and Offensive Rookie of the Year. Kiko Alonso was named Defensive Rookie of the Year. 49ers free safety Eric Reid was named at safety on the all-rookie team. He joined Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro. Both were also present at safety for the Pro Football Focus All-Rookie team.

Reid and Vaccaro were the first two safeties off the board in the 2013 NFL Draft. I don't think either team could be happier with how the rookie safeties performed. The 49ers replaced veteran Dashon Goldson, and Reid managed to outperform the veteran. While he does have plenty of room for growth, Reid showed skill in coverage and in stopping the run.

Just as important, he avoided stupid penalties, which is something Goldson has struggled with throughout his career. Goldson was assessed seven penalties this season, and dealt with fines and a suspension. Reid was not penalized a single time, and yet still managed to bring big hits throughout the season.

The only concern at this point is the concussions. He suffered two during the regular season, and acknowledged he needed to make some adjustments to keep himself safe. His acknowledgment of such a need is a pretty big deal in my mind. He is willing to learn and make adjustments. Ideally it will extend his career that much further, but at the very least, it is a sign of a certain maturity level in the young man.

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