San Francisco 49ers rookie safety Adrian Colbert had several big plays in the team’s win over the Texans. He described what it was like to cover DeAndre Hopkins, citing he didn’t even know he had forced a fumble to seal the win at the end of the game. He just wanted to hit “10,” who he was trying to hit all game.
We were just in a quarters coverage, and I’d seen the screen and attacked on it like I usually do. When I see something, I go full speed, and I saw 10. I was trying to hit 10 all game and I finally got my opportunity.
Colbert finished the day with 3 solo tackles, one forced fumble and one pass break up. While those stats are very good, the timing of them is key. Colbert’s forced fumble came with 6:31 left in the game when the 49ers were only ahead by seven points. The following drive ended with a Robbie Gould field goal that sealed the win making it a two score game.
Colbert was very complimentary of Hopkins even when not mentioning him by name. (He did say D. Hop once, later in the interview)
He’s a great player. You see it on the film and you see the numbers. The guy is like somebody you kind of have to double cover. I don’t care who your cornerback is, you have to double cover the guy. He’s a great receiver, he’s always been a great receiver. He’s one of the premiere league receivers. Him and A.B. (Antonio Brown), those guys are really great players and you have to pay attention to them.
Colbert has shown himself to have been a steal in the seventh round in play and hs toughness. While he says playing with a small cast on his broken thumb has not inhibited his play much, it may have prevented him from intercepting a ball in the second half.
I was just in cloud and I saw the ball go up and D Hop was over there so I’m covering, I’m doubling him. I run, I see the ball is going deep, I turn around and I kind of tripped and it hit my damn cast. That's the end of it and I landed on my back and it kind of knocked the breath out of me. We got off the field.
Colbert added that his thumb may affect him catching the ball but hasn’t hindered his tackling abilities at all.
Colbert’s play could affect what the front office does in the offseason in regards to the safety position. Eric Reid, who will be a free agent in the offseason, isn’t guaranteed a new contract with Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt on the roster. If they move Ward back to corner, which it sounds like they didn’t want to do earlier in the season, there’s a possibility there’s room for Reid, but if not, it doesn’t seem likely.