San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid was very complimentary of Jimmy Garoppolo after the win over the Jaguars. He spoke about how when the ball is in Garoppolo’s hands, he eats the clock and the team puts points on the board. Reid said succintly, ”Man, that kid can play some ball. I’m glad he’s on our side.”
With wins comes energy from the fans, and excitement in the building. Reid explained, “We know we’re not going to the playoffs but we know we’re working toward something. It makes it exciting to come to work.” It has the team looking forward to next year.
Reid flew around the field on Sunday knowing it was going to be a battle. The defense held the number one rushing team to 92 yards on the ground because they were prepared for it.
We knew we had to be physical. They are the number one rushing team in the NFL. That’s their style of play. We knew we had to match that. I think we did a good job doing that.
Defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley had also prepared his position group to be ready to make turnovers. While Blake Bortles did have some success through the air with 382 yards, he also threw three interceptions. Reid shared that winning the turnover battle has been a focus. With Garoppolo helping the team win the time of possession battle, getting the ball in his hands is all they need to do. The defense was only on the field for 10 plays in the first quarter.
Reid recognized that there have been some struggles in the secondary, when asked about Dontae Johnson in particular. Reid explained that receivers get paid too and that there are no corners in the league who can completely shut one down. He also mentioned that he, as well as the rest of the defense, has to help, generating more of a pass rush and lift one another up. He did also joke that Johnson owes him some props for helping force the pick six.
While Reid is enjoying the wins, he hasn’t overlooked the challenge coming up in Los Angeles. He said the goal is to finish strong heading into next season. Whether he will be in Santa Clara in 2018 to keep the momentum going is still, however, in question. He didn’t make any bold Super Bowl predictions as Carlos Hyde had teased about but did sound positive when asked about the team’s recent wining streak.
We might be the best team that’s not in the playoffs. I look forward to next year.