The San Francisco 49ers finished off their season in Los Angeles and Eric Reid started the day with a bang with four solo tackles very quickly in the first half. He finished the day with six solo tackles, one for a loss, and a pass defended. While his future with the team in uncertain, head coach Kyle Shanahan says that Reid has been playing his best football toward the end of the season.
Reid has been with the franchise through a lot. He has been moved around to different positions and all with a positive attitude. Part of the reason is because he loves coming to work. It’s been a different mentality this season and he described it.
It’s just the people, the people on this team, the brotherhood. I know you guys probably hear that cliché a lot but I love working with these guys, I love coming to work and spending time with them and getting better.
That closeness is reflected in the emotion of the team after Marquise Goodwin left the game with a concussion.
I think we were all hurting for Marquise because we all knew he was so close to getting 1,000 yards. What did he need 20 or 30 yards? That hurt because he’s been through so much this year. For him to come out here and play, giving us his all, it just means everything to us. So for him to come up just a couple yards shy, we’re all hurting for him.
Reid’s wilingness to adapt is one of the reasons that the team could be influenced to re-sign him. Not only has he played well but he is a veteran player that is a good role model on a very young team. While Joe Staley is the longest tenured, he leads by example and doesn’t say much. Reid is more vocal and teams often need those voices.
Kyle Shanahan spoke about how he’s improved:
E Reid’s been great. He started out with real high expectations this year going into a contract year and playing in a new scheme that he had a hell of a camp doing, got hurt early in the year which was frustrating for him. Took some time to get back and when he did we had some injuries and some other people playing so we tried him at linebacker for a few weeks. Put a huge challenge on him to do the but he stepped up for it. And then when we lost Tartt and stuff we had to shuffle him back to safety and he’s gotten better each week. It’s a new scheme for him, he’s been moving around all year and this last month or so I fee like he’s been playing his best football.
ProFootballFocus also mentioned Reid as one of the standout performances of the day:
Four stops for Reid against the Rams saw him tie his season-high, set against the Seahawks in Week 2. Reid spent a lot of time playing in the flats and against a conservative Rams’ offense, especially early in the game, he had ample opportunities to boost his production. He did just that and caps of a season that afforded him more opportunity to play closer to the line of scrimmage than in recent seasons, even playing some linebacker when the 49ers were particularly thin, and as a result he finished the season with a career-high 26 stops, 9 more than the 17 he recorded in his 19-game rookie season.
While Reid is very valuable to the team, Adrian Colbert has proven to be quite a draft steal and Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward are still under contract.