Eric Reid moved to strong safety for several reasons, the least of which is not his aggressive style of play. He swarms the ball and he hits hard — very hard. But in going over the roster one more time before Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, I realized I had very little idea of what Reid did or did not accomplish against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.
That in itself is pretty concerning.
Reid is a playmaker, a safety the San Francisco 49ers need to make big hits, force fumbles, secure interceptions and everything in between. He should flourish at strong safety, but a rather pedestrian performance from him was overshadowed by the poor tackling from Jaquiski Tartt vs. the Panthers.
After watching some more film, I did notice Reid struggling some. He took a poor angle on one Newton run and there was another poor angle/missed tackle that resulted in a Panthers touchdown. Before things got to Reid, other players failed and took the blame, but as the safety, Reid is the last line of defense.
It wasn’t a terrible game and it wasn’t a great game. We didn’t hear his name called often and typically, that’s a net positive for a safety. But the 49ers need more out of Reid going forward, especially when so much has been said about the strength of Seattle’s safeties and how they’ve built their defense on the back of that.
The way I see it, the 49ers are trying to emulate the Seahawks, who were trying to emulate the 49ers, who were trying to emulate ... somebody else, I think. Strong safety play is nothing new for the 49ers, but they definitely didn’t have it against the Panthers.
They’ll need it against the Seahawks.