Many eyes have been on the San Francisco 49ers‘ defense in the first two games of this preseason given how they ended the 2012 season.
In particular, focused as been placed on the strong safety position as the play of rookie Eric Reid was to be followed for obvious reasons. Given that he is expected to take over for the departed Dashon Goldson, his play during the preseason was to be highlighted even more.
At the start of training camp, Reid was not automatically given first-team snaps as he was asked to earn his way into getting practice time in that role. Specifically, he had to compete with free agent signing Craig Dahl and C.J. Spillman. As training camp has gone on with the 49ers having already played two preseason games, it is becoming more and more clear that Reid is making a serious case for being named the starting strong safety for Week 1 of the regular season.
In his first two preseason games, Reid has made some standout plays that have done a lot to stake his claim for that starting job. In the first preseason game against the Denver Broncos, Reid delivered a Goldson-like booming hit on a receiver. Aside from the hit, Reid showed himself to be disciplined when asked to play in the box and was a sure tackler. Against the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday, Reid continued to make his case.
Reid had a pass deflection in this game, and also forced Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to throw a bad incomplete pass. Overall, Reid has shown clear progress in learning the defense run by coordinator Vic Fangio, and his play so far this preseason has reflected that so much so that Reid is closing in on winning the starting job.