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August 19, 2013
Eric Reid likely to start Sunday; is Asomugha gaining ground?


Vic Fangio today said that first-round draft pick Eric Reid likely will make his first start at free safety Sunday against the Vikings and that there's also been some recent separation in the competition to replace injured Chris Culliver as the No. 3 cornerback.

That's been a two-man battle between Tramaine Brock and Nnamdi Asomugha. Brock got the first chance to seize the role, but it's been Asomugha who has looked good in recent practices and in Friday's game in Kansas City. Fangio would not say which cornerback had the lead, but he did compliment Asomugha earlier in the press conference when asked about a deep-ball attempt from Alex Smith to then-Chiefs wideout Jon Baldwin when Asomugha was in coverage.

"He was in good shape there and our free safety, C.J. (Spillman), was in good shape in the middle of the field and the quarterback overthrew it," Fangio said. "But we were in good position there. We had a chance to make the play if the ball were thrown better."

Fangio said the 49ers would keep five or six cornerbacks on the active roster. When asked how Eric Wright, who is on the non-football injury/illness list figures into that mix, Fangio said, "I have no idea."

Wright has yet to join the team. "You guys know as much about that as I do to be honest with you," Fangio said.

Reid, meanwhile, has played well in two preseason games and he saw some action against the Chiefs' first-string unit. Craig Dahl has been the starter until now, but Fangio said Reid "probably" would play with the first-string defense against Minnesota.

"He's close," Fangio said of Reid taking over the starting job. "He's done well all camp. We'll probably start him in this game coming up and see how he does with that."

Said Reid: "My goal every day is just to get better at something. And that's something that Nnamdi talked about today at practice: As long as you focus on getting better at one thing a day, it accumulates. And that's what I've been trying to do and hopefully that's leading me into getting a starting job."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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