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September 8, 2013
49ers notes: Eric Reid a big hit in NFL debut


SAN FRANCISCO - Eric Reid's most glaring weakness during Sunday's win over Green Bay: ball security.

The 49ers' rookie safety came away with his first-ever interception when he scooped up a bobbled pass late in the second quarter. But he failed to stow the ball for safekeeping when he returned to the sideline. "I don't know what I was thinking, but I wish I kept the ball," he said afterward. "I am glad I got my first one."

Reid's task this season is making 49ers forget about Dashon Goldson, the team's starting free safety for the last four seasons who signed a free-agent deal with Tampa Bay in the offseason.
Against the Packers, Reid looked an awful lot like Goldson in blasting receivers who caught passes over the middle of the field and zooming up out of the secondary to tackle a scrambling Aaron Rodgers late in the game.

Reid finished third on the 49ers with six defensive tackles, knocked away a pass and even had a stop on special teams. He also had a second interception when he wrestled away Rodgers' deep thrown to the end zone from receiver Randall Cobb. The play was wiped away because Aldon Smith was offsides at the snap, but it would have been a touchdown had Cobb caught the ball.

Cornerback Tarell Brown said there's a growing comfort level with Reid, who only started one of the team's four preseason games. "We're really excited about him and the things he can do back there and his range as far as tracking the ball and coming up and hitting and being aggressive," Brown said.

Said Reid of his debut: "It felt good. I put high expectations on myself, and that was a goal of mine to get a pick. The ultimate goal is to help the team and do my job every week."

Asomugha's busy day - Nnamdi Asomugha not only started Sunday's game in the 49ers' nickel defense, he played every defensive snap of the first half. It was a mixed outing for the new 49ers cornerback. He broke up two passes in the first half. But he also gave up a short touchdown when he was playing off coverage - not his strength - against Packers receiver Jordy Nelson and then had a critical mis-tackle on Nelson on third down late in the first half.

That miscue later was compounded by another bad tackle attempt by cornerback Perrish Cox that allowed tight end Jermichael Finley to get into the end zone and the Packers to tie the game 14-14 at halftime. "Obviously, there are some things that we need to shore up on defense," Asomugha said. "But I think we did well considering the team we were playing against. I think you always have to factor that in."

No time outs - Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers were plagued by an issue that his predecessor, Mike Singletary, and his offenses struggled with - not being able to snap the ball in time. The 49ers burned through all three timeouts in the first half, preventing them from being able to mount a scoring drive when they got the ball back late in the period. They also used all three in in the second half.

Harbaugh had to call three time outs as the play clock wound down. The issue? "That was us not getting the play in on time," Harbaugh said of the coaching staff.

Et cetera - Harbaugh became the first coach in franchise history to win his first three season openers.

* Aldon Smith was credited with 1 1/2 sacks, which puts him a half-sack ahead of his pace last season. Ray McDonald was credited with half sack on Aaron Rodgers.

* There only have been three, 10-catch, plus-200-yard receiving efforts on opening weekend in NFL history. Anquan Boldin has two of them. In addition to today's 13-catch, 208-yard effort, Boldin had 10 catches for 217 yards in his first-ever game on Sept. 7, 2003.

-- 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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