SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Hitting and tackling is not allowed during team drills for the San Francisco 49ers, so Eric Reid practices proper technique by driving his body through a makeshift punching bag with the other defensive backs.
Apparently, Reid still needs to hit the bag some more.
San Francisco's first-round pick made six tackles in an impressive preseason debut against the Denver Broncos last Thursday night, including a pair of highlight-reel hits. Whether Reid will be ready to start at free safety against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the regular-season opener Sept. 8 is still unclear.
For all the potent potential Reid has displayed, he's still a rookie. And the 49ers are trying to ease his transition to the NFL before making him the last line of defense.