San Francisco 49ers: Dashon Goldson

Goldson's rookie replacement shines

December, 11, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers' defense has been playing at a high level all season and a big reason for it has been the steady play of the secondary.

A key member of the group has been rookie Eric Reid. The first-round pick (the 49ers traded up from No. 31 to No. 18 in the first round to get him) has been outstanding all season. A safety out of LSU, he has been an instant starter.

Reid was drafted to replace Dashon Goldson, 29, who departed to Tampa Bay in free agency. The 49ers will see the hard-hitting Goldson on Sunday when they visit the Buccaneers.

Many league observers think the 49ers have improved by letting Goldson walk and replacing him with Reid. ESPN analyst Matt Williamson said that argument could be made, especially considering Reid's future potential.

“Reid has been extremely solid, which is a huge compliment for a rookie defensive back,” Williamson said. “(Even for) right this minute, I might rather have Reid over Goldson, but for the long term, it isn't even close to me. ... I see Reid as more solid, and for his age, quite cerebral ... but he certainly is not lacking physical abilities.”

This week's game is a good reminder for those who thought the San Francisco defense would take a step back because of the change at safety. It simply hasn't happened.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Last week, Greg Roman blamed himself for the struggles of the San Francisco 49ers' offense.

This week, after the unit slumped for a second straight game, the offensive coordinator predicted things are about to change. Even though his unit has scored just two touchdowns and accounted for 22 first downs in the past two games, Roman thinks the 49ers' offense is about to "pop."

"Well, I think it's a function really of making a few more plays, really," Roman said Friday. "You look at that game, we make one or two more plays, we win the game. The week before, we make one or two more plays, we win the game. We're always striving for improvement and we're certainly not a finished product. So, I think those opportunities are out there and the roof's going to blow off. It's going to pop. It's coming. We keep working like we're working and it will come."

The offense's next opportunity is Monday night at Washington.

In other 49ers news:
  • Kyle Williams, cut by the 49ers and claimed by the Chiefs last week, tore his ACL and is out for the season. He also tore his knee with the 49ers a year ago. The news got around the 49ers' locker room Friday that Williams, who was popular among his 49ers' teammates, was injured."It's terrible," said running back LaMichael James, who took Williams' spot as the 49ers' punt returner.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Tampa Bay safety Dashon Goldson, who is suspended this week for an illegal hit, visited the 49ers' facility Friday. He left the 49ers as a free agent this offseason. The 49ers play at Tampa Bay next month.
  • Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio admitted he wished the 49ers played the Redskins earlier in the season because quarterback Robert Griffin III continues to get better mobility as he recovers from knee surgery.
  • Fangio also said rookie defensive lineman Tank Carradine continues to work his way back from a torn ACL. He has been inactive the past two games since he was put on the 53-man roster. It sounds like he still may need a little time to adjust.
  • Roman is not worried about Adam Snyder playing for Mike Iupati at left guard. Snyder has started 83 NFL games. "He'll plug in and go," Roman said.
  • Safety Eric Reidsaid teammates were thrilled for running back Marcus Lattimore, a fellow rookie who practices for the first time Thursday. Lattimore will practice for the next three weeks, but he is not expected to play until next season. The fourth-round pick suffered a horrific knee injury at South Carolina in 2012."I'm happy for him," Reid said. "He looked good."
  • The only change in the injury report Friday was defensive tackle Justin Smith (shoulder) was limited after being out Thursday. Fangio said defensive tackle Ray McDonald (ankle) has improved since missing last week’s game but he is “pretty iffy” to play Monday. I doubt he plays Monday.

Midway point rookie review

November, 1, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- With the San Francisco 49ers' regular season half over, let’s take a look at the impact made by the rookie class:

First round: Safety Eric Reid. The 49ers traded up to take Reid at No. 18 and they have not been disappointed. Reid has stepped right in and looks like he’s been playing for five years. He rarely makes mistakes and he has shown he is a playmaker. The team does not miss Dashon Goldson, who went to Tampa Bay in free agency. Reid is a big reason why this defense is still top notch. Kudos to him for being up to task and to the 49ers for making this choice.

Second round: Tight end Vance McDonald. McDonald has just six catches, but he is playing extensively and blocking very well. I expect him to get better pretty rapidly. He's a potential impact player.

Third round: Linebacker Corey Lemonier. The Auburn product had been a gift to the 49ers. He has played a lot in the past five games with linebacker Aldon Smith in alcohol treatment. Lemonier has shown a burst as a pass-rusher and in the run game. He looks to have a bright future.

Fourth round: Receiver Quinton Patton. Patton showed promise before suffering a foot injury in Week 4. He will be part of the picture later this season and in the future.

Fifth round: Defensive tackle Quinton Dial. Dial has been active the past two games after coming back from an injury. He seems to be part of the rotational plan at nose tackle.

Sixth round: Linebacker Nick Moody. He is expected to be a key member of the special-teams units when he returns from a broken hand.

Undrafted free agents:

Long-snapper: Kevin McDermott. His battle with longtime snapper Brian Jennings was a story during the preseason. McDermott won the job partly on price tag. The move paid off. His snapping has been flawless.

Cornerback: Darryl Morris. He has developed into a key piece for a vastly improved coverage unit. He has quickly secured his place on the 53-man roster moving forward.

Note: This week, the 49ers activated defensive lineman Tank Carradine off the PUP list. He is a dynamic player who is coming off a torn ACL. He could make his presence felt down the stretch. Fourth-round pick Marcus Lattimore is making strides from a major knee injury he suffered in college. He may practice this season with an eye on 2014.

Conclusion: This looks to be a strong class after a mostly wasted 2012 draft. This class is deep with long-term potential. This is one of the deepest rosters in football, yet there are several rookies who are figuring in prominently on a 6-2 team.

Eric Reid adjusting well to NFL

October, 4, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Eric Reid has finished a quarter of his rookie season.

“Man, it’s gone by fast,” Reid said Thursday in the 49ers’ locker room. “Quick.”

But it has gone by well. The 49ers’ first-round pick has been a tremendous addition through four games. The instant starting safety has shown the game is neither too big nor too fast for him.

Reid has fit right in a strong defense. He had interceptions in his first two NFL games and he has made nearly every player has had to make in four games. Just as the team envisioned when he was drafted, Reid has suitably replaced Dashon Goldson, who went to Tampa Bay as a free agent.

If he continues to make strides (and piles up picks), the LSU product could be in the mix for the defensive rookie of the year award.

What’s Reid’s assessment of his first quarter of an NFL season?

“I’d like to think I improve every day,” Reid said. “That’s the goal. I try to. I think I have gotten better each week ... I know I have improved leaps and bounds from OTAs.”

Reid said his biggest NFL adjustment has been realizing the league changes every week.

“You have to be ready to change along with it,” Reid said. “Every week is different.”

Thus far, Reid has been up to the task.
Lost in the explosive performances on offense by Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin in the San Francisco 49ers' season-opening victory over Green Bay was an eye-popping NFL debut by safety Eric Reid.

The first-round pick from LSU was tremendous. He was all over the field and made his presence felt. If Reid continues to play this well as a rookie, the 49ers will be in good shape. Reid was drafted to replace Dashon Goldson, who went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.

It might be a stretch to say Reid could be as good as Goldson, but the 49ers weren’t missing much with him on the field. He had one interception, and another -- which saved a touchdown -- was taken away by a San Francisco penalty. Reid also had seven tackles, hitting hard and patrolling the middle of the field well.

Reid was very active. He did not seem like he was playing his first game -- a great sign. It seems Reid will get more comfortable quickly and become a key cog in an already-strong defense. ESPN analyst Matt Williamson said Reid was a rookie standout in Week 1.

“I was very impressed with Reid,” Williamson said. “He obviously has great size, was around the football a lot and really showed up quite a bit. It was a great debut.”

Draft guru Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. on Reid heading into the NFL season: “Honestly, we liked his 2011 tape better than his 2012 tape. We had some concerns about run support with regards to his angles and tackling based on his 2012 tape but we still ended up giving him an early second round grade for some of the reasons you mention. He can cover a lot of ground in coverage and it’s not just about his speed. He reads keys quickly and he has good instincts so he can get an early break on the ball. While he intercepted a respectable six passes during his college career, that’s not elite production and we felt he had the potential to develop into a ball hawk thanks in part to his long arms (33.5) and big hands (10). Finally, the run support issues are fixable flaws not so much an issue of toughness. He flashed the ability to get downhill and deliver the blow on contact.”
The San Francisco 49ers' Parys Haralson dominated against the Kansas City Chiefs' backups during a preseason game this summer. The veteran outside linebacker could presumably start for some other 3-4 teams as a contributor on early downs, but he was less important to a 49ers team featuring four 2012 Associated Press All-Pro selections, including three first-teamers.

And so the 49ers reached agreement Monday on a trade sending Haralson to the New Orleans Saints, according to reporters who saw Haralson saying goodbye to teammates before practice. The deal, not yet announced by the 49ers and for compensation that has not yet been reported, made sense for New Orleans after the team lost veteran Will Smith to a season-ending knee injury against Houston over the weekend. The Saints are implementing a base 3-4 defense under new coordinator Rob Ryan.

Trading Haralson will save the 49ers $1.3 million in cash and cap space, Brian McIntyre notes. That is more money than the 49ers wanted to pay Haralson as a backup and the same amount Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield was set to earn when his team released him earlier this offseason).

Haralson, 29, started all 16 games in 2011 before suffering a torn triceps tendon during training camp before the 2012 season. He missed the 2012 season. Haralson started between 11 and 16 games for five consecutive seasons after playing sparingly as a rookie fifth-round choice in 2006.

Haralson joins A.J. Jenkins, Delanie Walker, Dashon Goldson, Ricky Jean-Francois, Isaac Sopoaga and Alex Smith as 49ers draft choices to leave the roster this offseason. He became expendable in the team's eyes after San Francisco used a 2013 third-round choice for outside linebacker Corey Lemonier. Aldon Smith, who collected 19.5 sacks last season, replaced Haralson on passing downs in 2011 and would have started in 2012 even if Haralson had been healthy.

Haralson set a career high with eight sacks in 2008. He had two in 2011, when he played 49 percent of the snaps and played primarily at right outside linebacker in base personnel.