Fangio on Reid: “We’ll probably start him in this game coming up and we’ll see how he does with that.”

SANTA CLARA — Vic Fangio spoke in the media tent Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the 49ers.


What’s your feeling about this depth? It seems to be developing across the board. In these first two preseason games it seems like everybody you put in will do well defensively.

“Yes, we’ve been able to develop some good depth at some places, other places not as quality as we have at some of the other places. But, we’ve had [DT] Tony Jerod-Eddie, [DT Demarcus] Dobbs, [DT Glenn] Dorsey, those guys have gone in there and done a good job up front. The four outside backers in [LB] Corey [Lemonier], [LB] Cam [Johnson], [LB] Dan [Skuta] and [LB] Parys [Haralson] have gone in and done well. [LB Michael] Wilhoite and [LB Nate] Stupar and [LB Nick] Moody have done well up front there also. So when they’ve gone in the game, they’ve played well. In the secondary, [CB] Nnamdi [Asomugha] has gone in and played well. I’m trying to think who else. You know [S] Eric [Reid]’s been playing with the second team there, he’s gone in and done well. So yeah, we’ve had some guys go in there and play pretty good these first two preseason games. We haven’t been stretched a whole lot these first two preseason games. In other words, teams haven’t been attacking us down the field a whole lot. So, sometimes the preseason games can be a little misleading.”


One of those plays where you guys were stretched a little bit, Nnamdi was matched up with Kansas City Chiefs WR Jonathan Baldwin on that particular route. How did he fair on that?

“Are you talking about the third-down play?”



“Yeah, he did well on that play. He stayed on top, had good tight coverage and got us off the field on third down, so he played that play very well.”


I think I’m thinking of an earlier one. That was the one that went out of bounds. This one was more of a post in the end zone.

“Oh, the one in the end zone? Yeah, he was in good shape there and our free safety C.J. [Spillman] was in good shape in the middle of the field. The quarterback overthrew it. But we were in pretty good position there. I think we would have had a chance to make the play if the ball was thrown better.”


How high of a priority was it to develop that depth a little bit more?

“Well, the whole goal of training camp and preseason games, which preseason games are part of training camp, is number one, to pick the right 53 players for your team and to prepare your team for the regular season. The more we get to play those guys, the more it helps us pick the right 53 for the team and the more depth we can develop will help us play a 16-game schedule because invariably a lot of them will get called upon. So, it’s been good up to this point.”


A year ago, it was tough to find anyone after Parys’ injury at outside linebacker other than the starters. This year it looks like, are five guys going to make the team at that spot?

“Well, I don’t know that. That remains to be seen what numbers will be kept exactly at every position. But, we definitely have six players that have stepped up and played good in training camp at the outside linebacker position and they’re making the decision tough for us.”


How tight has the cornerback race been? It seems like everyone’s doing well there as well.

“Well, at corner we’ll traditionally keep five, potentially keep six. I think we’ve got the three guys that have started – I’m talking about in nickel – and then we’ve had Nnamdi playing and [CB Tramaine] Brock playing and [CB] Perrish Cox has done a good job, too. We’ve got six guys there and we have the two young guys that are coming; the draft pick and the free agent. We’ve got eight guys there that are competing and we’ll be able to, I think, find a good five or six guys out of that group.”


When it comes to cornerback, do you need to look into the future as well? Are you totally interested in 2013, or do you need to start thinking about which of these guys you’re going to have in 2014 and beyond?

“Well, I think the priority is 2013, but you always have an eye for the future. So, if it’s close, then maybe the future takes over. If it’s not close, we’ve got a season to play here.”


Do you expect CB Eric Wright to figure into that picture at all?

“I have no idea. I haven’t heard. You guys know as much about that as I do to be honest with you.”


Coming off last year when he didn’t play, is Parys Haralson noticeably different for you in camp this year compared to years past?

“Not really, he’s playing about the same. I do think he’s trimmed down a little bit and it’s helped him move a little bit better on defense. But, I do think that’s contributed to his better play so far.”


Is his mindset any different?

“I don’t think so.”


You talked about S Eric Reid, just because he’s a first rounder does not mean he’s handed a starting position. How close is he to being the starter?

“He’s close. He’s close. He’s done well all camp. We’ll probably start him in this game coming up and we’ll see how he does with that.”


Can you talk a little bit more about [Parys Haralson] and how is he doing? Have you seen a new dimension in him? How has his camp been?

“I don’t see a new dimension. I just see him playing good in the style that he’s capable of playing in, which is a physical style, relentless-type player. I see the same player we had in 2011. We didn’t get him last year.”


Is CB Tramaine Brock still the guy at the nickel position, or not nickel position, the third cornerback?

“Him and Nnamdi right now are those two guys.”


Are they both, is there any separation between those two?

“I think there’s starting to become but we’ll see.”


You mentioned free agent cornerback Darryl Morris is playing pretty well. He hasn’t, I think he’s just played one defensive snap in the preseason, why is that?

“Why is that?”



“First off we’ve had, he’s the eighth corner of an eight corner group. So, it’s hard to get them all in there for significant time. I think you do a disservice to put a guy in there for four or five plays, which knocks off four or five plays from somebody else. We’d like to get him some action where he can play in double-digit plays and feel comfortable out there and get rolling. He’s done well here lately in practice so maybe we’ll be able to get him a snap, a couple snaps in these last two games.”


Can you tell us who’s leading that third cornerback battle?

“You guys can keep watching.”


If I guess it right will you tell me if I’m right?


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  1. “To be honest” from the mouth of the coach who practically invented wearing your job on your sleeve.
    For me this interview confirms my read of the quality and depth of players on defense. The defensive line and backers are solid with both quality and depth. In fact that is where the Niner’s are going to donate players to the rest of the league after the final cut.
    And I am an idiot fan who does not know what he’s talking about if any NFL coaches happen to be reading this.
    Lately it seems the depth is developing nicely in the back field though not to the level of quality of the front seven. As Fangio put it, the opponents have not been pushing the ball deep down field for the real tests of the secondary.
    Well, frankly, the D line and backers and blitzers have not given them the opportunity. And that may be because the last two presea opponents have had holes in their O line.
    Yet, my thinking so far is that this back field will give up some but this impressive front will make sure that dosn’t happen very often. A week ago I wasn’t so sure but now I am seeing something exciting lurking around the corner in this defense.

  2. Some of the wiser than I, members of this group have complained about preseason games. Am I the only one who enjoys the heck out of them. I enjoy watching the team develope. In my younger years I used to make trips up to Rocklin. Now it is watching preseason games and reading Grant’s descriptions.
    I don’t watch preseason games for the final score – that is meaningless. And I don’t watch them to see how well the first team does either. I watch them to see who will be the second teams and wannabes are doing. I want to see who makes up the rest of the team and who will be the future. That is what Fangio meant when he spoke about the value of preseason; it is about putting together “the right 53″. And with an eye to the future.

    Maybe preseason games need to be done differently to better protect the players and to speak more to what they are all about (besides making money).
    Maybe the should have no scoring; zero points at the beginning, middle and end. Maybe preseason games should be done more like scrimmages. Maybe each team gets equal time on offense and defense.
    I think the NFL could be a lot more creative about preseason games, making them characteristically unique from reg season as they should be.

    You can change it but don’t take my preseason viewing away.

  3. Looking forward to seeing what Reid can do against starters while playing with starters instead of backups. Minnesota’s style of play, ball control, play action off it would seem to fit with his strengths.

  4. There’s nothing better than “On The Field Training” to expedite the Maturation Process of a Rookie Safety.

    At this point this is a No-Brainer to go with him, is there really anybody better that stood out so far in these Pre-Season games?

    Besides there seems to be a Positive Trend the last several years where Rookies like Earl Thomas, Eric Berry & last year’s Mark Barron have all faired well as 1st Round Draft Picks.

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