Ronnie Lott on Eric Reid: “Man, now that’s a baller.”

Here is what Ronnie Lott said about Eric Reid Friday on KNBR.

LOTT: There is nothing better than watching somebody who plays your position and does it very, very well and does it like he’s been there for four, five, six years. You forget that he’s a rookie. This kid not only has played well but I love the way he does things on the football field. You don’t see him out of position. You see him always around the ball. You see him making great tackles.

People always say, “I’ve played football all these years and I can’t change the way I’m going to hit.” And yet, (Reid) made a fantastic hit, stopped a guy from getting a first down, kept his head out the way, brought his shoulder, wrapped him up and kept him inches from getting the first down. Those plays really change the profile of the game. If they get a first down right there it takes up clock, it keeps the momentum going. We don’t measure that kind of play. That got them off the field. That allowed the offense to get back on the field.

Watching Eric Reid play right now and watching how he’s going about his game and doing all the little things is what has been so impressive. I sit there and say, “Man, now that’s a baller.”

Reid currently is the fourth-highest rated free safety on Pro Football Focus behind Devin McCourty, Earl Thomas and Michael Griffin.

  1. Love the way Eric Reid has been playing. Hasn’t had a huge bust in coverage yet and that’s been key. The defense hasnt allowed many big plays this year because of it. Only area he needs to improve is open field tackling. He has missed a couple that have gone for first downs.

  2. When Ronnie speaks, people stfu and listen. Baalke chose wisely and we should be thankful Officer Hammer was dead wrong on predicting Dahl would be the 49ers starting FS…..

    1. Razor,

      That’s right, jack did predict that. I laughed at it then and told home he was wrong. I’m laughing even harder now.

      1. Jack Hammer says:
        March 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm
        “I actually like this signing. I think he will be the starter on opening day.”

        Yep I was wrong on that one, and don’t mind it one bit. One can easily make an argument that he is playing as good if not better than Goldson did last season.

      2. I’ll admit I was quite surprised Officer Hammer went all in on Dahl. The only thing I can think of that could possibly explain that type of swing and miss would be he’s related…..

  3. I must admit I thought Baalke had reached again when he traded up for Reid. But he’s definitely been worthy of the #18 pick so far. He’s not getting much national hype at the moment (in fact Tyrann Mathieu is getting more hype), but quietly he’s putting together a very strong case for DROY.

    1. wish he would win the DROY….but the rookie LB in buffalo is getting all the press……NFL app has his highlights everyweek……

    2. In his “first quarter of the season awards” column, Barnwell from Grantland mentioned Reid and Cyprien before declaring Alonso his choice.

      1. THose writers have no credibility at all. The fact that they chose Cyprien who has graded out as almost the worst safety in the league for DROY says a lot. But things change over the course of the season (obviously even mre so for a rookie) so I’m not going to criticize Cyprien yet.

    3. Reid isn’t worthy of the #18 pick so far?

      he looks like the best FS from the draft by far. That is worth the #18 when our biggest need was safety.

      You have no point. At least not a valid one.

      1. Yup, certainly helps if you can read and comprehend other people’s posts before you criticise and dismiss them out of hand. I said Reid IS worthy of the #18 pick Tim.

        So, in your words:

        ‘You have no point. At least not a valid one.’

  4. We know Justin Smith is having a poor year run blocking (-1.6 run D grade on PFF) and that’s part of the reason teams are averaging a yard per carry more to the left side than the right side against the 49ers.

    Other defenders on that side: Skuta (+0.8 run D grade), Lemonier (+1.1 run D grade), Bowman (-2.8 run D grade) and Reid (0.0 run D grade).

    Compare that to the right side: McDonald (+1.4 run D), Brooks (+4.6 run D), Willis (+1.1 run D) and Whitner (+2.2 run D).

    1. I wonder if any of Justin’s troubles in run D are because he misses Sopoaga. Sopoaga graded out very poorly last year. But he was good the year before. I wonder if his presence in the middle helped in ways that his own personal grading wouldn’t reflect. Also, I think the run D sorely misses Harelson on the edge.

      1. J Smith’s troubles in run d are due to age. He struggles to hold his ground, and this causes problems for Bowman with being able to scrape over and make the play which is a contributing factor to him also having a negative run grade.

      2. Hammer I agree that some of it has to do with age, I also think his injury from last season has something to do with it also. He’s injured this season too, and I think it’s the shoulder on the same arm that was injured last season. It’s common for us as humans to use other muscles to make up for injuries to other parts of the body. I don’t think he’s 100 percent. He’s moving nobody around. You don’t lose that much power in one offseason. He was literally lifting OT’s off the ground last season and the season before.

      3. Wear and tear. J. Smith has relied on his upper body strength to push guys back for a long time, but he doesn’t seem to have the same strength this year as he did previously. The injury last year looks like it has taken its toll.

        Maybe some of that strength will come back the further removed from the surgery he becomes, but at his age I think its time to admit he’s not going to be as dominant as he once was.

        I’m interested to see if they activate Carradine in the next few weeks, and if they do, how much time he gets on the field subbing for Smith.

    2. Seriously Grant, do you think without daddy grant you would be hired to write sports articles?

      These journalists who scour over PFF stats to try to prove or demonstrate something are laughable. Does anyone believe Smith is a measurably worse run “defender” or tackler than he was last year?

    1. And I agree with him. White guilt shouldn’t have a factor in this situation. 85 percent of natives that were polled said it isn’t offensive.
      And myself who is 1/4 Cherokee Indian from the Oklahoma tribe also doesn’t believe it’s offensive. There is absolutly zero proof whether the word was offensive or not. So Costas can shut his face and stick to NBC sports talk.

      1. Since its all about polling

        80 percent of the Republicans surveyed also expressed admiration for the leaders of the South–a cabal whose allegiance to white supremacy was most tellingly summed up by the Vice President of the Confederacy’s sentiment that its, “…foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man, that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition

        Will you like to see results of my poll that you (ninermd) are really a dumbazz?

      2. Hey – “redskin”

        In a recent survey, almost half of Mississippi Republican voters polled said interracial marriage should be illegal. Sad thing is, that’s not even very surprising.

        According to you there is zero proof whether interracial marriage is offensive or not…..right?

      3. Of course you have to be the idiot. What in the hell do elephants have to do with this? No basis as usual. Are you native? If so why don’t you say how you’re offended by the word. Or research and get the proof. Instead of posting up hillbilly votes that have absolutly nothing to do with this subject. And speaking of polls.
        Lets take a poll on trolls who were booted off this sight more than once and have begged to get back on, OR used other names just to be heard. How about we poll that? Onelame. Again white guilt isn’t necessary. So shut your pie hole and let the natives speak about it.

      4. Dumbazz loof. The point is even we agree on the 85% you claim is not offended that does not excuse calling your organization a racist name.

        Why not stop an American Indian on the road and call him a redskin and see if your polling makes sense.

        Dumb idiot.

        You showed a poll to defend a dumb point. See above again examples of dumb positions that has a favorable polling digits.

        I keep forgetting you dropped out of school. Logic in brain has been replaced by budlight.

      5. A poll that made no sense? Wow! And here I thought I put up a poll that had actual substance to the subject at hand. You’re right onelame, maybe I should have put up a poll showing results in how many Americans hate Muslims. What was I thinking?

        Onelame….. The story of when happy fingers that want to troll, go to far. A story that never ends!

      6. In 2004, the National Annenberg Election Survey did the last survey. And it was actually 90% not 85% polled. Now this was the last known poll. Polled were close to 800 natives.
        This latest movement is ONE tribe that is offended. Rey are claiming that other tribes back them but will not show proof of it. And I don’t think ONE native tribe should say whether its offensive to all. MOST native tribes are anti government, so for this tribe to allow ANY government official including our idiot president to intervene is a slap in the face to them. There are some native websites that you can research if you can prove you’re of a native tribe that can help you get some answers as to how they feel. MOST tribes don’t want to have part in American issues. Again were talking about ONE known tribe protesting the name.

      7. Ha ha ha. What a moron. Did he just quote a 2004 poll. Hey dumbazz it’s freaking 2013.

        Lol. Your lack of credibility on all issues is not surprising.

      8. And POTUS did not intervene he gave an opinion on how he feels. you are the idiot ninermd calling our president an idiot.

        Nobody in your family including you will ever achieve half of what Obama has achieved with his life.

        You dumb imbecile calling our POTUS idiot. A true joker you are.

      9. It’s not obama’s fault your dumbazz dropped out of school to drink beer.

        How dare you disrespect the POTUS.

        Low life like you should thank POTUS for leading this country instead of your rethugs.

        Can you imagine this imbecile.

      10. It’s entertaining to watch OneNiner call people idiots and defend the term “Redskins” when he was trolling the blog with the handle of Latino Heat, fully engaged in playing up the stereotypical, angel dusted and ignorant Hispanic cholo character from the barrio. I’m sure Hispanic people were very proud of that depiction and not offended at all, right ese?

  5. Sopoaga’s departure seems to have weakened the Niners’ run defense. Sope was never a penetrator, but his immense bulk & strength usually clogged the middle which enabled Willis & Bowman to do their stuff. Hopefully a big body like Dial can do the same. Aloha from Honolulu Paul.

    1. Dorsey has been a beast against the run and pretty good in the pass. He was playing better than Sop had. I believe PFF has Dorsey graded pretty high. Correct me if I’m wrong Grant?

    2. Personally, I thought Ian Williams was better than sop. Injuries/absences have more to do with defensive line issues than the loss of sop does in my opinion.

    3. Aloha Paul,
      Maui’ is my favorite place. Hey, love watching an early NFL game at 7 am and head out to breakfast about 1o am (nothing else like it!).

      Like you, I believe that Dial could be a Sop type run-stuffer because of his body-mass. Sop was one of the strongest players coming out of college and wowed scouts with his sheer strength at the NFL combine.
      If Dial can built some muscle to go with his size he might become a fixture on the D-line.

      According to Matt Barrows (Sac Bee), Dial, who is backing up T.J.Eddie, may get some playing time today.

  6. Side note: Troy Smith (remember him, the 49ers saviour at QB), has been named starter for the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL football club.

      1. If Aldon comes back this season I would be mildly surprised.

        The best for Aldon’ career and life would be for him to take full advantage of the help he’s receiving at the moment.
        My hope is for Aldon to take this season off. I would love to see the Org (although NFLPA will not allow it) make an effort to insure that Aldon does play this season.

        A full year away from the field could provide the perspective needed for Aldon to realize how fortunate and blessed he is to have the talent to play in the NFL.

    1. This season has seen the team make it in the news…Alot..
      Kap and Harbaugh in a slew of commercials..
      Brooks hitting a teamate over the head with a bottle..
      Aldon smith drama involving gun charges and dui’s
      Vance McDonald proposing to his Gf on the golden gate bridge
      Nnamdi marrying Kerry washington
      Kap and vernon posin nude
      Kap at the Espys
      Kap seen out with sanaa lathan
      Kap and Russell wilson eyebrow bet
      Looney illegal block in pre-season
      Construction Workers dying at new stadium site
      Hiring Mangini as a consultant
      Now a dr..under investigation

    1. I wonder if Reid has had a chance to spend any
      sit-down time with Lott ?
      .. and if so …
      do you suppose the advice he got from the icon ..
      was something akin to the advice CK got from
      Steve Young ?

      nah !

  7. In another Grant Cohn column he had Reid rated #8. I’m not a PFF subscriber so I’m not able to look up the actual #. Which is it?

    1. If he does start (and not simply suit up on the sidelines), the Titans are fools… But that’s their problem and our defense’s job to remind them of that. Our Smith-less pass rush is plenty formidable enough to cause a limping QB pain.

  8. Face it, Reid is better then “the guy” that left and way cheaper.

    DG would miss in coverage all the time just to get the big hit – last time I looked, giving up huge TD passes lost more games then big hits have won.

    1. Considering he’s a rookie I’d say he’s very impressive and will only get better. I won’t be surprised to see Reid add to his collection of picks tomorrow. He makes Goldson very easy to forget while also avoiding the 15 yard penalties… Great pick by Baalke.

  9. Jack,
    This is totally irrelevant to the Niners, but for some reason I thought about you while looking at this article. I remember when the Niners opened their Santa Clara facility during the 80′s, it was considered state of the art and miles ahead of any other franchise. Now I see this at the college level and it shows you just how much the sport has grown. It’s mind blowing. Phil Knight sneezes and a new training facility pops up.

    1. It’s crazy BigP. They recently did some changes to facilities at Stanford that make you shake your head. Some of these colleges have better facilities than pro teams.

  10. Dare I say that Reid’s arrival replacing Goldson has actually improved the secondary as a unit? Virtually nobody saw that coming with the expectation of rookie growing pains. Meanwhile Goldson is still blowing coverages and drawing flags & fines. I can’t wait to see how Tank plays. If he lives up to his pre-injury 1st round draft status along with VMac, Patton and Lemonier who look like they will be contributors for years to come, this will go down as one of the better drafts in a long time.

  11. Definitely Reid and Alonso are the front runners for DROY. Aldon was edged by Miller the same year Suggs won the pageantry for Justin’s DPOY. I think maybe we get a break this year and Reid gets his recognition.

      1. That was Harbaugh, but when Dial was asked about it he said it wasn’t true. Don’t have a link to that story, but think it was from Maiocco.

      2. Scooter, just read from Barrows that he’s 320lbs! That would put him as the heaviest defensive lineman on the roster. I’m anxious to see what he can do and thought he’d be the first one active due to his Saban discipleship.

      3. Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do too! Probably won’t get many snaps though.

        At 6’5″ 320lbs with long arms, he’s a guy in the long term that should offer some versatility too, not just a pure NT. In fact, with his size and length he’s probably better suited to Ray Mac’s 5-tech spot. Perfect back-up DL for the 49ers.

      4. Scooter, you’re probably right. Going to be interesting how Vic uses his rotation. Dial may just back up Eddie at the nose when Eddie spells McDonald. I don’t expect much from him, but I want to see some flashes of potential….

    1. That’s Kodi Whitfield who has NFL pedigree. He is the son of Bob Whitfield who played tackle at Stanford under Denny Green in the early 90s and then spent 10 years in the NFL, mostly with the Falcons. Stanford finally has some quality receivers. Unfortunately, Shaw doesn’t appear to have developed tight ends to replace Ertz and Toilolo. So Stanford lacks the mid-range third-down passing threat this season.

      1. I caught that on the broadcast Mood. His dad was a heck of a player.

        Stanford caught a break with Gaffney coming back after a year off playing baseball. That dude is their horse in the run game, always falling forward.

        It will be interesting to see how far they move up after so many top teams fell.

  12. I think we can put a fork in all the derogatory talk about how Clowney is just another overrated athlete. What he’s been lately is a weapon of mass destruction. If there’s a way to bring him aboard without breaking the draft bank, I would feel very good about doing it…..

  13. note to Colin Kaepernick:
    (the hot shot starting QB with the pink earphones)

    you might wanna check out some film of
    the hit taken by Johnny Manziel in the fourth quarter
    against Auburn… while running the football.
    You had a lotta fun last year, just like Manziel did,
    piling up the running yards, setting new records,
    making the defensive players look like chumps.

    Stay tuned, big fella. As Mister Football found out,
    those defensive backs and linemen and linebackers
    will catch up with you. Sooner or later, those boys
    gonna get their licks in….Pay to play, huh?

    RG III can always recommend a good orthopedic surgeon….

  14. Steve Muench of Scouts Inc: “The first thing I think about is his blindside block on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in last year’s SEC championship. His greatest strength as a player is defending the run. He’s tough to move off the ball and he has the upper-body strength to control blockers. He fits well in San Francisco’s scheme because he can line up on the inside or the outside in that scheme, plus he can help free up those talented linebackers by occupying blockers. If he stays healthy and they can get him to consistently play at a high level, he could prove to be a valuable role player. Those are big ifs based on his history and tape, though. We gave him a seventh-round grade. Injury concerns played a role and we may have moved him into the late fifth-round range if he was healthy, but they aren’t the only reason he didn’t grade out as an earlier pick. He’s not much of a threat to get to the quarterback himself and, more importantly, we had concerns about his motor.”

      1. Nasty and tough great, cheap and dirty like Suh, different dotty. Looking forward to see whet he brings tomorrow if active.

    1. Re-watched an April interview with Fangio. As usual Fang was sparse in compliments about the draft class, but spoke well of Dial. [not exact quotes but close]

      “… has some untapped pass rush ability”
      “…big strong guy”
      “… country strong”
      “…can (possibly) develop into a better player then he was in college”

      Steve Muench thinks Dial is a 7th rounder, but Baalke and Fangio clearly thought otherwise. Perhaps like with Dorsey , he can have more value within the 49ers system then other defenses that use NTs.

      I’m not expert, maybe someone can clue me in. I read 49er NTs align slightly offset the center. They tie up blockers typical of 3-4 NTs, but then tend to focus on one gap instead of two, which lets them be more aggressive. Is this true? Maybe this is why guys like Dorsey thrive in SF but are just OK elsewhere.

      1. I think Dorsey struggled vs Seattle and the Colts, but rounded out nicely since then. The 49ers sure seemed to miss him after the hammy injury last week. I think they’ll miss him Sunday too.

      2. I wrote this as a reply to a question about Nose Tackles over at NinerNation that was about Nose Tackles, NT sizes and gap schemes.

        One Gap! Two Gap Hah! Hah! Ha!

        okay, let’s talk defensive gap schemes:
        Here is a better explanation of one and two gap concepts and their evolving NFL Histories. Ode to the War Daddies

        Here’s an exert:

        Playing defensive line is all about technique (although it doesn’t hurt to be enormous and incredibly athletic). But it’s about more than just large men pushing each other around. A defensive lineman must always be in the right position. Big running plays don’t happen simply because one team wanted it more or because they knocked the other guy off the ball. It’s all about angles and leverage, along with the technical savvy that makes the difference between a stuffed run and a 50-yard touchdown. And the first question for a defensive lineman is always, Am I playing a 2-gap technique or a 1-gap technique?
        Here the article talks about the simplified 4-3 one gap scheme.

        (Jimmy) Johnson’s response (to the Wishbone Offense) was to reinvent the 4-3 defense with an almost entirely new underlying framework. Instead of telling defensive linemen to 2-gap and watching them get fooled by the option on every play, he switched entirely to a 1-gap system. Johnson simplified things for them by giving them one job and telling them to attack.

        There is also something I guess I’ll call a 1 1/2 gap scheme. Here is an explanation of it in the context of the Seahawks hybrid 4-3 with some 3-4 gap schemes:

        “Right now, the Seahawks run a primarily one-gap-and-hold 4-3,” Beekers explains. “Usually, when you hear “one-gap” 4-3, you should think of Kiffin/Tampa 2 or Wade Phillips 3-4 style, attacking relentlessly through single gaps to overwhelm the opposing offensive line. But that’s not the case for us. One-gap-and-hold sees linemen take on single gaps (and often two gaps), but not to penetrate, rather to outmuscle the offensive line and choke out any running attempts. Our defensive linemen play primarily one-gap, with only Red Bryant two-gapping every down, while Mebane and Branch play one-gap in “base” but frequently switch up so either one (but mostly Mebane) plays two gaps, depending on down and distance. This gap variation is just the start of it. The Seahawks very frequently switch personnel, lineups and gap assignments, even if they do primarily stay in a 4-3.”

        Here’s Sione Fua discussing playing Nose for Fangio at Stanford.

        “You wanted to penetrate, but not penetrate through gaps,” Fua said. “You wanted to knock your guy back and get penetration pressing your man into the backfield. We played a 3-4 hybrid where I was playing both a shaded nose (tackle) and knock guys back one way, play head up and also as a three-technique. I’ve had experience all across the line.”
        His size, however, was perfect for Fangio’s Stanford defense in which he sometimes played nose tackle in a 3-4, sometimes played defensive tackle in a 4-3, was asked to penetrate on some and held back on others. Fua said he was shooting for 33 or 34 reps of 225 lbs. on the bench press.

        Here’s Sopoaga’s comments about size and playing Nose:

        Sopoaga was listed at 330 pounds last year, but he said he played at his current weight of 320. A former rugby player in American Somoa and one of the strongest players on the team, Sopoaga doesn’t plan to bulk up if he moves back to the middle.

        “To me, 320 as a nose tackle is heavy enough,” Sopoaga said. “I’d rather be comfortable than being just a big guy. I want to chase plays, beat the guy in front of me before the quarterback can hand off the ball to the running back … I used to be that (big) guy my first four years when I played at 335 or 330. It was OK, but it was not fun. It’s fun making plays on the line of scrimmage, but it’s a greater feeling when you make plays in the backfield. That’s my thing.”

        Here’s Ricky Jean-Francois being interviewed about playing Nose Tackle:

        Last year we were a traditional 3-4 (2010 under Greg Manusky), but this year it’s a multiple look (3-4). We’re going to have some times where we look like a true one, but most of the other times we’re going to have multiple looks – shades, three ends, we’re going to have more looks than just one.

      3. It’s a good sign Purcell didn’t get called up. Vic likes what he’s seen so far. Dial wants to keep Bowman and Willis clean….

      4. allforfunnplay Fantastic! Thanks for all the quotes. Pretty much answers the main my question.

        The other part of my question was about how players fit the 49ers scheme.

        For example… when 3-4s were rare, teams could get quality NTs late in the draft. As the defense became popular, the same quality NTs had to be drafted earlier.

        If the 49ers NT position requires a (somewhat) unique skillset, maybe that’s why lower rated NTs have greater value to Fangio.

        Does Franklin, Sopoaga, RJF, Williams, Dorsey and Dial have something in common that makes them more valuable to the 49ers?

      5. It think the most basic thing you can say about what Baalke and Fangio look for in a Nose Tackle is NOT just a fat man to clog the middle. With the exception of Franklin (who was pre-Fangio) the Nose Tackles have at one time played some End.

        If you look at what the Patriots do and some of what the others do which is to mix up two gap and one gap assignments along the line. There may be some one gap read assignments as well. I think they mostly either two gap or one gap read but will sometimes simply shoot a gap depending on the defense called and the read of the offense.

        What that means to me is that the Niners value athletic big men. Guys that can stack the point, read blocks and are quick enough to penetrate when necessary. So there is no simple 2 gap 3-4 Nose Tackle who simply eats space or 3-technique gap penetrator.

        I don’t know if “lower” rated (in the draft) is where they intentionally look for their big men (unfortunately remember Kentwan Balmer…who if he had lived up to his draft scouting report would have been a perfect fit), it’s just that’s where the talent they’re looking for happens to be. 1st rounders like Vince Wilfork and Haloti Ngata would work just fine in the Niner’s defensive scheme. In the last draft, I thought Kawann Short would have been a perfect fit as he was a 2 gap NT as well as a penetrating pass rusher.

      6. Affp, right there with you on Kawann Short. I think he’d have been a good fit as he can play any position across the line. Probably better as a 3-tech and 5-tech than NT, but can play any of them. He’s looked good so far for the Panthers, subbing in as a 3-tech with Lotulelei at NT.

      7. the most glaring red flag of Short’s in the Draft was a motor that appeared to shut off at times. A Purdue fan told me that it was completely unfounded and that they absolutely abused Short on the D-line by over playing him and having him constantly take on double and triple teams (as he was Purdue’s only threat on the D-line) in hopelessly losing efforts.

        But I think the Niners were bitten by the lazy bug with Balmer (who was also supposed to be the best pass rushing defensive tackle in the draft that was big and strong enough to stack the point too). So they may have been overly cautious in regards to Short.

      8. Not sure how much Balmer played into any decision on Short, but you may be right that the 49ers were worried about his motor. But I also saw what your Purdue buddy saw. Thought that was all way overblown. Unlike Balmer, Short produced for a number of years at Purdue. Oh well, I’m hopeful Carradine ends up the better choice.

      9. I think the 49ers in general are super careful about psychological makeup after the double-burn of Balmer and Coffee. (pass rushing specialists get a pass and are expected to be bat splat crazy)

        A the Sports Analytics Conference last spring, Paraag Marathe noted that differences in intelligence and psychological makeup are far greater variables relative to gaps in physical ability.

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