Eric Reid plans to adjust his style to avoid concussions

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Eric Reid admits never thinking much about concussions, since he never had one before entering the NFL.

But now that he’s suffered two this season, the 49ers safety said he’s going to re-think his approach to some tackles.

Reid went down last week after sticking his head into Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert, a bad bet in most cases when a normal-sized safety takes on the bowling ball fullback.

“This is the NFL,” Reid said, via Matt Maiocco of “Guys are a little bit stronger and little bit bigger than what I’m used to playing, so I might have to adjust the way I play a little bit. . . .

“Knowing the type of guy you’re going against. How big he is? Or if it’s an angle tackle or going head up when you should cut him or hit him for roll tackle him.”

Reid said he should have gone lower on Tolbert, which is hard when you’re talking about a squatty 245-pounder. That might have prevented his head from taking the brunt of Tolbert’s blow.

While Reid stayed down for about 10 seconds, he said he never lost consciousness. He suffered another concussion earlier this season when he hit Seahawks wideout Sidney Rice, and also played the following week. Reid was cleared for non-contact work yesterday, and expects to play against the Saints Sunday.

Whether his change in approach makes him less aggressive as a tackler, or less effective, remains to be seen.

24 responses to “Eric Reid plans to adjust his style to avoid concussions

  1. Reid has been an outstanding replacement for the best FS in the NFL, Dashon Goldson. Sky’s the limit for him, just don’t want to see him go down Jhavid Best Lane.

  2. The problem about going low on some of these huge RB’s (and even smaller ones) is if you catch their knee to your helmet, you are almost assured a concussion as well.

  3. Obviously, Tolbert and others on both teams were very concerned for Eric Reid the day of the game.

    Some time before leaving SF, Jordan Gross asked Tugboat what happened on the play. Tolbert replied, “I dont know, man. I guess he didn’t read the scouting report.”


  4. Dashon Goldson a better FS than Earl Thomas? Not a fan of the hawks and even I can admit that’s ludicrous. Dashon makes big hits, Earl makes big interceptions.

  5. thegrigga49 says: Nov 14, 2013 1:11 PM

    Eric Reid and Alturaun Verner are the only players in the league with 3 INTs and two fumble recoveries.

    Alterraun is a better player. Reid looks good out there, but he’s not even the 3rd best safety in his own DIVISION.

  6. I had never heard that “Tugboat” nickname before – pretty sweet moniker.

    I wonder if there is a Safety in the league that has not suffered from/played through a concussion. Maybe that’s why Dashon and Troy have such big hair – more cushion = less cussion.

  7. Reid used bad tackling form, he lowered his shoulder to hit Tolbert instead of trying to wrap him up, which was what good tacklers do. Ronnie Lott has preached to defenders: See what you hit. Reid would do well to listen to the best DB ever.

  8. Wasat the stadium and you can hear the collective air taken out of the sails when we knew Reid just suffered his 2nd concussion of his young career. Concussions will be easier to get from this point on, hopefully he’ll make the appropriate changes because one more this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if they shelve him the remainder of the year.

  9. He needs to stop exposing his root of neck and shoulder to ofenses. Both of his concussions came in same fashions. He tried to tackle with right shoulder and neck which is a bad habit and can lead to be out of NFL sooner then expected.

  10. He needs to stop exposing root of his neck and shoulder to ofenses. Both of his concussions came in a same fashion. He tried to tackle with right shoulder and neck which is a bad habit and can lead to major brain or neck injury and will it force him to retire from NFL sooner then expected.

  11. I’d take Dashon Goldson over Earl Thomas all day everyday…..and you act like he don’t have picks….if I’m not mistakin, the 2 starting NFC pro bowl safeties were Goldson and Whitner…not Earl and Cam.

  12. Whether his change in approach makes him less aggressive as a tackler, or less effective, remains to be seen.


    One or two tackles that happen five yards down field instead of right in the hole vs out for multiple games with a concussion – which is more detrimental to the team?

    Playing smarter is going to be the adjustment he makes. Keeping his head up while making plays and utilizing more techniques than diving in for a big hit will keep the kid in the NFL much longer.

  13. Um actually Kiko Alonso is lock for DROY. Anywho, can’t wait to watch Beast Mode run this kid over. If he even plays….probably too scared.

  14. Why does nobody bring up Mike Tolbert driving the crown of his helmet into Eric Reid’s head on the play?

    If there is going to be a new rule shouldn’t it be enforced?

  15. Dashon barely has better numbers than Earl, LAST YEAR. 2011 Earl was better. What’s the great Dashon Goldson doing this year? Collecting fines and penalties while Earl Thomas is the leader for the DPOY while being 5 years younger.
    Dashon= 37 tackles 0 fumbles 0 ints
    Earl= 62 tackles 2 fumbles and 4 ints. End of story. Dashon got his money and went ghost.

  16. Liked Goldson minus the penalties but Earl is clearly along with the KC kid the best safeties going right now

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