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Eric Reid Outshines ‘Honey Badger’

Posted Oct 13, 2013

Reid finished Sunday’s 32-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals with three tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

One of the best things going for Eric Reid is how he doesn’t make repeat mistakes.

The 49ers rookie safety dropped an easy interception last week, but didn’t let history duplicate itself Sunday afternoon at Candlestick Park.

When Reid correctly recognized Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer locking on to his intended target, Reid was able break on the ball and haul in an impressive interception. This time, the rookie took the ball away and returned it 53 yards to put the 49ers offense in great position to take an early lead with a 35-yard Phil Dawson field goal.

PHOTO GALLERY: 49ERS VS. CARDINALS

“I caught it this time,” said Reid, who leads San Francisco with three interceptions on the year. "Trying to make up for last week."

Reid finished Sunday’s 32-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals with three tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Reid also did it on the same field as his well-publicized former college teammate at LSU, Tyrann Matheiu.

“I think I’ve come leaps and bounds,” Reid, the No. 18 overall pick said. “That’s a credit to our coaching staff and the veterans around me."

Matheiu recorded six tackles (two-for-loss) and a pass breakup, but was unable to create a turnover like Reid, his former college teammate. Reid was a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, while Matheiu, better known as “The Honey Badger,” slid to pick No. 69 overall in the third round.

Reid was pleased to be competing with his former teammate in the NFL. Reid also mentioned that Matheiu received a lot of media attention, but it wasn’t a problem for San Francisco’s unassuming defensive back.

Reid was asked if he was bitter about Matheiu’s non-stop publicity.

“Why would I?” Reid said. “He made amazing plays and I had a front-row seat.”

On Sunday, the fans at Candlestick Park had a prime view to watch Reid, one of the best young defensive backs in the NFL. Reid recorded the first of two interceptions on Palmer and later hopped on a Larry Fitzgerald fumble to stop Arizona's attempt to take the lead in the second half.

Reid’s ascending play bodes well for the 49ers. But his head coach wants him to keep the same humble approach that he’s relied on throughout his football career.

“Just keep coming,” Harbaugh said of Reid. “That’s what I hope for him.”

Reid continues to be mentored by veteran safety Donte Whitner. The rookie credits San Francisco’s starting strong safety for teaching him how to use his eyes on the field.

“He’s shown me how to get to the next level,” Reid said. “It’s a credit to him.”

Whitner returned the compliments back to his young teammate, pointing to Reid’s humble approach to the game of football.

“He knows the right things to do,” Whitner said. “A lot of guys come in with a sense of entitlement, but not him.

“That’s why he’s making big plays.”

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