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Morning Tailgate: Eric Reid Passes on TD Return

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Eric Reid showed his football smarts and unselfish attitude when he decided to not run back an interception for a touchdown against Tampa Bay.

Eric Reid had an opportunity to score his first NFL touchdown. The rookie, however, passed it up.

Smart play?


The 49ers were up 33-14 on the road in Tampa Bay and Reid picked off Mike Glennon with less than three minutes in the game. The rookie free safety had a convoy of blockers if he wanted to waltz into the end zone from 22 yards out, but the cerebral player wisely went to the ground.

There was no need to run up the score, according to defensive captain Patrick Willis.

“We always work on game situations, end of the half, end of the game,” the seventh-year linebacker said after the game. “Coach (Vic Fangio) always talks about be smart with the ball. Give the situation in our game he could’ve taken a chance, but Eric being the football mind that he is, I guess he was thinking get down and don’t do anything crazy.

“It was good to get that turnover at the end and seal the game.”

Reid shared his take on the play to CSNBayArea.com.

“We’re going into the end of the year, and we wanted to preserve our bodies and let’s go home,” Reid said. “We practice two-minute on Thursdays, so you know those situations in the game. We know they’re trying to score and we’re trying to keep them out of the end zone. So if we get the turnover, just go ahead and get down.

“I looked up and saw nothing but white jerseys, you kind of think about it. But at the end of the day, I think I made the right decision.”

Reid tied Tramaine Brock for the team lead with four interceptions. Reid is also tied with Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso for the NFL rookie lead.

Defensive Rookie of the Year mentions are not on the mind of Reid who told 49ers.com last week, “It’s a compliment to win that, but I’m just focused on helping this team win games. I’m sure winning a Super Bowl would be a lot better than winning Defensive Rookie of the Year."

More 49ers headlines can be found in today’s Morning Tailgate, presented by State Farm.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News charted Tarell Brown's return from injury.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee evaluated Colin Kaepernick's 2012-like performance against the Bucs.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com shared his rapid reaction to the 49ers win.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com offered the comments of former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. on the final game at Candlestick Park.

Peter King of MMQB.com looked at Week 15's memorable moments.

Joe Ferreira of CBSSports.com explained Week 16's early playoff clinch scenarios.

Andrew Pentis of 49ers.com covered Frank Gore's latest milestone.



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