Vic Fangio made it clear, no starting jobs will be handed out on the 49ers defense.
That's especially important in regards to rookie safety Eric Reid, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Fangio, San Francisco's respected defensive coordinator, reiterated that even the team's sack leader had to earn his spot as a rookie, too.
[PHOTOS: Training Camp - July 26]
"If you look back to when we drafted Aldon Smith, who was the seventh pick in the draft, he didn't start as a nickel rusher until after the last preseason game, which is when he actually went out and won that job," Fangio told reporters on Friday.
"Nothing was given to Aldon that year and nothing is going to be given to Eric this year.
"He's got to go out and earn it."
Veteran Craig Dahl took first-team reps at free safety to open training camp. Reid lined up with the second-team.
There are also two more safeties in play for the starting role vacated by Dashon Goldson, who signed with Tampa Bay in free agency. Fangio called out C.J. Spillman and Trenton Robinson as candidates to start in 2013.
"Right now, it's a battle," Fangio said. "It'll sort itself out. One good thing about training camp is we get a lot of reps. Everybody will get a lot of work."
On Friday, Reid again lined up with the second-team defense.
Training Camp Notes
-Practice began with a hearty yell from running back Anthony Dixon. "Yeah!" the fourth-year pro said as he buckled up his chin strap.
-Rookie wideout Quinton Patton remained in a blue non-contact jersey for a second consecutive day.
-Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk was at the practice session to give home viewers a live look at practice on NFL Network. Faulk razzed cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha during the opening period of the session and the shared a quick embrace before the veteran cornerback trotted off to begin the day.
-Meanwhile, Anquan Boldin and Jim Harbaugh spoke for a few minutes during the opening special teams period.
-Kick return drills saw LaMichael James, Perrish Cox and B.J. Daniels all take turns fielding kicks.
-Wide receivers and quarterbacks worked on deep balls, especially double moves during the opening individual period. Kyle Williams and Ricardo Lockette both stood out as two of the fastest of the bunch.
-Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore rehabbed together on the adjacent practice field. Both running backs were nearly sprinting full speed.
-Scott Tolzien made a perfect throw to Kassin Osgood, placing it perfectly on his back shoulder. Osgood turned to make the catch on the 15-yard pass play.
-Running back Jewel Hampton showed his agility, cutting back after making a catch out of the backfield as he avoided Patrick Willis.
-Frank Gore rotated with several of the running backs throughout the day, but made the most of his repititions. Gore followed great blocks from Daniel Kilgore and Adam Snyder, getting into the second level of the 49ers defense.
-Cam Johnson displayed good coverage skills, knocking down a pass for Bruce Miller as he raced down the left sideline.
-Wide receiver Marlon Moore provided the highlight of the day as practice was winding down. Colt McCoy found Moore in the black left corner of the end zone and the receiver leaped up between Cox and C.J. Spillman to make the tough grab. Moore celebrated the nice grab with a spike.