After enjoying a weekend away from football with his family, Eric Reid is back to work along with the rest of the San Francisco 49ers.
The safety has a busy week ahead of him while he acclimates himself to a new counterpart in the team's secondary. Now that strong safety Antoine Bethea has been placed on Injured Reserve, rookie Jaquiski Tartt is expected to enter the starting lineup.
Reid and Tartt played side-by-side for much of the second half last Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks following Bethea's injury in the second quarter. Reid told the media on Tuesday what Tartt should expect in his expanded role.
"Just more responsibility, making sure the secondary and the linebackers are on the same page as far as the coverage is concerned," Reid said. "He's a younger guy, but I'm still confident he can make all the calls."
Reid added that Tartt has all of the things he needs to play the position and touted the rookie's ability to lay the lumber on the playmakers of an opposing team.
On one play against the Seahawks, Tartt raced into the backfield and tackled Marshawn Lynch for a loss.
"That might be the hardest tackle to make in the league, against that guy," Reid said.
Tartt finished third on the 49ers defense with eight tackles in the game and added one more on special teams.
The biggest thing that the rookie will have to get up to speed on, Reid said, is to help quarterback the defense and make the correct calls prior to each snap.
Reid mentioned that the 49ers secondary has had a few communication problems this season and tabbed that area as one that needs improving.
"Communication is key," Reid said. "That's something we have to do a good job of."
The third-year safety and one of eight team captains pointed out the team's untimely mistakes have been their undoing through seven games.
"We have not been putting ourselves in great positions to help ourselves," Reid said. "Not to take anything away from the teams that have beaten us, but we haven't helped ourselves in those games. … In critical times, we have to make plays instead of shooting ourselves in the foot."
San Francisco's defense currently ranks 31st against the pass and 20th versus the run. No one in the locker room is shying away from the fact that there needs to be improvements in the comings weeks.
"I don't want to overreact," Reid said. "Yeah, we're 2-5, but we don't have to reinvent the wheel here. I don't think anybody needs to start a yelling fest or pointing fingers. We just have to understand the mistakes we've been making and correct them."