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SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ first meeting with the Carolina Panthers served as a learning experience for safety Eric Reid.
In the third quarter, Reid came up to make a hard hit on Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert. Reid made the tackle at the end of a 17-yard play, but it came at a price. Reid was knocked out of the game with his second concussion of the season.
Since then, Reid has made some adjustments to his tackling style.
“I paid a little more attention to a guy’s weight,” Reid said. “I think he’s around 250, 255 (pounds). So those guys I’m going to tackle lower. Small guys or receivers, I can hit a little higher. Just trying to be smarter about it.”
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio made note of how Reid had to change his approach.
“He just needs to learn who he’s tackling, the angles that are involved, the momentum that’s involved and tackle accordingly,” Fangio said. “On that particular play he (Tolbert) was rolling downhill pretty good.”
Reid was the 49ers’ sixth-leading tackler during the regular season. And in his first playoff game, he made one of the most important defensive plays when he saved a touchdown when he tripped up wide receiver Randall Cobb at the 9-yard line in the fourth quarter. The Green Bay Packers settled for a tying field goal, and the 49ers scored the winning points as time expired for a 23-20 win.