Dec 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers free safety Eric Reid (35) intercepts the ball during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. San Francisco 49ers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 33-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers: Secondary Concerns In 2014


The Super Bowl is mere hours away and it’s hard not seeing the San Francisco 49ers playing for the title.  As fans, we’re in one part limbo, one part purgatory. It’s not all that long until the preliminary part of the next season starts up, but it still stings seeing other teams play.  One thing there is no shortage of is postseason analysis and speculation. With that in mind, let’s delve into a pretty interesting topic for the San Francisco 49ers; the secondary.

Should we worry about the San Francisco 49ers Secondary?

Let’s look at it by position and see how things stack up.


When the San Francisco 49ers lost Chris Culliver to injury, I expected the secondary to take a fairly large hit.  Culliver had been playing surprisingly well as last season wound down and I had been hoping for a good offseason progression and that a weak spot for the team would morph into, at worst, less of a liability and at best a strength.  It turned out I managed to get one of my wishes. Corner play improved from last season into what I would consider less of a liability. Carlos Rogers wasn’t as good as he’s been, but he clearly deserved to be a starter.  Tramaine Brock seems destined to be the next man up, and was arguably the best corner on the team. There were lapses in coverage, certainly, but as a whole the unit made strides.  There is solid (if not spectacular) play available from the starters and the backups slot in nicely when needed.  Once Culliver returns, and post-draft, I’m hopeful there will be even more improvements as the defense continues to mature.


If you had asked me before the season started, if I thought the two safety spots would end up being some of the best played by a 49er, I would have laughed at you.  Sure I nearly had a front row seat for Eric Reid’s play at LSU (I live in SEC country, and was excited when he was drafted), and knew that he was a very good player in a very good defense, but I would never have expected the monster season the rookie had.  I had suspected the hard hitting young man would be a suitable replacement for Dashon Goldson in a season or two, but never expected improved play over him from game one.  That, combined with a third solid season from safety Donte Whitner, the tandem made a very good team in Vic Fangio’s defense.  Wrapping him back up this offseason in free agency seems like a no-brainer. Replacing him with a rookie would take a leader out of the locker room, and break up a good thing.

Future’s So Bright

Crack out the sunglasses fellow fans, it looks like another year with Fangio and another year of rookies could unlock some serious skills in the 49ers secondary.  The chemistry, and the players, should only improve with the coming offseason.

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Tags: San Francisco 49ers

  • loverpoint

    The only thing promising is if the 49ers make the right FA signings and Draft picks. During the Draft they are going to be faced with the decision of maybe moving up to draft a desirable DB and that decision will only come into play after Free Agency.

    Do they really want to bring Whitner back ? The guy is a liability, the refs are looking to throw a flag on him every tackle he makes, plus the fact that he is very poor in coverage skills, this is something that was known when they signed him as a free agent.

    You are right about Brock, he is arguably the best, let me stress arguably. The guy loves breaking on balls in which the WR is running short routes, this requires a pass rush to force the opposing QB to throw short routes. His coverage skills diminish when the WR gets 10 yards down field, plus he is not a sure or physical tackler .

    Culliver has great physical abilities. The weak part of his game is the mental aspect.

    There is a very real possibility that anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 of their starting secondary will be gone from 2013.