SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - It's taken Eric Reid only half his rookie season to become a key component of one of the NFL's best defenses.
Both he and the San Francisco 49ers feel his best is yet to come during the second half.
The team's first-round draft pick has been both effective and productive after stepping up to fill one of the biggest voids in San Francisco's starting lineup. The 49ers haven't much missed free safety Dashon Goldson this season mainly because of the way Reid has performed in his place.
But he's still only getting started. Reid expects to get challenged every week by NFL quarterbacks, and this week's test will come from the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton, who like the 49ers enter Sunday's game on a roll.