Brooks takes initiative to maximize his talents

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Brooks takes initiative to maximize his talents

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SANTA CLARA -- One of the more intriguing aspects of covering a professional football player's career is being there when he gets it, the time he comes to understand exactly what is required for him to be successful at the NFL level.For some, the realization comes within the first two or three years in the league. Others take a few years more. For many, it doesn't come at all.When David Carr was with the 49ers, he told me he thought he knew how to prepare as an NFL quarterback. He believed he was doing everything necessary to be ready for a season. That realization came when he joined the New York Giants. Working with Eli Manning, Carr learned all that his position truly demanded. But by then, Carr said, it was too late. He was a seven-year veteran at the time and his starting opportunities were gone.Like Carr, Ahmad Brooks finally "got it" entering his seventh year in the league."I feel more of a professional now," Brooks said. "And once you get into the NFL you (don't) understand everything it takes to be a professional. I think I learned that over the course of years." What's unique about the 49ers outside linebacker's experience, is that his awareness came together after the best year of he career and after he signed a six year, 37 million contract extension with the team in February.Any off-field issues from early in Brooks' career have remained in the past. But he's made a few key changes over just the last few months. Gone from his diet are his favorite three-course meals home cooked by his mom. He avoided the temptation of her tasty dishes by spending his first offseason at the team facility rather than at his Virginia home. "You can get caught up in being complacent, just going home and not doing anything," Brooks said.Brooks replaced complacency with "initiative," his word, and decided to be with the teammates whom he felt were strong leaders. That included following the intense work out routines of defensive linemen Justin Smith and Ray McDonald and linebacker Tavares Gooden."I feel a lot more in shape on the field play to play just running to the ball. Feeling a little more swift out there," Brooks said.RELATED: Ahmad Brooks career stats 2011 game logs News
Brooks says his bench and squat are up from last season, as is his weight, 5 pounds to 270. But his body fat is down, to 16 percent, he estimates."The best shape of my life," Brooks said, "I dont necessarily think so, but my NFL career, yeah."Vic Fangio certainly hopes so. The defensive coordinator has made it clear he expects a big season from Brooks and believes he can bring more to the 49ers pass rush.The difference for Brooks this year, he believes he can, too.

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers already have three safeties selected within the top two rounds of the draft.

But as the organization has considered its options with the No. 2 overall pick, LSU safety Jamal Adams had been in the discussion. Adams recently visited the 49ers, where he and Eric Reid had a chance to catch up with each other.

Reid’s final season at LSU was 2013. The 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 18 overall pick. The 49ers drafted Jimmie Ward at the end of the first round in 2014, and Jaquiski Tartt was a second-round pick in 2015.

In the past 25 years, only two safeties -- Eric Berry (2010) and Sean Taylor (2004) – have been selected in the top five. Both were chosen with the No. 5 overall selection. Adams has a chance to go as early as No. 2 overall.

“I’m excited to see where he ends up. He could end up here. You know what I’m saying?” Reid said on Wednesday at the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp.

“He’s the best one in the draft. Someone will be very happy to have him, I’m sure.”

Adams (5 foot 11 ¾, 214 pounds) is considered more of a box safety. He recorded five interceptions in his 36-game college career, but Reid said he believes Adams can also play free safety.

“No doubt,” Reid said. “The kid can do it all. That’s why they got him projected to go where he is. I believe he could.”

In the 49ers’ new defense, which is based on Seattle’s scheme, Ward is getting a long look at free safety in the team’s minicamp. Ward started at cornerback last season.

After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid has one interception over the past two seasons. He played 10 games last season before sustaining a season-ending with a torn biceps.

Reid said he is learning a new position but he believes playing closer to the line of scrimmage suits him. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season as he plays this year with a salary of $5.676 million on the fifth-year option.

“I’m used to being on the back end,” Reid said. “I’m used to dealing with a lot more space. So, really, it’s the run game. And the run fits, knowing the gap schemes, the run (stunts) and knowing where the D-linemen are going to fit and filling the holes. That’s been the biggest difference for me.

“I like it. I’m a bigger safety in this league, so I think it’ll work for me.”

And what if the 49ers select Adams on Thursday evening?

”That’ll be interesting,” Reid said. “We’d have to battle it out. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”