Kyle Shanahan, 49ers were ‘sick’ to lose D.J. Reed to Seahawks


The Seahawks defense has made remarkable strides this season. The group that began the season as a massive liability is now one of Seattle’s strengths. A month-and-a-half run of stellar play was highlighted by holding the Rams to just nine points in Week 16.

Next up for Seattle is the 49ers in the regular-season finale. San Francisco’s head coach Kyle Shanahan shared his evaluation of the Seahawks turnaround defensively.

“Having Jamal (Adams) back is huge,” Shanahan said on Wednesday via conference call with Seattle media. “Having one of the best safeties in the league makes a huge difference. Having Carlos (Dunlap) there helps a ton, too, with what he’s done over his career and how they’re using him.

“Getting D.J. Reed out there, he’s playing at a very good level. You can tell they’re all playing with confidence. They’re moving fast and doing what they’ve always done – looking like a Seattle defense. They’re playing really well right now, which is the perfect time for them with where they’re at heading to the playoffs.”

Shanahan mentioning Reed is notable. That’s because the only reason Seattle has Reed is because San Francisco waived him back in August. Reed was on the Non-Football Injury List and the 49ers hoped he'd clear waivers in order to put him on Injured Reserve. That didn't happen, of course, as the Seahawks claimed him and have reaped the rewards since.

“D.J. made us sick to lose,” Shanahan said. “He had an offseason injury where he tore his pec. We had an unprecedented number of guys at that time who were on PUP. We couldn’t have more with the roster rules and how many we had to have down. We didn’t know if he was going to be able to come back during the year from it.


“There were a lot of decisions that went into it. We were hoping we wouldn’t lose him. Obviously, Seattle took him, and they got a great player because of it. He’s a guy I really like a lot, as a person and a player. That’s something I wish we could have had back.”

That regret is understandable given how well Reed has played this season. Reed ended up returning on Nov. 1 to play his former team in Week 8 and promptly intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo.

In nine games with the Seahawks, Reed has started and performed well at nickel, left corner, and right corner. He has 57 total tackles, two tackles for loss, six passes defended, and two picks. He’s taken ownership of the starting job opposite Shaquill Griffin to where Tre Flowers will now be second on the depth chart upon his return.

Reed’s versatility saved a once-depleted Seahawks secondary, and now he figures to be a prominent piece of Seattle’s future plans in the secondary.

Reed has also returned eight punts for 64 yards and five kickoffs for 137 yards.

Claiming Reed was a shrewd move by John Schneider, but the Seahawks admittedly didn’t think they’d get this much production from the young defensive back. Pete Carroll shared that they didn’t view him as an outside corner when they added him. It was a stroke of good fortune for the Seahawks, and they have their top division rival to thank for it.