Eric Reid treasures Pro Bowl experience

One San Francisco 49er had one more long trip to make after a rugged playoff run.

Eric Reid is glad he did. The 49ers’ first-round pick was the team’s lone representative (the team’s eight original Pro Bowl selections didn’t play because of injuries) at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu on Sunday. The safety was on Jerry Rice’s winning team. Team Rice beat Deion Sanders’ team, 22-21.

“It was a cool experience to end my rookie season,” Reid said. “It wasn’t bad to be drafted to the greatest player of all time, either.”

Reid was surprised that he was drafted by Rice fairly early in the process. The humble rookie expected to be an unknown at the Pro Bowl. Yet, he was pleasantly surprised when several players congratulated him on an impressive rookie season.

“It was surprising,” Reid said. “I thought everyone was going to be like ‘who is this kid?’”

A highlight of the week for Reid was getting to know retiring Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez and spending time with New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. Brees gave Reid an autographed helmet. It was quite the thrill for the Louisiana native.

“I’m sure my family is going to try to get it,” Reid said with a laugh. “But they can’t have it.”