49ers

49ers review: Thomas does not generate pressure

49ers review: Thomas does not generate pressure

SANTA CLARA – Tank Carradine started for the 49ers on Sunday at right defensive end, but rookie Solomon Thomas saw the bulk of the playing time at that position.

The 49ers got off to a rough start in Kyle Shanahan’s debut as head coach on Sunday with a 23-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium.

Thomas, the No. 3 overall draft pick, played 64 percent of the 49ers’ defensive snaps. Carradine played 46 percent of the defensive plays. Thomas had a rough opener, failing to get any pressure on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on 19 passing downs, according to Pro Football Focus.

The 49ers got pressure on Newton on only seven of his 27 drop-backs throughout the game. DeForest Buckner provided about the only pass rush for the 49ers with one quarterback hit and four hurries, according to PFF.

Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster played just 11 snaps before exiting the game with a right ankle sprain. In his limited duty, he registered a high grade with three tackles and a pass broken up.

On offense, Zane Beadles had  lowest PFF grade of any guard through Sunday’s games in Week 1. Beadles allowed a quarterback sack – a game-turning sack-strip against Carolina defensive lineman Wes Horton. He also surrendered a quarterback hit and four hurries while in pass protection.

The 49ers’ best performance on the offensive line came from right tackle Trent Brown, according to PFF. Brown did not allow a quarterback pressure on 41 pass-blocking snaps.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer completed 24 of 35 pass attempts, but struggled on passes down the field. He completed just two of 10 attempts downfield for 26 yards with one interception and an on-target deep ball that Marquise Goodwin dropped.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

OFFENSE
Quarterback – Brian Hoyer 57
Running back – Carlos Hyde 45, Kyle Juszczyk 19, Matt Breida 12, Raheem Mostert 1
Wide receiver – Pierre Garçon 50, Marquise Goodwin 50, Trent Taylor 24, Aldrick Robinson 10, Kendrick Bourne 3
Tight end – George Kittle 54, Garrett Celek 14, Logan Paulsen 3
Offensive line – LT Joe Staley 57, LG Zane Beadles 57, C Daniel Kilgore 57, RG Brandon Fusco 57, RT Trent Brown 57

DEFENSE
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 53, Arik Armstead 51, Solomon Thomas 43, Earl Mitchell 38, Tank Carradine 31, Elvis Dumervil 16, D.J. Jones 15, Xavier Cooper 14
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 66, Ray-Ray Armstrong 45, Eli Harold 30, Dekoda Watson 15, Reuben Foster 11
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 67, Rashard Robinson 67, K’Waun Williams 29
Safety – Jaquiski Tartt 67, Eric Reid 67, Lorenzo Jerome 12

SPECIAL TEAMS
Brock Coyle 19, Mostert 14, Watson 14, Adrian Colbert 13, Armstrong 12, Celek 12, Harold 12, Johnson 11, Keith Reaser 10, Breida 10, Tartt 9, Reid 9, Robinson 8, Bradley Pinion 7, Paulsen 7, Bourne 7, Carradine 6, Kyle Nelson 5, Buckner 5, Armstead 5, Mitchell 5, Jones 4, Juszczyk 4, Taylor 3, Jerome 2, Robbie Gould 1, Garry Gilliam 1, Staley 1, Beadles 1, Kilgore 1, Fusco 1, Brown 1

DID NOT PLAY
QB C.J. Beathard, OL Erik Magnuson

INACTIVE
WR Victor Bolden, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, DB Jimmie Ward (hamstring), LB Pita Taumoepenu, LB Aaron Lynch (back), OL John Theus, OL Laken Tomlinson

Garcia: Rookie QB Beathard not the key to turning around 49ers' offense

Garcia: Rookie QB Beathard not the key to turning around 49ers' offense

The most popular player among every fan base of a struggling offensive team is the backup quarterback.

And while there might be a small percentage of 49ers fans who are clamoring for rookie C.J. Beathard to trot off the sideline to replace Brian Hoyer, that does not seem to be a realistic option at this point.

Hoyer has experienced some success during his journeyman career. And he was 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s top choice to join him as his anointed quarterback after spending the 2014 season together with the Cleveland Browns. Hoyer entered the regular season as the unquestioned starter and someone who earned the confidence of his teammates through the entire offseason.

But there is no getting around the facts:

--The 49ers did not score a touchdown in their first two games for the first time in franchise history;
--The 49ers have converted just four of 23 (17.4 percent) of their third-down opportunities.
--Hoyer has thrown for just 292 yards in two games with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating is an abysmal 60.7.

“I have to play a whole lot better,” Hoyer said following the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. “I’m disappointed with myself.”

Former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, said on “The 49ers Insider Podcast” the 49ers’ offense has a much better chance to improve with Hoyer – and not the rookie.

“It comes back to your quarterback and decision-making and accuracy,” said Garcia, an analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area's 49ers pre- and post-game coverage. “And if you’re not able to establish that, then you better get back to what you have within your team and what’s going to give you a better option. But right now Brian is the best option.

“I don’t think it’s a time where they go with C.J. Beathard. It’s not that time. Brian is the guy that has to battle through these inconsistencies. His play has to step up to another level.”

Former 49er Derrick Deese explains cause for poor O-line play

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AP

Former 49er Derrick Deese explains cause for poor O-line play

Seemingly every NFL team has issues on its offensive line, and that is not a surprise to former longtime 49ers player Derrick Deese.

Deese started 116 games during his career with the 49ers through the 2003 season. He was a highly versatile offensive lineman under legendary coach Bobb McKittrick. Deese played every position on the offensive line, starting at right guard in Super Bowl XXIX before playing the majority of his career at left tackle. He said the changes after the NFL's collective bargaining agreement in 2011 have made it more difficult on offensive linemen to prepare for their jobs.

While some have pointed to the proliferation of spread offenses in college that do not properly train offensive linemen for the next level, Deese pointed to the hours of padded practices lost on the practice field as the biggest reason for the struggling play of offensive lines around the NFL.

“I think when you come down to practice, offensive line needs more practice time than a defensive lineman does because there’s so much stuff to learn – so many more variables we have to understand,” Deese said on “The 49ers Insider Podcast.”

“For one defense, sometimes there might be three different ways to block that play. So when you start cutting down practice schedules and say you only have this amount of time per week, and this amount of time per day, it’s hard to get all of that in. It’s hard to get all the reps you actually need to be successful. When they cut that down, something’s going to suffer and you see what suffers.”

After the newest CBA was ratified in 2011, teams are no longer allowed to hold two padded practices per day in training camp. The NFL also placed limits on the number of full-contact padded practices during the regular season. Teams are permitted only 14 padded practices for the season with a maximum of one per week.

Deese, 47, understands why the NFL has taken steps to reduce contact – and risk of injury – in practices. Deese said he has undergone 17 football-related surgeries and is putting off three more surgeries – two on his shoulders and one on his elbow.

“I deal with that. I understand that,” Deese said. “It was a decision I made to play the game. If you asked a lot of guys who played the game if they would do it again, I’m willing to say, probably, 95 percent of them say ‘I’d do it again.’”

As a parent, he said he has not allowed his children to play tackle football until the eighth grade, but he has not dissuaded his children from playing in high school and beyond. His eldest son, Derrick, is a wide receiver at Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach.

“I’ve talked to people that have kids and they tell their kids, ‘I don’t want you to play football.’ I know guys who have kids in high school who will not let their kids play football at all,” Deese said.

“To me, as a parent, especially one who was successful in the game, you don’t (prevent) your son an opportunity to play the game. Right now, with what they’ve done with football, I think it’s the safest time to allow kids to play the game. They’re teaching the game a whole different way. They’ve made the game a lot safer.”