Barkley sits for exhibition finale: Will 49ers keep two QBs?


Barkley sits for exhibition finale: Will 49ers keep two QBs?

UPDATE: The 49ers released quarterback Matt Barkley on Friday morning, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle.

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SANTA CLARA – Coach Kyle Shanahan has decided on a backup quarterback, but he was not telling anyone immediately following the 49ers’ exhibition finale against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night.

The 49ers will spend all day Friday making 35 roster moves to enable the team to get to the 53-player limit by Saturday’s deadline of 1 p.m.

There appears to be a strong chance the 49ers will keep only two quarterbacks with starter Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard assured of spots on the regular-season roster.

In the 49ers’ final exhibition game, quarterback Matt Barkley did not play. Beathard started and played the first half. Undrafted rookie Nick Mullens played the second half.

“I sat Matt down after the Minnesota game,” said Shanahan, who has final say over the 49ers' 53-man roster. “We know what Matt can do. We’ve seen Matt a lot. We’ve seen him in this league before. We’ve seen him in practice. There’s nothing Matt could’ve done in that game to change our feeling on him."

Barkley entered the NFL in 2013 as a fourth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles. Last year with the Chicago Bears he made the first six starts of his career.

“I needed to see more of C.J. We also wanted to see Nick," Shanahan said. "We haven’t given Nick a chance to play. I didn’t want him to just get in in the fourth quarter when pretty much we were just running the ball anyway. I wanted him to start the third, and we thought C.J. needed more time to play.”

Beathard completed five of nine pass attempts for 31 yards in the 23-13 win over the Chargers. He also rushed three times for 80 yards, including a remarkable 62-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Mullens, making his first appearance of the exhibition season, completed seven of 10 attempts for 58 yards with one interception. Mullens is a candidate to be re-signed to the practice squad.

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

Quarterback – Nick Mullens 32, *C.J. Beathard 24
Running back – Joe Williams 26, *Tim Hightower 19, Tyler McCloskey 12, Kapri Bibbs 11
Wide receiver – DeAndre Smelter 33, Tim Patrick 33, DeAndre Carter 26, *Kendrick Bourne 21, *Victor Bolden 21, Trent Taylor
Tight end – *Blake Bell 35, Cole Hikutini 20, *Logan Paulsen 15
Offensive line – *RG J.P. Flynn 49, Andrew Gardner 43, Nick Price 39, Darrell Williams 32, Andrew Lauderdale 32, *LT John Theus 24, *RT Garry Gilliam 24, * C Tim Barnes 24, * LG Erik Magnuson 13

Defensive line – Pita Taumoepenu 30, *Aaron Lynch 37, *Leger Douzable 36, *Chris Jones 31, Quinton Dial 30, Noble Nwachukwu 21, Sen’Derrick Marks 19, *D.J. Jones 18
Linebacker – *Ray-Ray Armstrong 38, Austin Calitro 36, *Brock Coyle 24, Shayne Skov 22, Dekoda Watson 19, *Eli Harold 10
Cornerback – Asa Jackson 46, *Keith Reaser 39, *Ahkello Witherspoon 38, Will Davis 22
Safety – *Adrian Colbert 60, *Vinnie Sunseri 43, Don Jones 17, Lorenzo Jerome 14
* -- Starter

Taumoepenu 18, Jerome 16, Reaser 15, Calitro 14, Bradley Pinion 13, Skov 13, Bell 12, Colbert 12, Smelter 12, J.Williams 12, D.Jones 11, Paulsen 11, McCloskey 11, Kyle Nelson 10, Jackson 8, Davis 8, Bourne 7, Dial 7, Flynn 6, Nick Rose 5, Sunseri 5, D.J. Jones 5, Patrick 4, Carter 4, Theus 4, Bibbs 4, Gilliam 4, Barnes 4, Hikutini 4, Lynch 4, Douzable 4, Hightower 3, Magnuson 3, Robbie Gould 2, Gardner 2, Price 2, Witherspoon 2, C.Jones 2, Nwachukwu 2, Marquise Goodwin 1, Aldrick Robinson 1, Raheem Mostert 1, Matt Breida 1, D.Williams 1, Lauderdale 1, Bolden 1, Taylor 1, Armstrong 1, Coyle 1, Marks 1, Watson 1

Offense (18): QB Brian Hoyer, QB Matt Barkley, RB Carlos Hyde, FB Kyle Juszczyk, WR Marquise Goodwin, WR Pierre Garçon, WR Jeremy Kerley, WR Aldrick Robinson, WR Louis Murphy, WR Aaron Burbridge (hamstring), TE George Kittle, TE Garrett Celek, LT Joe Staley, LG Zane Beadles, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Brandon Fusco, RT Trent Brown, G Joshua Garnett (knee).

Defense (16): DL Tank Carradone, DL Solomon Thomas, DL Earl Mitchell, DL DeForest Buckner, DL Arik Armstead, DL Ronald Blair (thumb), DL Elvis Dumervil, LB NaVorro Bowman, LB Reuben Foster, CB Rashard Robinson, CB Dontae Johnson, CB K’Waun Williams, CB Will Redmond (ankle), FS Jimmie Ward, SS Eric Reid, DB Jaquiski Tartt.

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


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.”