Beathard placing himself in competition for backup job

Beathard placing himself in competition for backup job

SANTA CLARA – Coach Kyle Shanahan describes rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard as a Type-A personality.

Yes, he is competitive, aggressive, ambitious and, perhaps, a bit impatient.

After practice on Thursday, Beathard was not real pleased with one play in particular. He had an open receiver, but his throw came up just a few inches short.

“I had a guy coming over on post-corner over the top, and it (the throw) was a bit low,” Beaathard said. “(Linebacker) Ray-Ray Armstrong made a great play. He tipped it up to himself and picked it off. If I’d just thrown it three inches higher it would’ve been a big play.”

On Friday, Beathard had a similar throw on a different play. This time, he got just enough air under the ball to direct it just a few inches over the reach of linebacker Reuben Foster and into the hands of rookie tight end Cole Hikutini for a gain of 30-plus yards.

“I’m as competitive as they come, whether it’s playing ping-pong in the locker room or whatever,” Beathard said. “Nothing makes me more made than making a mistake on the field. But at the same time, you have to know when to push things off and go on to the next play.”

Beathard came to the 49ers as a late-third-round draft pick. The 49ers traded up from the top of the fourth round to secure Beathard, who many believed would be a late-round selection.

“I think going into that process, I wasn’t too worried about it because I knew I’d get an opportunity, wherever that was.” Beathard said. “I love that they had the faith in me and saw in me what I see in myself. I want to prove this coaching staff right, that they made the right decision.”

Through the first week of camp, Beathard has looked like he belongs. His grandfather, Bobby Beathard, was a well-known NFL executive. And C.J. Beathard entered his first NFL training camp with the added advantage of playing under center during his college career at Iowa.

"He really works at it," Shanahan said. "He really grinds. He has a question for everything. He wants to know what you want him to do, but he also wants to know why. You can sit there and talk ball with him forever. That’s, to me, what allows him to have a chance to be good right away because he prepares the right way. So, when he goes out there, if you prepare the right way and you work at it, then you’re usually not as wide-eyed because you’re not overwhelmed with it."

Beathard has performed his way into competition with veteran Matt Barkley for the 49ers’ backup position behind no-questions-asked starter Brian Hoyer. Beathard seems to be a step ahead of most rookies -- and ahead of where the 49ers might have envisioned him when he arrived as the No. 104 selection.

"I think they’ve had even reps," Shanahan said of Beathard and Barkley after Saturday's practice. "I think it’s a good battle for us. We’ve been looking at it every day and they’re going to make it tough on us."

Not only is Beathard learning the playbook, he continues to ask the right questions to take his understanding to a higher level.

“You want to think as close along the lines as your head coach is thinking,” Beathard said. “So when I do make certain plays or certain reads, I always like to know what he was thinking because he plays every play out in his head as if he was playing. I like to know what he would’ve done so I can think like him, so we can be on the same page as much as possible.

“I’m picking things up and the game is slowing down for me.”

Shanahan expects 'everyone in our building to be pissed off' after loss to Denver

Shanahan expects 'everyone in our building to be pissed off' after loss to Denver

After a couple of practices and one exhibition game against the Denver Broncos, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan once again came to the realization things are often not as good or bad as they seem.

That was his takeaway a day after the 49ers provided the Broncos with five giveaways to go along with 11 penalties in a 33-14 loss at Levi’s Stadium.

“But when I get in and watch the tape, it wasn’t quite as bad as it felt,” Shanahan said Sunday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “When you look at each situation, especially when you talk about the ones on offense, it takes 11 guys to execute a play, and if you have one guy off a little bit, it breaks down.”

A couple of passes that could have been caught, a ball that slipped out of quarterback Brian Hoyer’s hand and some other correctable errors gives Shanahan reason to be optimistic.

When he spoke to the media on Saturday night after the game, Shanahan was clearly upset with how his 90-man team performed. He was asked a day later if it was a relief to watch the film and come to the conclusion that not everything was a total disaster.

“It’s not really relief,” Shanahan quipped. “It’s kind of my life story.

“We put a lot into it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scrimmage, practice or preseason. I try to compose myself by the time I talk to you guys (the media) after practice. But I’m pretty pissed after practice when it doesn’t go well. We’re competitive guys and we want everything to be perfect. That’s why most of the time I’m not that happy.”

Shanahan said he expects everyone in the organization to hold themselves to the same high standard.

“Whenever you go out to a game like that, you want to win, you want to play well,” he said. “And you turn the ball over like that and you have the penalties that we did, I’m definitely going to be pissed off and I expect everyone in our building to be pissed off. If they’re not, that’s when I would be worried.”

Shanahan said he had the opposite feeling after the practice Wednesday against the Broncos that looked like a decisive win for the 49ers. Upon review, Shanahan said he felt there was still a lot of room for improvement.

“I thought things seemed real good at practice our first day versus them,” he said. “Then, I go in and watch the film and it was good but not quite as good as I felt when I was out there.”

49ers could get presumptive starting free safety back soon


49ers could get presumptive starting free safety back soon

The 49ers could get their presumptive starting free safety back on the field this week.

Jimmie Ward, who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since sustaining a hamstring injury during a conditioning test on the eve of training camp, will go through strenuous workouts Monday and Tuesday.

Ward could be cleared to return to practice as early as Wednesday, when the club is scheduled to hold its next practice.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday in a conference call with reporters that defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley will will pace him through a football-related workout on Monday and Tuesday.

"Hopefully, we'll get him ready to go by Wednesday," Shanahan said.

The 49ers envision Ward, a first-round draft pick in 2014, as a major contributor in the team’s new 4-3 scheme, which is based on Seattle’s defense. With strong safety Eric Reid playing close to the line of scrimmage, Ward will play the deep safety – a role that Earl Thomas has played for the Seahawks.

In Ward’s absence, undrafted rookie safety Lorenzo Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games and appears to have played his way into solid position for a spot on the 53-man roster.

"Lorenzo has done a good job," Shanahan said. "I think a couple of times he's ran around and been a ballhawk for us and made some tackles. I thought they caught him a few times out of position last night on a few play-action looks because he's been so aggressive. He's going to have to learn from those, but they never made him pay for those by going outside."

--The 49ers will have days off on Monday and Tuesday as they settle into their regular-season routine.

--Shanahan said he has been formulating ideas for the game plan against Carolina in Week 1 of the regular season. So as the 49ers play the exhibition games, they are mindful of not showing too much.

"I never get too far away from that," Shanahan said. "Everything we put into a preseason game, you always try to take into account what you’re going to be doing in the regular season."

--Shanahan said he thought No. 1 quarterback Brian Hoyer "did a good job." He said the first throw intended for Vance McDonald over the middle was thrown a little late.

"Besides that, I thought he did a good job with his reads and went to the right spots," Shanahan said.

Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard also was on-point with his reads, Shanahan said.

--Eli Harold got the start Saturday night at outside linebacker position, as he competes with Ahmad Brooks for a job.

"I try to go off what I see in practice," Shanahan said. "You want to know who has more upside, things like that. Who's going to get better throughout the year if given the opportunity? But you also want to know, when it's all said and done, who is going to affect your win-loss record the most. Those are the things I look at personally."

--Former 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin announced his retirement on Sunday. Shanahan never coached him, but he was obviously a big fan.

"I've personally met Anquan or talked to him before, but he has been one of my favorites of all time," Shanahan said. "I love Anquan. I don't know him at all, but I feel like I do because I've always studied how he plays. I remember watching him in college when he came into Florida State as a quarterback and moved quickly to receiver his freshman year.

"And I remember him coming into the league and people thinking he wouldn't be as great because he didn't have a fast 40 time. And watching him play over the years. That's my definition of a football player. He's as violent of a receiver as there is, and I've always truly believed that receivers can really set the mentality of an offense. I feel lineman have no choice, they have to be tough. Running backs, if you're not tough, you're not going to make it in this league because you get hit every play. Quarterbacks got to hang in there. Receivers are the guys who can pick and choose a little bit. And when you have guys who play like Anquan, that just brings a whole different mentality to your offense that I think usually leads to teams that have chances to win Super Bowls."