49ers

Shanahan updates Buckner's status after exiting early in preseason opener

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AP

Shanahan updates Buckner's status after exiting early in preseason opener

Defensive end DeForest Buckner aggravated a low-ankle sprain in the 49ers’ exhibition opener Friday night and is not expected to be available for this week’s game against Denver Broncos.

Buckner originally sustained a left ankle sprain during practice on Wednesday, Aug. 2. He missed three practices. Coach Kyle Shanahan said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Saturday that the plan is for Buckner to be held out of practice this week and not participate in the upcoming exhibition game against the Denver Broncos.

"It won't be a long thing, but I'd be surprised this week versus Denver," Shanahan said. "He keeps doing the same thing over and over again. We're going to rest him a bit and let him get fully healthy."

--Safety Jimmie Ward will undergo some tests Sunday and could be available to be removed off the physically-unable-to-perform list this week, Shanahan said. Ward sustained a hamstring injury during the conditioning test at the beginning of training camp.

--Defensive lineman Ronald Blair (groin) is also doubtful for this week’s game, Shanahan said.

--Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas had a positive first game while seeing action on 28 snaps.

"We wanted him to get out there, play some, get his feet wet, get used to the speed of the game," Shanahan said. "By no means was it all perfect, but I think you guys all saw, he definitely got noticed out there and caused some pressure on the quarterback. He ran to the ball and had a big hit on the sideline."

--Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster saw action at both inside linebacker positions. He played 13 snaps at weakside linebacker and 14 snaps at middle linebacker, Shanahan said.

“We have him playing both positions,” Shanahan said. “He did a good job of making the calls. He wasn’t perfect by any means with his alignments and getting in the right gaps, but he showed why we wanted him. He flies to the ball, he’s a square hitter, good tackler, and got a chance to get his hands on the ball. . . . The more he plays, the better he’s going to get.”

--Undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome started at safety played 33 snaps, and Shanahan said he did a “solid job.”

--Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard will not have to wait until the third quarter in the 49ers’ next preseason game to get on the field. Shanahan said it is likely Beathard will be the second quarterback into the team’s next game. Beathard and Matt Barkley are competing for the No. 2 job behind starter Brian Hoyer.

“We haven’t discussed it yet as a staff, but I expect to see C.J. much earlier,” Shanahan said.

--Shanahan had strong praise for defensive lineman Aaron Lynch, who recorded two sacks.

“I was real happy for Aaron,” Shanahan said. “He’s battled his weight this offseason. He came to training camp in as good of shape as I’ve seen him. He’s been doing a good job in practice and you never know if you’re going to get rewarded and how it’s going to play out in a game. But for him to be in the amount of plays he was in (15) and make the number of plays he did, I think he did a very good job.”

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

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USATSI

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."

QUICK SLANTS
--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."