49ers

Tomlinson in consideration to take over in 49ers' starting lineup

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AP

Tomlinson in consideration to take over in 49ers' starting lineup

SANTA CLARA -- Guard Laken Tomlinson, whom the 49ers acquired in a trade two weeks ago, will get a long look this week in practice as the team prepares to face the Seattle Seahawks.

Veteran Zane Beadles has struggled at left guard, which might accelerate the 49ers’ urgency to get Tomlinson on the field. The 49ers on Wednesday have their first practice in preparation to face the Seahawks.

“It's pretty simple,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “What it comes down to (is) who we think at the time gives us the best chance to win. If that's the case, that's what we'll go with.”

Laken was a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2015. He started 24 of the 32 games in which he appeared over his first two NFL seasons. Current 49ers personnel executive Martin Mayhew, formerly the Lions general manager, was responsible for Tomlinson's selection at No. 28 overall.

Tomlinson is picking up the 49ers’ system quickly, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area, and it is apparent he has played in the NFL and understands what the team requires of its linemen. However, he has never before played in an offensive system similar to what the 49ers deploy.

“You look at O-linemen and schemes, all schemes are different,” Shanahan said. “When you've been in more gap-oriented schemes where you've never really had to run that far. . . He's never used the techniques that we've ever asked him to.

“He's definitely got the ability to and that's why we're excited to have him here and we're just trying to work with him and get him comfortable to do it and put him in an NFL game for the first time in a while.”

Beadles, 30, an eighth-year pro, started all 16 games for the 49ers last season. He started games at left guard, left tackle and center. But his skills have seemingly not been a good fit for the 49ers’ system. On Sunday, he surrendered a game-turning sack-strip against Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Wes Horton in the first half of a scoreless game.

Shanahan described Beadles’ performance as “up and down.”

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.”