49ers need to find out if Beathard is long-term answer at QB

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SANTA CLARA — Is C.J. Beathard the guy or not?

That’s what the rest of the 49ers’ season is about now – 10 more games. Beathard has to answer this crucial question for himself and the team. Is he the franchise quarterback, the 49ers QB of the future, or do they have to keep searching? They need an answer.

Click here to read my Thursday column.

This article has 28 Comments

  1. I knew we’d see Beathard at some point this year to ascertain his viability as the starting quarterback for the 49ers moving forward.

    1. due to Hoyer’s inability to escape a collapsing pocket — as the middle collapses– invariably it’s the interior– as Fusco, Kilgore, & Tomlinson fold, and Hoyer continues to drop back, never escaping laterally–just making the sack loss yardage worse.

      CJ reacted to pressure, usually real pressure, at a faster pace, like he’s got a quicker perception rate than Hoyer– then finding an escape route out of the inevitable “up the middle” pressure collapse. It also looked to me that he was running out of shotgun for most of his snaps, and had a bit more time — say a second or 2, before the interior OL floodgates open– and then the lateral moves to shift protect angles or just keep the play going– a bit like RW… a bit, mind you.

      do you all really think Cousins will gamble his health behind a “moderately revamped” version of this OL?? Really? With crappy interior protection and an inconsistent (at best) run game? With the massive FA $$$ potential from so many teams next year? I could see his agent stipulating “substantive” upgrades on OL before he signs with us.

  2. I like the approach Grant but as a fan, I want to read and know things that I don’t know. Things people on the inside (media)would know and we would never know or never would have known.
    I dont want to read the obvious or what I already know.

    I’m just saying this article says everything we already know about Beathard and what he has to do. It’s pretty basic.

    1. Prime Time – Give it a rest with your “don’t want to read the obvious.” The kid has played less than 3 quarters of ONE NFL game. Heck, he still is trying to figure out things himself. Before you get into the upper division course work, you need to matriculate through the maze of lower division classes, and CJ still is in the 100 level classes as an NFL QB. His 10-week semester will answer a lot of questions about whether he will be a good candidate for 2018. Give it a chance to play out. You want the last chapter and the conclusion, but the kid is just getting to Chapter 2 on Sunday. Beathard has to be able to do the basics more than for just part of the game. Yesterday is history; tomorrow is a mystery…..you have to let it play out………

    2. huh…Grant writes CJ article raising questions we’ve all been chewing over since sunday…and he gets us to post about these known questions…we get to toss out more conjecture on what might happen– condemn or agree with the ideas, etc., etc.
      and so we get a request for Grant to stop holding back on his “media insider” info, you know- stuff the great fraternity of sportswriters keep under wraps…yeah…
      so I’d like to run this D.O.D. checklist again:
      — Known Knowns
      — Suspected Knowns
      — Known Unknowns
      — Suspected Unknowns
      — Unknown Unknowns

  3. We’ll see. He’s tough. Never rattled. Hand picked by Shanny. He already seems to have a good grasp of the most complicated offense in the league after less than one full game.

    1. kee-wrect -a-mundo… #80

      When they announced his name in the 3rd ..
      I thought … CJ ..WHO ? …then
      looked up his highlights …
      I haven’t been this excited about someone
      the Niners drafted … since … u-hhhh …

      Blake Bell !

      Now that I’ve witnessed his NFL debut … I see the same
      guy I saw in the highlights …

      A little “deer in the headlights”… (and, thus a little hesitant maybe)
      but that will wear off soon…. I believe …

      QB of the future … ?

      Hell … I dunno … but he’ll be a lot more fun to watch .. than
      the past several QBs we’ve had gracing the backside
      of all the centers … we’ve had

      (That’s fer sure !)

  4. Grant, how can the team truly assess Beathard’s talents playing behind this horrid offensive line, coupled with the current stable of mediocre butter handed receivers he has to throw to? Maybe after Dallas is up by 20 or so this weekend they’ll let Beathard guest QB for a couple of series and Shanny and gang can get a clearer picture.

    Secondly, if the team continues to lose, are the fans who were clamming for Hoyer’s removal going to be calling for Beathard’s head also. If so, who are they going to be calling for then? Kaep? Well, Seb for sure, but he’s nuts. Who? Bring Hoyer back? How about Joe? Steve? Nobody knows now how it will play out but I can’t wait to see it unfold. Seems to me that the fan base in general is just slightly impatient for a whole host of reasons. How much rope is Beathard going to get before he is hung? When will Grant start ripping him? Or, will he get a pass because he is a rookie? Should be fun!

    1. I think it’s perfect. He’s not coming into an elite team, with an elite RB, great WRs and TE, and elite line where he might face serious pressure 10 times in 40 pass attempts. You don’t find out about QBs when they come into that situation because unless they’re completely awful, they’re likely to succeed. It’s later, when the wheels come off and people have seen your film for a while and started picking on your weaknesses you find out if you have ‘the guy’ or not.

      That’s why when everyone jumped on the Dak Prescott bandwagon, I didn’t. I said he played well, because he did, but it was with a ton of support on a loaded team. Well this year’s been tougher. The Cowboy’s line is weaker, Elliot isn’t running well because of it and Prescott’s’ QB rating has dropped from a 104.1 QB rating to 93.1. It’s still a good number and he’s still playing well. But a small change (having to carry more of the load) has significantly impacted him. So you have to wonder. Especially as we’ve seen that tale here in SF.

      1. Great point on Dak Prescott…I agree.

        We will have to wait and see if CJ is the dawn of a new era or the if he will go the Hoyer way.

  5. Have to say I was surprised they made the switch this early. Figured they would at some point unless they were still a shot at the playoffs, but thought it would be with around 5 or 6 games remaining, not 5 or 6 games into the season.

    Sadly, unless Beathard absolutely smashes it out the park (highly unlikely), I don’t think they will actually have an answer one way or the other by the end of the season. I expect we will see both good and bad. The talent around Beathard isn’t good enough imo to make him look great, to convincingly prove to Shanahan and Lynch he is the long term answer, even if he has that kind of talent. So they will still likely be looking long and hard at the QB options at the end of the season anyway.

    1. I figured no earlier than Game 8. But I didn’t expect Hoyer to **** the bed so badly. I figured he’d be hovering between 85-and-90 on his QB rating. Basically a poor man’s Alex Smith (pre 2017 Alex Smith).

  6. I hope CJB succeeds. Everyone knows my preference, but since KS is rolling the dice with CJB, I will root for him.
    .
    Why? Because he is not Hoyer, who is an immobile QB and was engulfed in the pocket too easily. Hoyer missed seeing wide open players, and he was accurate at times, but was inconsistent. Hoyer was bludgeoned so much he developed the yips, so it was wise to bench him for CJB.
    .
    It took guts to make the change, but since I was saying that Hoyer would pull a Gabbert, I am happy, even though CJB may not be the long term solution. CJB does have his limitations, but his upsides cancel those out. CJB is a mobile QB, and used his legs to slide around in the pocket to buy time so his receivers could get open. He also used his legs to convert a third down. While not having the strongest arm, at least he is fairly accurate. At times, the ball tends to sail on him, but if he works on throwing a tighter spiral, they may be more accurate.
    .
    CJB has a good pedigree. His grandfather was instrumental in winning 4 SBs. One could say he has football in his blood. The poise he showed and the calm leadership he exhibited may be inherited traits.
    .
    CJB was thrown into the breach, and performed admirably. Not many could do what he did, so I am encouraged. Now, the Cowboys will be focusing on him, and scheming to defeat him, so he will need to up his game. Niner coaches will need to play to his strengths, and disguise his weaknesses. They should roll him left, away from Demarcus Lawrence. Niners best strategy, may be to run right at DL, he weighs only 251. Cowboys have been susceptible to the run, so CJB should get the ball in Hyde’s hands as much as possible. Line Hyde deep in the I, and do some power running. Then use Breida for the zone runs and sweeps. Change things up with some fly sweeps and reverses.
    .
    Cowboys will blitz CJB a lot to try and rattle him. CJB should invite the blitz, then exploit the area the blitzer left. The Niners should work on screens and draws. They need to reduce or eliminate the drops to have a chance.
    .
    On defense, Tyron Smith, the LT, did not practice due to back problems, so the Niners should attack the left side.
    .
    Even with Elliot, this is a winnable game. Niners need to play clean, but aggressive. If they can reduce the unforced errors, maybe the refs will not be able to screw the Niners again.

    1. Watson’s flying high with those 15 TDs, which is leading the NFL. But he’s throwing a lot of picks because of his weak arm strength and his completion percentage is sub-standard.

      Teams will dissect his film, see his strengths and weaknesses and adapt. They always do. And then we’ll see if he has what he takes, or he was just another flash in the pan. That’s why Cam Newton is, at best, an average QB. Why Kaepernick and RGIII are out of the NFL. Why other hot-starting QBs (like Jay Cutler, Nick Foles, etc.) faded into mediocrity and, eventually, obscurity.

      So it’s a bit early to be counting coup.

      1. The defenses dissect film and scheme to stop ALL quarterbacks. That is football 101. It is the job of the OC to scheme to add new wrinkles to counter the counters.
        .
        Cam Newton is 4-2, and leading his division, so he is no flash in the pan.
        .
        RGIII is trying to play on one leg.
        .
        Nick Foles and Jay Cutler are immobile QBs, just like Hoyer. The league is adapting and evolving. Quick, elusive and mobile QBs are the wave of the future. Dak last season, Watson this season, Lamar Jackson next season.
        .
        Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, Mariota, Taylor, Cam, Watson, Brissett, Dak, Winston, Wilson and others are all mobile QBs who can elude the pass rush and use their legs as a weapon.
        .
        They will allow the read option, when used judiciously, to be utilized very effectively, just like last game with Cousins.
        .
        Hopefully CJB will not be a flash in the pan, but that is incumbent on the coaches to play to his strengths, and devise schemes that increase his effectiveness. Forcing CJB to be only a pocket passer, and he might get Hoyered. Sure am glad KS made a quick assessment and bold adjustment. Hope he continues to do that with the rest of the team.
        .
        Cutting Bowman and Paulsen are more adjustments, and I hope he makes one with Fusco.

        1. Not passing judgement just yet.

          Shanny has checked off everything on Niner fans bucket list so far.

          1. Turned over Baalke players (only 16 left via Jed York Owners Meeting interview on protests)
          to create a new culture.
          2. Fans wanted Hoyer Benched to analyze CJ before the 2018 draft—-Shanny’s done that.

          Now it’s up the CJ to see if he can develop into a decent player….But so far, Shanahan/Lynch get an A+ for creating a foundation

          1. WHY ?

            If we do find out that CJB is in fact the long-term solution at QB, some dim wit in the front office will decide that because he sneezed and Coughed during a game that we won, that we should buy RGlll’s contract and start him and bench CJB until we can trade him, and watch him play REAL football with a REAL football team and watch him mop the floor with us when he comes to play us at home……Stranger things have happened….

  7. How do you all suppose that Dallas will defend against Beathard? What type of defense will the show and what will they give them.

    Hoyer lived and breathed by play action and teams keyed on taking away the run forcing the team to beat them with the pass, something he proved inadequately prepared to do.

    Beathard, while still very raw, was pretty impressive for a debut, passing for the second most yards for a rookie in his debut, I believe. His pocket presence was among the best I have seen in a long time and his ability to look downfield instilled confidence in both his receivers and, I believe, the fans.

    Naturally, other teams will look to exploit weaknesses and pigeon hole the guy. So put on your DC cap on and see what you would throw at him.

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