49ers’ new QB and the ‘it’ factor

SANTA CLARA — 49ers players agree C.J. Beathard has “it.” But what exactly is “it”?

Every good quarterback has “it” — an intangible quality separate from his ability to throw a football. For Joe Montana, “it” was his dead-on cool and accuracy. For Steve Young, “it” was the joy with which he played. For Colin Kaepernick, “it” was his running.

“It” matters. If “it” didn’t matter, Jeff George would have been a great quarterback. Ryan Leaf would have been a great quarterback. Brian Hoyer would be a great quarterback right now and still the starter for the 49ers. But those guys never had “it.”

What is Beathard’s “it”?

Click here to read my Thursday article.

This article has 58 Comments

    1. How ’bout:

      CJ ‘Rock On’ Beathard?

      Named after his brother’s country rock song (and written by their dad). Or they should at least play it in the stadium when he comes out of the tunnel!

  1. If Beathard has “it”, and I am not saying he does, I think his “it” will be defined through his toughness. At Iowa he showed a real ability to hang in the pocket, step up and deliver the ball where it needed to go, even when he knew he would get smashed. Obviously he will need to be able to do the other stuff a good starting QB needs to do – read the D, go through his progressions, manoeuvre in the pocket, throw accurately, etc – but what could make him a capable starting QB is his ability to take a hit without flinching. Because I highly doubt it will be his physical abilities – those are just average.

    1. You know he is just average after only playing one half of football in the NFL. He looked great for his first time on a NFL field compared to what a lot of other rookie qbs do their first time

  2. Didn’t John Madden coin the phrase “it” factor? I’m pretty sure that was his. Nevertheless, nice article Grant. Don’t worry about the previous piece. Everyone has a duh moment. In fact, Seb has them just about every day. ;-)

  3. I agree with what Scooter said. What CJ has is what Colin KRAPernick lacked. Colin’s athleticism and strong arm fooled everybody. But even if CJ continues to do good, they still need to draft one of those good QB’s next year to back him up. I think Brian Hoyer will get cut after this season.

  4. At the moment…. “It” is as simplistic and joyous as:

    (a) running forwards into open lanes, rather than backwards for no good reason
    (b) not wobbling around in circles and then falling down, again, for no apparent reasons
    (c) seeing whats going on downfield, rather than seeing ghosts

    So, not really anything special really… but a refreshing change from the first 5 games and i’m happy with that right now.

    I think next season we might start to really get a sense of what makes Beathard special (hopefully towards the end of this season if he can become comfortable enough in his new starting role within a dozen games of football)

      1. Yep, that’s exactly what I mean. He was, for me, a breath of fresh air after watching hoyer. Don’t have anything against hoyer, he was just difficult to have any confidence in. Never knew whether he would pull a decent throw out of the bag or just fall on the ground. Tended to be a frustrating mixture of the two. Beathard already seems much more aware of what’s happening around him and can make those evasive moves that hoyer generally didn’t even try.

  5. Being from a football family, CJB might have the IT factor due to inherited traits.
    Analyzing the last game, CJB did some of his best work while running the hurry up offense in the 2 minute drill.
    Therefor, the Niners should prepare him well enough so he can be the field general, and have scripted plays depending on down and distance. Let him run the offense with minimal sideline input, so he can get plays off quickly. That will prevent the defense from substituting, and maybe create mismatches. Above all, with more efficient play, he will never incur a delay of game penalty, or have to burn a time out to prevent a penalty.
    CJB should expect a lot of pressure, so maybe they need to scheme so they take advantage of the defense’s aggression.

    1. You know, for all of his critic’s, like Seb calling him out because of a bad half in the super bowl, Kyle really is a great game caller, and his system is unique. That Falcons Offense is a shell of itself from last year. And the offense pretty much is the same. Except for the man in charge. Which is also why he doesn’t have an offensive coordinator. No man can teach this Offense better than him. It’s like the old saying, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

      1. no doubt…KS is the OC/HC this year…but he’ll need a “bad cop” attitude next year when the mistakes happen, this year he’s the teacher– he knows he’s got the locker room buy-in, but needs to give O study time this year for the finals next season…any league rules against GM’s on sideline in coach staff uni’s to bark at players for F’ups? I could see JL doing this enforcer thing to good effect….

        1. so if Kyle had an OC now, you’d blame the OC instead of KS for the 0-6, right???
          the HC ALWAYS is the last stop for the $$ of blame….just ask Del Rio…
          your logic is “Seb-tastic”!

      2. “That Falcons Offense is a shell of itself from last year. And the offense pretty much is the same. Except for the man in charge. Which is also why he doesn’t have an offensive coordinator. No man can teach this Offense better than him. It’s like the old saying, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”


    2. http://savannahnow.com/news/sports/2017-10-19/matt-ryan-looks-snap-out-slump-super-bowl-rematch

      “By just about any standard, Ryan and the Falcons have slipped on the offensive side”

      “Most notably, the Falcons (3-2) rank 12th in scoring at 24.2 points a game — a drop of 9½ points from the last year’s league-leading average.”

      “Positive vibes aside, Ryan’s numbers are down in nearly every category.”

      “Completion percentage. Quarterback rating. Interception percentage. Yards per completion. Yard per attempt. Touchdown percentage.”

      “A year ago, Ryan connected for a touchdown on 7.1 percent of his pass attempts. He’s at 3.5 percent this season.”

  6. Like the article Grant .

    He has 3 things going for him .
    He’s mobile enough to buy precious moments he needs in the play .

    Confident enough in himself ( and the play) to pull the trigger.(Knows he belongs there,and the game is not to big for him)

    And the one thing I think everyone is missing .
    He’s a natural born leader , which makes it easy for his teammates to step up ,and play more inspired .
    Quiet leaders ,that let there actions speak for them , usually are ultra competitive .

    My question to all of us on this site is , will it improve , now that he is starting the game , and doesn’t have the luxury of not having any tape on him . After all coming in as relief , with no tape ( besides preseason) is an advantage. Because as a player , I’ve seen Everyone respond in a way ( the team) that they feel confident with him .

    I believe our rookie QB will give us our first win . Look out Dallas .

    There inspired ,they have a leader,and now their not playing to loose , but rather how they will win .

    Note ,,,, keep hoyer til you have your unquestionable starter at QB. Even next year . Even if it means having to carry 3 .

  7. Beathard’s “It” is going to look a lot better than it probably should because we are comparing his “It” to Brian Hoyer’s “It” and it’s not going to be what you might think it would be since Hoyer’s “It” is wilting under pressure and generally playing piss poor football. At the end of the day CJ’s “It” will only reveal itself itself after it has some time for fans to determine what the “It” is. In other words, who gives a damn. Just play football and show us you’re better than Hoyer.

    1. I think the point is that you need the “it” to be good. Just playing the football won’t make you successful. Just like you and I can’t show up in Santa Clara on Sunday and expect to take this team to the promise land. And it’s fun to think about what makes stuff good no? I suppose you’d argue that it’s also fun to just show up to a blog, shrug, and say “Who gives a damn”?

  8. The thing I like so far about CJ is that in most pass plays he is already looking the defense off. That’s something I haven’t seen in a good many years – he will not need a tinted visor. KS says he has the arm to make all the throws, for now I will go with that till proven otherwise. Sample size is way to small for any real analysis.

    1. I noticed that as well. Also, he recognizes coverages and has shown some ability to function in a chaotic pocket. Skills our last two QBs clearly did not possess.

      Where I think he still needs to improve is his anticipation. He’s running a beat-late on the out-routes and almost got picked a couple of times. He needs to learn to trust his WRs and get it out there a tad bit earlier.

      1. Remember when Kap wore a visor to hide his eyes from defenders? It didn’t work but at least he is 4-2 in the playoffs and in the conversation to play again.

        Go Niners……

  9. What I appreciate most right now is that while he appears to be a “good” QB, he has put in the time with the playbook and doing simulators to understand the offense and to assist with reading defenses, etc., to that I am very happy/appreciative as it illustrates he competitiveness and drive- I know that one would assume it would occur with any professional athlete, but the reality is that it simply isn’t true. I hope that Beathard shows enough so that we can look to other positions first and grab a QB in the 2nd or 3rd next year.

    * I didn’t see much out there next year on the free agent market, aside from two Guards from Carolina and Hopkins………….

  10. liked the article when I read it last night…
    and posted the link… (in the previous thread)

    Apologies to Grant for putting the cart before the horse, there..
    (Didn’t realize this was going to be today’s column)

  11. It’s nice that he has ‘it’ but I’d prefer he has more accurate passes!
    He was throwing passes low or high and the receivers could not make any YAC.
    ‘it’ better get better.

    1. hand size might be a ball spin control issue too…saw some really wobbly ducks on short passes, even tho’ most of these were caught…but as BW used to say about Joe…he throws a “catchable” ball…no Elway crosses in rcvr’s hands, or Kap’s fastball’s high and outside…

  12. Seb,

    Will CJ ask for a tinted visor like Kap ? Ha, Ha, Ha !!! You had to laugh at your doppelganger’s comment on that above.

    My answer would be a resounding, NO !!! Why you ask ? Because CJ doesn’t stare down receivers like Kap so DB’s can’t get a read on where’s he’s going with the ball.

    Kap requested one because staredowns are his weakness especiale/ dejour and he needed to shade his eyes from those pesky DB’s or keep seving up those INT’s.

    1. Have you researched what Kap’s TD to Int ratio vs. the Seahawks is yet, Seb ? Please let me know ASAP.

      Thank you,

      Your friend, and compatriot,


    2. Maybe this year, the following QB’s will request a tinted visor from the NFL:

      Brady, Alex Smith, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Phillip Rivers, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota

  13. If CJ shows well, players like this will be available for the 49ers in 2018:

    Saquon Barkley, Penn State, 5′-11″, 238 LBS.

    Penn State running back Saquon Barkley lowered his 40-yard dash time from last year, running a sprint that likely would be among the elite efforts at this week’s NFL combine.

    Penn State on Wednesday posted video of Barkley being hand-timed at 4.33 seconds in the 40 during winter conditioning tests. Last year, the Whitehall High graduate ran the team’s fastest time at 4.38 seconds.

    (Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott ran a 4.47).

    Season 102 Rush:649 yds 6.4 80 6 29 Rec: 395 13.6 long85 2

    Source: The Morning Call

    1. * Above 2017 season stats are for Barkley

      Can you Imagine Barkley in Shanahan’s offense with decent receivers and all those O-Linemen available in free agency.
      Ezekeil Elliot, Dallas:
      Height: 6′ 0″
      Weight: 225 lbs

      Barkely, 49ers, 238 Lbs , 4-3 40 yds

    2. it will prove interesting next season how the 49ers prioritize FA/draft needs following this year….. I think the anticipation for the off-season moves will be the highest they have been in quite some time- as long as I can remember, we all of the ammo they have and the possibly connection to Cousins.

  14. The Monday Night Football game Bill Walsh installed the Wishbone Offense and beat Bill Parcell’s Giant’s, 41-21.

    However, another legendary figure, Walsh, was present and he approached the strike games with a desire to win, and a twinkle in his eye. He told reporters the games reminded him of his time coaching the semipro San Jose Apaches 20 years earlier: “I’ll be able to get out the old notes,” he said.

    Walsh installed the run-heavy attack because one of his replacement quarterbacks was Mark Stevens, a swift runner who had led a similar offense, the veer, at Utah.

    “We came in one day and he put in the wishbone offense,” Stevens said. “People were like ‘Um, OK.’ No one was going to question Bill Walsh.”

    They would have loved to have kept me, but they had Joe Montana and Steve Young,” Stevens said, laughing. “Even though I might have been better than them. Hey, it must have been a numbers game.”
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/49ers/article/30-years-ago-in-49ers-history-The-night-Bill-12253916.php&cmpid=twitter-premium … #49ers #nygiants

  15. Seb stars as Mr. Sunshine/hope, after the years of Tomsula , Nolan, the music DJ, now we have a new staff that demolishioned Baalke’s team in a rebuilding year and Seb expects a miracle, yr # 1.

    Claim you’re a 49er fan all you want, but we know your only about the player, not team.

    sebnynah says:
    October 19, 2017 at 10:58 am
    Also, since he has no OC, he has nobody to blame but himself for the 0-6 start.

  16. At 0-6 it should be fun to watch the rookie start his first NFL game against the Cowboys of all teams! How exciting for him. It will be refreshing after enduring the last two years of supreme ineptness. Watching Kaep in his ineptitude was about as exciting as last night’s mashed potatoes. Even Hoyer was a notch up from that travesty.

  17. Cubus,

    FB, Kyle Juszczyk may not be ready so Paulsen was signed as insurance to block for Breida and Hyde according to reports.

    The 49ers only have one true FB on their roster and Paulsen has been used as an H-Back before in his NFL career. He has ties with Shanahan in Washington so know his system and won’t miss a blocking assignment

  18. Unlike last year, when the Niners had the worst run-blocking offensive lines in the NFL, San Francisco’s current efforts under Shanahan seem to be paying some dividends.

    According to Football Outsiders, the 49ers’ O-line ranks No. 11 in run support, with an adjusted-line-yards metric of 4.29. This is up almost a full yard over the 3.46 mark the Niners had a year ago.

    By Fansided

  19. Okay, here is my prediction. The Niners win Sunday vs. the Cowboys. Rueben is back and with CJB it will re-energize the team.

    1. That would be great. A new signal caller on both sides of the ball. CJ is cool, calm, and collected, that’s what you need in a QB. Foster is relentless and fires up the D, that’s what you need in your best defensive player. A new era begins on Sunday. Let’s get dem Boys. Go Niners!

  20. http://www.49erswebzone.com/articles/110508-robert-saleh-defends-arik-armsteads-toughness/

    “For all you geniuses that think your doctors.” Ha! We have a lot of those ‘geniuses’ on this blog.

    “As 49ers Webzone senior writer Al Sacco recently pointed out, Armstead is second on the team with 15 quarterback pressures and had an above-average run stop grade, according to Pro Football Focus. Only DeForest Buckner ranks higher in the category with 29 quarterback pressures.”

    It would seem we have overlooked Arik a little. Not hard to do since I and probably most of us are watching Thomas on every play.

  21. Hey Tom D , think he going 3 wide one back , and tight end. ?

    Thinking look how bad Atlanta is without that offense. They avg about half the points they were when he was there ( KS)

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