SANTA CLARA – Here is the transcript of C.J. Beathard’s Wednesday press conference – his first since Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL.
Q: What is the first step for you when you come in and look at the game plan?
BEATHARD: It’s early in the week, so the more the week goes by, the more comfortable everyone will be with it. Today is the first day getting the game plan, so we haven’t even gone out and practiced it yet. Just trying to get it down better and better each day.
Q: Does your routine change? Have you carried over anything from what Jimmy Garoppolo has done to change your routine up this year as opposed to when you were playing last year?
BEATHARD: You’ve got to prepare as the backup guy as though you are the starter, so I’m doing a lot of the same things, except I am going to meet with Kyle and the quarterbacks coach a little bit more, just to go over little things here or there after practice or before practice, just to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Q: You mentioned after the game you felt like the experience you got last year would make it a little easier this year stepping back in. In what ways?
BEATHARD: Just having that experience. Having gone out there and played in five NFL games, there’s nothing you can do to simulate those reps in practice. The only way you can do it is by going out there and actually getting those game-time reps. And just being another year in the system, Kyle’s offense helps a ton, the knowledge of the offense, getting through progressions quicker and that kind of stuff.
Q: He said you would have a better understanding of the whys. Do you feel you have a far greater understanding of that stuff?
BEATHARD: Oh yeah, definitely. It’s Year 2 for me in this offense. With any extra time doing something, the better you get at it. I’m definitely understanding more of the whys, why certain things happen, why we think this guy will be open, why we attack certain things versus certain coverages.
Q: It’s a cliché that the backup quarterback always has to be ready. Can you describe the mentality every week when you never know when your time could come?
BEATHARD: People say it, but no one really believes it. You really are one play away. You just never know when that play will be. You could play zero an entire season, or you could be playing in the third game of the year. You never know. That’s why you have to make sure you’re prepared as much as possible, and prepare as if you are the starter, just for situations like this.
Q: You have to look at this as an opportunity, don’t you?
BEATHARD: Yeah, no doubt. Obviously, I think there’s more focus on this team. I think there’s a lot of people doubting us and counting us out. I think everybody has the ability, we’re excited and we’re ready to get rolling and win some games.
Q: Everyone was impressed with how tough you were last year. I assume you don’t want to have to show how tough you are to that extent this year. What can you do to minimize some of that punishment?
BEATHARD: Just try to get the ball out of my hands quicker. I think we’ve got a lot better team than we did last year. I really like the group that we have. Obviously, doing what I can do to get the ball out of my hands quicker, making reads quicker. But as a whole team, O-line, receivers, running backs, everyone can add their part to help that.
Q: How does it make you feel to hear so many guys talk up your toughness?
BEATHARD: Yeah, it’s a good thing. To be a quarterback in the NFL, you have to be tough. You have to have certain qualities to play in this league. It’s awesome to hear my teammates say that about me. I think this is a real tough team. I think we’ve got a bunch of tough guys on this team, offense, defense and special teams. We’re excited moving forward.
Q: How did it make you feel when you heard Reuben Foster say you ain’t no roody poo?
BEATHARD: Yeah, people asked me about that. I still don’t know if I know what that means. I haven’t seen the entire interview yet. People were telling me to check it out, it was pretty funny.
Q: Have people come up to you and given you that vote of confidence personally?
BEATHARD: Yeah, I’ve got a lot of support from the team, guys saying they believe in me, which is great. But, nothing drastically crazy. It’s just the next man up. That’s our mentality. Throughout a season, a lot of guys are going to get hurt, whether it’s the quarterback or any position on that field. You’ve got to have that mentality of next man up, and you’ve got to believe in that teammate no matter what the position is.
Q: What has it been like to talk to Jimmy this week as you prepare to start?
BEATHARD: It has been great having him around, just being able to talk to him and ask him about certain things. Just having his presence in the facility, being supportive of us and the team. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with him going forward. Hopefully, he can recover and get back as quickly as possible.
Q: Is he like having another coach now?
BEATHARD: Yeah, I guess you could look at it that way.
Q: In what ways has Kyle helped you improve as a quarterback the most?
BEATHARD: I think just the knowledge of how football works, how certain plays scheme up against certain defenses the best. I think Kyle is the best at that, at drawing up plays versus certain looks and coverages that work the best and why they work, how to expect and anticipate certain things.
Q: How much confidence do you have in him to put you in a position to succeed?
BEATHARD: I’ve got all the confidence in the world in Kyle and my team. I think it starts with coaches, and obviously the players have to go out and execute. I’ve got confidence in every last person in this building.
Q: A year ago when Kyle benched you and informed you he was going with Jimmy, what did that do to you? How did that sit with you?
BEATHARD: I don’t know. That’s so far in the past. It’s hard to look back to that. I looked at it as an opportunity to grow and learn and get better, and try to be the best backup I could be all the way up to this point, and just learn from Jimmy and Kyle.
ME: Kyle said some quarterbacks need early success to build confidence. You got thrown in right away and you took some lumps. How did the lumps help you? How did you prevent the lumps from hurting your confidence?
BEATHARD: I’ve got a strong faith in God. I’ve got a good support system with my family and teammates. Just to know you’ll never get down on yourself in any situation in life. I think that having not played last year, it would be a lot different situation at this point, being my first game. I think I would be a lot more nervous and whatnot. I think it also helps having played in those games, my teammates have confidence in me because (they think), ‘He has been there before, he can do it.’
Q: What are your initial impression of the Chargers, and are you excited to face the team you grew up rooting for?
BEATHARD: It doesn’t matter who it was we were going to play. It’s crazy that it is the Chargers. I grew up being a Chargers fan. But, I’m just excited to go out there and play whoever it was going to be. In this case, it’s the Chargers. They’re a good team. They’ve got good guys on defense. They’re explosive on offense as well. We just have to go out there and play as a team, play solid on offense and defense and special teams. Hopefully, we’ll walk out of there with a win.
Q: The Chargers defensive scheme is similar to what you run here. Is there any benefit to that?
BEATHARD: Yeah, I think so. A lot of the same style of defense. We have gone against in camp and OTAs. Obviously, they sprinkle in some different things. I’m sure there will be some new things they will game plan against us that you’ve got to be prepared for, but the base stuff is there. They’re a three-deep team and so are we. Obviously, having gone a defense like that helps, but you can never count on what they’re doing. There’s always something different.
Q: Kyle talked about your preseason and said you did great. How do you assess your preseason? Were you pleased? I know you were dealing with a foot injury.
BEATHARD: Yeah, I was pleased with it. I just felt a lot more comfortable back there. Obviously, there were plays I missed that I wish I had back. But, I think for the most part the ball was going to the right spot most of the time. That’s good.