49ers adjusting roles of back-up cornerbacks


49ers adjusting roles of back-up cornerbacks

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers' cornerbacks are well aware which quarterbacks are on the 2012 schedule.

Aaron Rogers Week 1. Matthew Stafford Week 2. Eli Manning Week 6. Drew Brees Week 12. Tom Brady week 15.

The prolific quintet averaged 5,065 passing yards last season, as well as 317 yards per game, 8.42 yards per completion, a 66 completion rate and 40 touchdowns. But the Big 5 is drawing little attention from the 49ers at this point in training camp.

Well talk about it when it gets a little closer, said cornerback Tarell Brown. We know that we have a tough schedule ahead of us but right now were focused on getting better.

Getting better means mastering technique and route recognition, especially for the players who will back up the starters, Carlos Rogers and Brown.

"Particularly for a corner, playing only in passing situations is different than playing in all situations," said defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. "The route variety and the types of plays that you see if youre playing first and second down as one of the regular corners, there's much more to learn, much more to see and be ready for it."

To help build the back-up corners' strengths, and improve the units depth, the 49ers coaching staff adjusted the responsibilities of certain players. Tramaine Brock, the third corner last season before he got hurt, is one of those players.

Hes had a good camp so far, been pleased with the way hes playing, said Fangio. He knew he had to improve in his corner play. He was another guy that has some ability to play inside in the nickel package. We took that off his plate. We wanted him to focus right now on becoming the best corner he can become.

Chris Culliver will remain on the outside for his second season, and gladly.

Ill leave that to Carlos, said a smiling Culliver.

But Culliver is learning to play right corner this camp. He played mainly on the left his rookie year.

Im getting a nice quality of reps and just learning both sides, Culliver said. Because if T-Brown or somebody goes down, I want to be able to show that I can play both and work that in there somewhere.

While Rogers moves inside to play the slot in nickel and dime packages, Fangio has more options for the inside positions this camp than he had last season.

We have the addition of Perrish Cox. We have Tarell Brown in there and we have Mike Thomas thats been working in there. So, weve gotten four guys that are getting good reps. Now, Tarell Brown doesnt get a lot of reps in there, but ... we are expecting him to be ready to go in there at any time and I know that hes keeping up on that position.

If the 49ers cornerbacks keep up when they face the top quarterbacks of 2011, well, theyll be sure to draw some attention of their own.

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions


Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

SANTA CLARA – While rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard is taking a micro view of his promotion, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not shy about admitting he is looking at the big picture.

Shanahan said how Beathard performs after replacing Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback will have “a ton” of influence on how the 49ers proceed during the offseason.

After all, the 49ers know every position will come under tremendous scrutiny as the organization looks to add the pieces that will make the club competitive.

“That’s for every position. That’s for every player on our team. That’s for every coach on our team,” Shanahan said. “We’re 0-6, and that’s extremely tough. But I’m extremely excited about this place and excited about where we’re at and where we’re going. There’s not a moment that I don’t waste thinking about that stuff.”

Beathard will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

Hoyer failed in his bid to earn consideration as the 49ers’ quarterback for the remainder of this season and beyond during his six starts. Hoyer completed just 58 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 74.1.

Now, Beathard gets his chance. But he said he is not thinking about the big picture and what it might mean for the future.

“I’m really just trying to take it one day, one week at a time,” Beathard said. “I’m not looking that far ahead. Right now, my focus is on today’s practice and geared towards beating the Cowboys and doing the best we can to get better and improve.”

Beathard was pressed into action last week when Hoyer’s struggles continued at Washngton. Beathard stepped in and completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception. For the first time, Beathard is getting the first-team practice snaps with a game plan that is designed specifically for him.

Said Beathard, “Getting those extra reps, reps with guys that you don’t usually throw to, in the huddle with the guys that are out there, I think it’ll help a lot.”

Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates


Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates

More than 35 players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl champion will be in attendance on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium to show support for Dwight Clark, who revealed in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Clark, 60, will have ample opportunity to reconnect with some of his old friends on Saturday evening and again on Sunday. At halftime, Joe Montana, surrounded by most of the 49ers' 1981 team, will introduce Clark before a video tribute.

Clark is also expected to make some remarks while situated in a suite for the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Montana and his wife, Jennifer, have remained in close contact with Clark and his wife, Kelly. The Clarks recently watched the Blue Angels in San Francisco with the Montanas during Fleet Week.

“He’s getting pretty inundated with everyone staying in touch with him at this point,” Montana said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“It’s fun for him. At one point, he was telling his wife, Kelly, ‘This is what it’s all about. This is what I want and what I miss, seeing the guys.’ So any of the guys reaching out to him, he surely appreciates it.”

Montana said Clark has not lost his positive outlook or his sense of humor, as evidenced by some not-fit-for-print words he recently had about his wheelchair. Montana said there are always some good laughs and stories any time Clark gets together with his friends.

“That’s the fun part," Montana said. “You just try to get him to forget what’s there, and that you’re there for him whenever. I think the support is the biggest thing right now. In that stage of ALS, it's got to be getting tough, where all of a sudden, things are becoming more and more difficult.”