49ers Mailbag II: Who's next to sign?


49ers Mailbag II: Who's next to sign?

Here's another Saturday delivery of the 49ers Mailbag . . . Q: Who can we expected to be re-signed before the season is over? (@JReff22)
My response: I'm not sure there will be any other signings before the end of the season. We're getting to the point now where there is less to gain for players to sign extensions.Perhaps a player such as special-teamer Blake Costanzo could sign an extension. CSNBayArea.com reported this week that the 49ers have approached Ahmad Brooks, Adam Snyder, Larry Grant and C.J. Spillman, among others, about new contracts.But the only person with whom they were able to work out a deal was backup tackle Alex Boone. The reason those sides were able to reach an extension is because Boone, a scheduled exclusive-rights free agent, would not have had any outside negotiating power until after the 2012 season. So it was advantageous for him to get something done now. Boone is set to earn 7 million on his four-year extension through 2015.
It'll be interesting to see if the 49ers offer the same five-year, 25 million deal they extended to safety Dashon Goldson last year. Goldson and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, turned down that proposal, only to sign a one-year deal to return to the 49ers. Goldson is having a solid season, so he'll have a chance to get a nice payday as a free agent.
A source said cornerback Carlos Rogers and the 49ers are far apart on a multi-year extension. And quarterback Alex Smith's contract will not be touched until the end of the season.Q: who will step up as the defensive leader in Willis' absence? (@benl302)
My response: Leadership on the 49ers' defense should not a problem. Patrick Willis has always been a lead-by-example type of player. But this season he has been the one delivering the on-field pep talk to his teammates before the games.Who gravitates to that role Sunday before the game against the Arizona Cardinals? Willis might remain in his speaking role despite not suiting up with a hamstring strain.
What's more important is that the 49ers compensate on the field. Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman will lead the team in tackles against the Cardinals. Larry Grant, who will play in place of Willis, will show his "high level of contact courage," as coach Jim Harbaugh calls it.Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Isaac Sopoaga will do their usual jobs of tying up the Cardinals linemen to allow Bowman and Grant to do their jobs.
Q: Why don't the 49ers integrate Kyle Williams into the offense MORE? (@FranchizeWocky)
My response: They have been playing Williams a lot more in recent weeks. Through the first nine games, Williams averaged fewer than 10 snaps a game. In the past three games, Williams has averaged 25 snaps.Coach Jim Harbaugh said he is very happy with the way the receivers are playing. When asked if Williams might work into a starting role, Harbaugh said, "Just look at Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams, all three of them did a fantastic job in this last game. Very pleased with the way those receivers played. They're all contributing in a big way."

Q: What percent of the 49er play book do u think we have seen? Saving for playoffs? (@jeeves28)
Q: Ask coach how come they have not had any trick plays lately? (@edlover49)My response: What you see is what you get. The 49ers have added some plays on a weekly basis, but their base offense has been established for a long time.As you've seen, they've run a lot of different plays with different personnel groups and formations. As far as trick plays, they have shown reverses and the "fly sweep," which they've executed three times this season for 49 yards.Last week, quarterback Alex Smith left the field and Kendall Hunter ran, taking the direct snap from the shotgun formation. The 49ers have also used the "Pistol" offense on several occasions recently. They'll routinely use seven offensive lineman and a nose tackle at fullback.

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.”