49ers

49ers RB Hightower trades in Gore's old number for new jersey

49ers RB Hightower trades in Gore's old number for new jersey

New 49ers running back Tim Hightower was issued his first number with the 49ers.

And he seemed to disagree with the new equipment staff’s decision to outfit him with No. 21.

That jersey number was not assigned the past two seasons – since Frank Gore left the 49ers as a free agent to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. Gore is the 49ers’ all-time leading rusher and ranks eighth in NFL history.

Among the hashtags that Hightower posted on Instagram along with his locker name plate “Hightower 21,” were “#numbertheygaveme,” “#willbechanged” and #numbershouldberetired.”

It did not take long for Hightower to be issued a new number. Just hours later, Hightower was assigned No. 26, which was formerly worn by cornerback Tramaine Brock. The 49ers on Friday released Brock just hours after news of his arrest after a domestic violence incident.

Hightower has played six NFL seasons. He wore No. 34 with the Arizona Cardinals at the beginning of his career and the past two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. In 2011, he wore No. 25 with Washington.

Legendary 49ers running back Joe “The Jet” Perry’s No. 34 with the 49ers is retired, and Jimmie Ward is No. 25.

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

thanksgiving.jpg
Twitter/@49ers

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Bay Area sports teams and your favorite players have plenty to be thankful for this year. 

Check out how the teams and players are celebrating Thanksgiving in 2017.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season

jimmy-g-us.jpg
USATSI

Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season

SANTA CLARA – The two quarterbacks who finish this season with the 49ers are probably going to be the same two quarterbacks the organization carry on their 2018 roster.

So every decision coach Kyle Shanahan makes with C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo is being made to consider what is best for those two players.

Shanahan made the expected announcement this week that Beathard will make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Beathard is coming off his best game as a pro. He was a major contributor to the 49ers’ first victory of the season, throwing for 288 yards, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a score in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. His performance seemingly did enough to earn him another start.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo pulled up to 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 with no prior knowledge of Shanahan’s offensive system. Even as a rookie, Beathard has five more months of experience in the 49ers’ offense than Garoppolo, a four-year professional who made just two starts during his time with the New England Patriots.

“We’ve had C.J. in there for some time,” Shanahan said. “He’s getting more used to it, and I’m getting more used to him. The players are getting more used to him around him. It’s been nice to add a few things each week for him.”

General manager John Lynch reiterated this week he considers Garoppolo the 49ers’ quarterback of the future. Garoppolo is not under contract for next season. If the 49ers are unable to work out a multi-year extension, the club would be expected to designate him as their franchise player to retain him for the 2018 season.

Garoppolo is likely to get some playing time in the final six games of the season, but the 49ers have every reason to take their time in order to give him the best chance at success. On the first three days of the bye week, Garoppolo had a chance to go back to the beginning and learn the basics of the scheme in meetings with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello and Shanahan.

Shanahan’s scheme is complex with unique verbiage and an abundance of adjustments that are required on any given play. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan took a step backward in his first season in Shanahan's scheme. The next year, Ryan was a runaway MVP winner with a career-high 38 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.

It took Ryan a full season of experience with Shanahan to fully grasp his responsibilities, so it is unreasonable to believe Garoppolo would be able to do much more than just function if he gets onto the field for extended action.

“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? To me, that’s impossible. He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week.

“I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.”