49ers

49ers review: Thomas does not generate pressure

49ers review: Thomas does not generate pressure

SANTA CLARA – Tank Carradine started for the 49ers on Sunday at right defensive end, but rookie Solomon Thomas saw the bulk of the playing time at that position.

The 49ers got off to a rough start in Kyle Shanahan’s debut as head coach on Sunday with a 23-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium.

Thomas, the No. 3 overall draft pick, played 64 percent of the 49ers’ defensive snaps. Carradine played 46 percent of the defensive plays. Thomas had a rough opener, failing to get any pressure on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on 19 passing downs, according to Pro Football Focus.

The 49ers got pressure on Newton on only seven of his 27 drop-backs throughout the game. DeForest Buckner provided about the only pass rush for the 49ers with one quarterback hit and four hurries, according to PFF.

Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster played just 11 snaps before exiting the game with a right ankle sprain. In his limited duty, he registered a high grade with three tackles and a pass broken up.

On offense, Zane Beadles had  lowest PFF grade of any guard through Sunday’s games in Week 1. Beadles allowed a quarterback sack – a game-turning sack-strip against Carolina defensive lineman Wes Horton. He also surrendered a quarterback hit and four hurries while in pass protection.

The 49ers’ best performance on the offensive line came from right tackle Trent Brown, according to PFF. Brown did not allow a quarterback pressure on 41 pass-blocking snaps.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer completed 24 of 35 pass attempts, but struggled on passes down the field. He completed just two of 10 attempts downfield for 26 yards with one interception and an on-target deep ball that Marquise Goodwin dropped.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

OFFENSE
Quarterback – Brian Hoyer 57
Running back – Carlos Hyde 45, Kyle Juszczyk 19, Matt Breida 12, Raheem Mostert 1
Wide receiver – Pierre Garçon 50, Marquise Goodwin 50, Trent Taylor 24, Aldrick Robinson 10, Kendrick Bourne 3
Tight end – George Kittle 54, Garrett Celek 14, Logan Paulsen 3
Offensive line – LT Joe Staley 57, LG Zane Beadles 57, C Daniel Kilgore 57, RG Brandon Fusco 57, RT Trent Brown 57

DEFENSE
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 53, Arik Armstead 51, Solomon Thomas 43, Earl Mitchell 38, Tank Carradine 31, Elvis Dumervil 16, D.J. Jones 15, Xavier Cooper 14
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 66, Ray-Ray Armstrong 45, Eli Harold 30, Dekoda Watson 15, Reuben Foster 11
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 67, Rashard Robinson 67, K’Waun Williams 29
Safety – Jaquiski Tartt 67, Eric Reid 67, Lorenzo Jerome 12

SPECIAL TEAMS
Brock Coyle 19, Mostert 14, Watson 14, Adrian Colbert 13, Armstrong 12, Celek 12, Harold 12, Johnson 11, Keith Reaser 10, Breida 10, Tartt 9, Reid 9, Robinson 8, Bradley Pinion 7, Paulsen 7, Bourne 7, Carradine 6, Kyle Nelson 5, Buckner 5, Armstead 5, Mitchell 5, Jones 4, Juszczyk 4, Taylor 3, Jerome 2, Robbie Gould 1, Garry Gilliam 1, Staley 1, Beadles 1, Kilgore 1, Fusco 1, Brown 1

DID NOT PLAY
QB C.J. Beathard, OL Erik Magnuson

INACTIVE
WR Victor Bolden, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, DB Jimmie Ward (hamstring), LB Pita Taumoepenu, LB Aaron Lynch (back), OL John Theus, OL Laken Tomlinson

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

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USATSI/AP

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

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AP

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.