49ers' rookie quarterback Beathard shows toughness in exhibition debut


49ers' rookie quarterback Beathard shows toughness in exhibition debut

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Rookie C.J. Beathard was not a quarterback who gained a lot of exposure before this year’s draft.

But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan saw something he liked.

Shanahan was impressed with Beathard’s toughness and his willingness to stand in the pocket to deliver passes just a split-second before he knew he would absorb a hit.

That trait was on display in the 49ers’ 27-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

Beathard is battling veteran Matt Barkley for the 49ers’ backup job behind starter Brian Hoyer. Both players performed well in the exhibition debut.

Barkley completed 10 of 17 passes for 168 yards. Beathard completed seven of 11 attempts for 101 yards with two touchdowns. Neither player threw an interception.

In the fourth quarter with the 49ers trailing by eight points, Beathard stepped up to avoid pressure from the left side. He bought a little time as receiver Kendrick Bourne ran a different route than expected. Then, Beathard managed to get the ball 25 yards down the field just as 300-pound defensive tackle Ricky Ali’ifua was zeroing in on him.

Shanahan liked what he saw from Beathard to keep his concentration downfield.

“That’s really all I watched on that play,” Shanahan said. “We went to Bourne on a couple routes in a row. We knew the corner (Trevon Hartfield) was squatting on him.

“We thought we could get by him. But we were very nervous if we could hold up that long. All I watched was C.J. I thought they got an edge in our protection. He did a good job of moving around to create just enough time to get it off.”

The play resulted in a 46-yard touchdown pass. Beathard and Bourne teamed up on the next play on a fade route for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 17-17.

The touchdown nearly did not happen because Bourne was supposed to run his route to the outside. However, he got cut off and improvised with an inside line.

“Oh, yeah, I almost came off him because he went inside,” Beathard said. “But I stepped up and I saw the corner kind of fall. So I was like, ‘I hope he turns around,’ because I just threw it, hoping he’d turn around.”

Beathard said he maintained his focus on getting the ball downfield and only had a vague awareness that he would have to take a big hit in order to let the play develop.

“It’s like peripheral stuff,” Beathard said. “You can feel it around you when the pocket is closing in around you and you have to move a little bit. It’s something that all quarterbacks have to deal with and figure out as they get older.”

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care


Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.