49ers' Walker expecting Alex Smith to start Sunday


49ers' Walker expecting Alex Smith to start Sunday

49ers' tight end Delanie Walker was asked about the team's quarterback situation on NFL Network Tuesday. Here is a transcript of his comments:

On who he thinks should be the 49ers starting quarterback:

Theyre both great. Alex Smith did not lose his job he didnt do anything to lose his job. So he should have the right of way to start again. But like youve seen, Colin Kaepernick has been doing a great job of controlling the offense, making great plays and putting us in winning situations.

On if he is surprised at the level of success Colin Kaepernick has had in his first two starts:

Not at all. Kaepernick was doing that last year when he got in here during training camp and he was doing it this year during training camp. Hes always been waiting and he had that moment to go out there and show the world what he can do. He also has a great teacher and thats Alex Smith. He sits there and hes like a sponge. He learns everything Alex teaches him and you can see it when he goes out there and he does what he does on the field.

On if he would be surprised if Alex Smith did not start this week against the St. Louis Rams:

I would probably be a little surprised if Alex Smith did not start because like I said, Alex didnt do anything to lose the job. He got hurt so that gave Colin Kaepernick a chance to go out there and win games, and he did that; especially in the Monday night game, a big one in his first start. But Alex has shown that he can win and he led us to the NFC Championship Game, so Im very confident in Alex. I would be a little surprised but whatever Jim Harbaugh decides, Im going to go with it.

On what has been the difference for the 49ers since the loss to the New York Giants:

That game against the New York Giants, we talked about payback and I think that we shouldnt have been talking about that. So now we go about every game just one game at a time. Doesnt matter who we play, were going to run our game and not change it. We kind of changed it up a little bit for the Giants and now were going back to what we do. Were going to pound the ball, throw it and get short yardage, and let the receivers make the first down for us.

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


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


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.”