Bradshaw: Giants 'learned a lot' from loss to 49ers


Bradshaw: Giants 'learned a lot' from loss to 49ers

As expected, Ahmad Bradshaw and his aching foot returned to practice Friday for the New York Giants, two days before the NFC championship game at Candlestick Park against the 49ers.And though he did not play in the regular-season meeting on Nov. 13 between the two teams, Bradshaw believed the Giants came out of the 27-20 loss all the more prepared."Right now, we have a lot of confidence," Bradshaw, who has made a custom of sitting out practice on Wednesdays and Thursdays before returning on Fridays, told reporters. "We have a lot of guys that have been in this situation. We have a great gameplan going into it. Playing them the first time gave us a lot of ammo and we have things to use against them. If we can go out and execute, we will be fine.
"We learned a lot and we have a lot of stuff on film. I think our coaches handled what our gameplan is going to be and like I said, if we execute, we will be good."Bradshaw's 659 rushing yards led the Giants this season, though his 3.9-yards-per-carry average was a career-worst, and his 12 games played tied a career low. Still, his nine rushing touchdowns and two receiving scores were career highs."Ahmad's done a great job catching little passes and getting yardage, getting big plays," said quarterback Eli Manning. "He's just one of those players where you want to try to create touches for him, whether it's the run game or screens, little check-downs where good things seem to happen. He makes guys miss. If you can get the ball in his hands, good things usually happen."Bradshaw missed all of November due to injury but has averaged 4.0 yards per carry since returning, including the playoffs. And five of his TD's came in the regular season's final three weeks.The Giants have been on the road for all but one game since Christmas Eve, and are 4-0 in that span. So why should they brash Giants be afraid of the 49ers and their homefield advantage?"Our plan is to take their crowd out the game and that is just by making plays," Bradshaw said. "We had seven big plays last week and if we can stick to that routine, we can hopefully take their crowd out of it."But across from Bradshaw will be waiting the NFL's No. 1-ranked rush defense, which allowed a mere 77.2 yards on the ground per game this season."They are a great defense," Bradshaw said. "We just have to stick to our game plan. Linebacker-wise, they have great linebackers and a great DB corps. I just want to go out and play my game. We have a great plan and I think we will be fine."That is the plan in every game, to run the ball, especially because of how good we have been these last couple games running the ball."And the forecast for rain?"It doesn't matter what the conditions are," he said. "If it is a rainy game, hopefully we run the ball more. Just stick your cleats in and keep digging."

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.”