Coughlin: New look for 49ers is familiar to Giants


Coughlin: New look for 49ers is familiar to Giants

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' offense is different than the one the New York Giants faced in the NFC championship game last season.
One key figure of the Giants' passing game a year ago is now with the 49ers. Mario Manningham caught just one pass in the NFC title game for the Giants. It went for 17 yards and a touchdown.Still, his output was far better than what the 49ers received from their wideouts. Michael Crabtree had one reception for 3 yards. Every other 49ers wide receiver was blanked."You see what's occurred out there, for example, by Manningham joining the 49ers," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. "Mario is an outstanding receiver. (He's) very fast. Very good along the sideline. So you see what has transpired with his addition."RELATED: Mario Manningham 2012 game logs
The 49ers in the offseason added two members from the New York Giants Super-Bowl-winning offense of a year ago: Manningham and power running back Brandon Jacobs. Manningham is the 49ers' third-leading receiver with 19 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown. Meanwhile, Jacobs has yet to step on the field for a regular-season game.Jacobs practiced all of last week but was not active for the 49ers' 45-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills. He sustained a left knee sprain on Aug. 18 that has kept him out of action. It's unknown whether he will suit up Sunday against the Giants."There's a lot to that to prepare for," Coughlin said. "We know full well the tremendous ability and strength of Brandon. You just have to figure out how he's going to fit into the offense."The Giants have also had to figure out how other pieces fit without Manningham and Jacobs.Dominek Hixon has 15 receptions for 236 yards and Ramses Barden has added 12 catches for 198 yards with starter Hakeem Nicks also being limited with injuries. In addition, rookie Rueben Randle had six catches for 82 yards last week against the Cleveland Browns.Victor Cruz had become a greater part of the offense with 37 catches for 428 yards and five touchdowns.
In the run game, Ahmad Bradshaw is the team's main back, averaging 5.1 yards a carry through three games. Third-year running Andrew Brown has taken on a greater role after Jacobs' departure.
"We drafted a running back, David Wilson," Coughlin said. "He's not the physical presence certainly that Brandon was, so that part of our game is not been satisfied. We don't have what we'd call a big back.

Montana, Clark scheduled to address crowd at Levi's Stadium


Montana, Clark scheduled to address crowd at Levi's Stadium

SANTA CLARA -- Dwight Clark and Joe Montana are scheduled to address the crowd Sunday at Levi’s Stadium at halftime of the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

It should be an emotional day, as 36 members from the team that defeated Dallas in the NFC Championship Game and went on to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title are expected to attend.

Montana is scheduled to be surrounded by his former teammates and speak from the field at halftime. Clark is likely to be situated in a suite, where he is expected to make some remarks. Clark, 60, announced in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Former 49ers offensive lineman Randy Cross, appearing on the 49ers Insider Podcast, said he is looking forward to seeing so many of his teammates from the squad that served as a springboard for five Super Bowl titles under the ownership of Hall of Famer Eddie DeBartolo.

“I can’t wait to see (Clark),” Cross said. “I can’t wait to see Eddie. I can’t wait to see Joe. There is a core group of guys I’ve gotten to see a few times a year since we all went our separate ways. There are guys I’ll get a chance to see, in some cases, (for the first time) since almost around the time we parted ways in the early-‘80s.”

The NFC Championship Game on Jan. 10, 1982, is best-remembered for “The Catch” – Clark’s leaping, finger-tip grab of a Montana pass for a 6-yard touchdown with 51 seconds remaining.

The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 28-27 at Candlestick Park. Coach Bill Walsh’s team went on to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21, in Super Bowl XVI.

“For those of us who played on the Niners charity basketball team with both Joe and Dwight, and knowing their hoop skills and the way they could jump, we weren’t terribly surprised at: A, how high he threw it; and, B, how high Dwight got,” said Cross, who was blocking from his right guard position near the sideline and had an unobstructed view of the play.

“If Dwight got his fingers on it, it was going to be a catch. That was the thing about D.C., you won’t find too many instances in which he had a ball on him or near him that he dropped. There wasn’t much doubt.”

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”