Programming note: Log on today at 12:45 p.m. to our live stream page for today's 49ers press conference from Santa Clara with OC Greg Roman, WR Michael Crabtree and CB Carlos Rogers!
Its easy to understand if Demarcus Dobbs head is spinning this training camp. One minute youre in the offensive meeting room then the next minute youre in the defensive meeting room, Dobbs said. Youre trying to catch up on all the film that you had and youre trying to stay up with all the new assignments that are getting put in as training camp goes on.For Dobbs, those new assignments include learning the 49ers entire offensive and defensive playbooks. With only 47 players suited up on game days, versatility is one way for an undrafted free agent, like the Georgia alum was last season, to earn a roster spot. The 49ers coaches believe Dobbs could add depth at multiple positions.Everybody wants a piece of Dobbs right now, on both sides of the ball and special teams, head coach Jim Harbaugh said. He is a popular guy with our coaching staff. Its something thats being, to the best of our ability, thought out and planned and utilized, that hes not overused, overstrained and we dont get diminishing returns.The second-year player was in on 17 snaps on defense in the 49ers' preseason opener against the Vikings and 16 snaps on offense as a tight end, a position he last played six years ago in high school.Transitioning to tight end is brand new to me. Trying to get in that groove and switching over during practices you have to reset your mind and go for whatever position youre in, Dobbs explained. Its been a lot of work. Coaches have been working with me individually, pulling me aside sometimes during practice just to go through the different techniques. Its totally different being a defensive lineman going to a tight end going from getting off blocks to trying to block people.Dobbs number was switched from 96 to 40 so he wont have to check in as an eligible receiver with the referees when he comes in on offense, proving the exercise is not simply a training camp experiment. He also plays on special teams and now works with all three units during a single practice. To make things a bit easier, just a bit, this week the coaches gave Dobbs a black jersey to wear throughout practice. He no longer has to constantly switch back and forth between the red jersey worn by the offensive players and the white one worn by the defense. Though Dobbs isnt always exactly clear where on the field during practice he and his black jersey need to be. They actually made a schedule out for me and one of our guys goes around and he holds it, Dobbs said. But the coaches do a pretty good job of letting me know.Dobbs is not bragging when he says no one else in the 49ers camp has as much on his plate as he does. He is not complaining either. Dobbs has overcome difficult obstacles in his life to even get to the NFL, and hes not going to let any opportunity to improve his chances at a lengthy career slip by.Anything that I can do when somebody tells me Good job, thats when I enjoy it. Dobbs said. If I make a good block or I have a good catch or people are satisfied and impressed with what I do, that makes me feel good.
A large portion of the 49ers’ fan base might be eager to see Jimmy Garoppolo take the field as the team’s starting quarterback. But four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia believes it is best to stick with C.J. Beathard, for now.
“Because I know how important the mental side of the quarterback position is, I want to make sure Jimmy is fully comfortable and ready to grasp that,” Garcia said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.
“Right now, after this past game, I want to see C.J. respond with another game and start to show some consistency. This will be a great challenge against a West division rival in the Seattle Seahawks.”
Beathard has started four games since taking over for veteran Brian Hoyer. Garoppolo was acquired three weeks ago in a trade with the New England Patriots for a second-round draft pick.
Garoppolo spent his first two games with the 49ers as the team’s backup quarterback. The 49ers return to action Sunday against the Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.
“They know what they like in Jimmy Garoppolo,” said Garcia, now an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area. “They’re able to see him every single day in practice, and they know what he brings to the table, as far as how he learns, how he mentally adapts, adjusts and grows within the system. It gives him more time to get confident.
“It’s not an easy system to pick up, especially when you haven’t had anything that really relates to that system in your recent past. Going from New England to San Francisco is like learning an entirely new language.”
Running back Carlos Hyde has proven to be a good fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offensive system.
And the man in charge of stocking the 49ers roster has taken notice of what Hyde has done on and off the field.
General manager John Lynch entered the playing field more than two weeks ago to greet Hyde with enthusiasm after Hyde was ejected for his tussle with Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Frostee Rucker.
Hyde got involved during the scuffle that ensued after Cardinals safety Antoine Beathea delivered an illegal hit on 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard as he was sliding.
“I was proud of Carlos because he fought for his teammate. He had his teammate’s back,” Lynch said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.
Sticking up for teammates was a lesson Steve Young and Jerry Rice imparted on the current team when they spoke to the team during training camp in August, Lynch said.
“That’s what I saw from Carlos,” Lynch said. “He got sick and tired of the refs not doing anything about our quarterback getting hit in the head. He finally had enough. I think at some point – particularly when you’re trying to build something – someone’s got to stand up and say, ‘No, we’re not having it. We’re not going to pushed around any more.’
“And did my emotions get the best of me? Maybe. But I was proud of Carlos, and not because he was kicked out of a game, because of the reason why. Because he had his teammate’s back. And I wanted to let him know that. I appreciated that.”
Hyde, whose contract is set to expire after the season, ranks 11th in the NFL with 592 yards rushing while averaging 4.2 yards per rushing attempt. He is sixth among running backs in the leauge with a 49ers-leading 42 receptions for 274 yards.
“Carlos has been fun to watch this year,” Lynch said. “He’s made a big-time commitment to the way we’re asking him to do things -- the way (running backs coach) Bobby Turner and Kyle are asking him to do things. He’s walking around the building with a smile. He’s enjoying playing football. You have to if you're going to have success in this game. We’re really pleased with the way Carlos is both behaving and playing.”