49ers

Greg Roman grades himself on wins and losses

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Greg Roman grades himself on wins and losses

SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh took full responsibility for allowing the disastrous play call of an option -- without an available audible for quarterback Colin Kaepernick — to make its way to the field on Sunday.

The resulting fourth-quarter fumble was turned into a touchdown in the 49ers' 16-13 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman made the play call. But Harbaugh, who calls in the play to the quarterback via a radio transmitter, took full responsibility.

"I should have not let that play be called," Harbaugh said on Monday.

On Thursday, Roman stopped far short of admitting the play call was a mistake.

"You go back and you look at every call and judge your intent, relative to who you're asking to do what," Roman said in his first public comments since the 49ers’ loss. "You assess that decision. And one thing is, when plays work, you generally say that was a good decision. When they're not executing or they don't work, for whatever reason, maybe we should've done something else.

"In that case, there were too many moving parts for that situation. Certainly, when it was called, the result was not what we expected."

When Roman was asked to assess the risk-reward of that play call late in the game from the 49ers' 17-yard line with the club holding an eight-point lead.

"Not going to get into the X's and O's aspects of it," Roman said. "The result was not the intent of the play call. I always look back and say, ‘Did it work?’ "

Kaepernick's pitch intended for Ted Ginn was high. Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins picked up the loose ball at the 2-yard line and scored. The Rams added the two-point conversion to tie the game with 3:04 remaining in regulation. It was the only touchdown the Rams scored in the game.

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The 49ers had a difficult time on offense against the Rams, who took away the 49ers' deep-passing game and also stacked the line of scrimmage to make it difficult for running back Frank Gore.

"The Rams big thing was they wanted to take away the deep ball," 49ers guard Alex Boone said. "They wanted to keep everything close and I don't think we were really prepared for that. At the same time, as an offense, we have to execute better."

The 49ers also committed 11 penalties in Sunday's game. Six of the penalties were on offense.

"It's not about play-calling, it's about execution, ultimately, on the field," Roman said. "That's something we got to get a lasso around real quick. You know, 49er football is smart, tough, opportunistic, football and penalties certainly don't fit into that equation."

Rams coach Jeff Fisher, in comments after the game, pointed to the 49ers' play-calling as a reason his team was able to come out with a victory.

"I don't know what they were trying to accomplish there, but we took advantage of one of their mistakes," Fisher said.

On Wednesday, Harbaugh responded.

"That's the low-hanging fruit, 'What the heck were they doing?' " Harbaugh said. "But again, you learn from it. It's like somebody reached into your chest and stomach and started pulling the innards out without using any anesthesia. All you can do is learn."

As for Roman, he said his self-assessment of his play-calling is black and white.

"If we win the game, I generally think it was good," he said. "If we don't, it's got to be better. That's how I look at it."

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.”

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

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USATSI

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.

“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.

“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”

The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.