49ers

Harbaugh: Gore not 100-percent healthy

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Harbaugh: Gore not 100-percent healthy

SANTA CLARA -- There were a lot of questions for coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday, the day after the 49ers' 21-19 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.Harbaugh was short on answers, but he disclosed running back Frank Gore is banged-up.Gore's health was the reason he carried just 10 times for 72 yards on Sunday. Gore has not missed a game, but he has played through two ankle sprains this season. Gore has been the workhorse for the team with 234 rushing attempts this season for 1,054 yards. He also has 16 receptions."He's got some things," Harbaugh said. "He's not 100 percent. And we have other backs who got carries in the second half."Gore and Kendall Hunter had just three rushing attempts apiece in the second half. Gore had two rushes after he scored on a 37-yard touchdown run to open the second half.Harbaugh said the club has talked about using third-string running back Anthony Dixon in short-yardage and red-zone situations. When asked why it hasn't materialized, he answered, "Well, it hasn't."And that began Harbaugh on a thought about dealing with all the questions that arise after a loss, such as the one the 49ers sustained on Sunday."Hey, look, we know there are going to be criticisms," he began. "We know there are going to be 'Whys?' What happened? What took place? Why didn't you do this? Why didn't you do that? Why didn't you throw the ball here? Who's your go-to guy? We're not going to talk about it. We're going to talk about it to our players, to our team. And make a real effort as always do, every single day, this is what we do. We try to address problems and get them fixed. (They're) smart guys. We got those as coaches. We got those as players. And we work together to get it fix."We'll take on those problems. These are strong men. They're strong-willed men. They're smart men. And you confront them head on."You've raised the expectations bar with the 10-2 start, so that's part of the deal, isn't it?
"That's part of the deal," Harbaugh said. "There's no question about it. Our team won the division. You're the hunted now. You're not the hunter, as much. You got a target on your back. They want to beat you. That's raised. Not saying it wasn't like that before but that expectation, that bar, is raised. We're in a position that we're in. We got three games left and we control our destiny, in terms of making the playoffs, positioning, momentum, the best it can possibly be for us."You talk about the game. It was well-competed. I thought our guy was ready. They had an excellent week of practice. They fought very hard in this game. Made opportunities for our team to win this game. Never comes down to one thing. Never comes down to one player, one play call, one example. You have to fight through and overcome."Yes, there are things we're going to turn in (officiating questions to the league office) and ask about. Things when you look at and think that really changed the course of the game."Larry Grant gets called for a personal foul, roughing the passer, when he was cut and got back up and hit the quarterback. It looked to be in the thigh. OK, you understand how that could be called. We had the same things happen to Alex (Smith). On the pass right before the fake field goal. Defender gets cut, he gets back up and lunges into Alex's knee, no flag. All those things lead to big swings. That would've been a first down, we still had the ball. Larry's penalty gives them a first down, which leads to a touchdown. But it's not one thing. It's not one play, it's not one turn of events. Not one player, not one coach." Left tackle Joe Staley sustained his apparent concussion on the 49ers' first play of the game when his head hit the knee of Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell on an attempted cut block.Staley got up and was clearly woozy. But he remained the game for another seven snaps until he was shaken up again.When asked why Staley did not come out of the game immediately, Harbaugh said the sideline did not know Staley had sustained a head injury."He didn't realize how hurt he was," Harbaugh said. "You don't always know as a football player, how dinged up you are. . . . (The) player has to show signs he's hurt for the doctors and trained professionals to see that. It's got to be communicated by the player, and sometimes you don't know."Staley was spotted in the locker room, and he appeared to be in good spirits. Staley did not conduct his weekly radio show on 95.7 The Game. Alex Boone, who took over at left tackle on Sunday, filled in on the radio, too.

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

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Twitter/@49ers

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

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USATSI

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.”