49ers

Harbaugh provides no answers for 49ers' blowout loss

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Harbaugh provides no answers for 49ers' blowout loss

SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh was not in much of a mood to answer questions Monday, one day after the 49ers had no answers for the surging Seattle Seahawks.

Harbaugh said the 49ers were not caught off-guard by the Seahawks in a 42-13 loss in which the team fell flat just a week after one of its more impressive victories of the season. And that comment, in itself, deserved an explanation that Harbaugh was not willing to provide.

"Like we said last night, we didn't do enough good things," Harbaugh said. "There's only one thing you can do after a battle, win or lose, and that's re-organize, re-fit and re-group. And that's what we'll do.

"We're going to move forward," Harbaugh said. "No explanations, no excuses necessary."

The 49ers' worst defeat of Harbaugh's tenure as 49ers head coach did not change how he views his own team, he said.

"I feel our team's leadership, I feel our team's intellect of the staff, talent of the players, the work ethic of the players will pave the way," Harbaugh said.

But the road became a lot more difficult, as the 49ers head into the week of the regular season as the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs. The 49ers (10-4-1) need a victory at Candlestick Park over the Arizona Cardinals and a Green Bay (11-4) loss at Minnesota to earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The only way the Seahawks (10-5) can win the NFC West is with a victory over St. Louis, coupled with a 49ers loss.

The 49ers have plenty of injury concerns as they head into the final game of the regular season.

Defensive tackle Justin Smith has an unspecified injury to his left elbow that has kept him out of action. The 49ers' defense has allowed 66 points in the six quarters without Smith.

"He's got an issue that he's working through," Harbaugh said. "(Smith) he has not undergone a procedure. . . (He's) working through some things to get strength back and he hasn't quite reached it to get into the game, yet."

When asked if Smith will require surgery after the season, Harbaugh said, "We'll see."

In addition, defensive tackle Will Tukuafu sustained a back injury in the third quarter Sunday night and did not return. He was seen Monday at the 49ers' facility with a brace on his neck.

Receiver Mario Manningham is feared to be out for the remainder of the season. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI examination Monday on his left knee.

Tight end Vernon Davis sustained what he told Harbaugh on Sunday was a mild concussion. Davis will have a chance to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

In other notes:

--Harbaugh had very little to say about Seattle coach Pete Carroll's comment that the 49ers are "one of the slowest teams" as far as getting to the line of scrimmage and snapping the football.

"There were a few instances where we were slow," said Harbaugh, who added that the team does not want to continually run the play clock to the last seconds before snapping the ball.

--Harbaugh, who turned 49 on Sunday, denied an incident from earlier this season that Seattle safety Earl Thomas recounted to Mike Silver of Yahoo!Sports. Thomas said Harbaugh mocked the Seahawks with a sarcastic salute as he drove past the Seahawks' team bus on Oct. 18, following the 49ers' 13-6 victory at Candlestick Park.

"Happy Birthday -- that's what you get," Thomas said. "Yeah, he (honked at us). It seems like he tries to be a professional in front of the camera, but he does his antics, like that, when the cameras aren't around. He's just a big kid. We don't worry about that stuff. We just play the game. The best team won, and it was convincing."

When asked about the incident, Harbaugh said, "That did not occur. That was a fabrication. . . I can't remember time when I've left and the other team has still been there this entire season."

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.”