Harbaugh: Smith made right call to score TD


Harbaugh: Smith made right call to score TD

SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh said Thursday that quarterback Alex Smith's decision to cross the goal line on his 28-yard run late in the 49ers' victory over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday was the right call.
Harbaugh did not dismiss a question about whether Smith scored too soon in the 49ers' eventual 36-32 victory over the Saints. He said it was a tough call.
Smith's 28-yard touchdown run gave the 49ers a 29-24 lead with 2:11 remaining.
When the play began, the 49ers trailed 24-23. If Smith had decided to take a knee at the 1-yard line, the 49ers could have run off more time before kicking a field goal. The clock would still stop at the two-minute warning, and the Saints had one timeout remaining."You'll get some debate because there are two schools of thought on this one," Harbaugh said. "First of all, we didn't heads-up him (Smith) to do that because it was a third-and-8 play and we were back at the 30-yard line and we're trying to get a first down. You certainly wouldn't put any thought in his mind at that point."The other thing was, he scores and you're still outside the two-minute warning, still around 2:10, 2:15, 2:20. So with them having one timeout, you kick that field goal at about 1:20, and that gives the Saints -- or the opposing team -- a 1:20, only needing a field goal to beat you."So I think you weigh out all the percentages and odds, and you'd rather have the touchdown at that point. I think it's the right decision by Alex. He made a battlefield decision, and took it into the end zone. And I think it was the right one."The way things turned out, the Saints scored too quickly. Drew Brees hit Jimmy Graham on a 66-yard touchdown pass with 1:37 remaining to give the Saints a 32-29 lead.The 49ers then moved 85 yards on seven plays to score the game-winning touchdown on Smith's 14-yard pass to Vernon Davis with nine seconds remaining.

49ers claim outside linebacker off waivers from Patriots


49ers claim outside linebacker off waivers from Patriots

The 49ers on Wednesday were assigned outside linebacker Cassius Marsh off waivers from the New England Patriots.

The Patriots waived Marsh on Tuesday after acquiring him in September from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for fifth- and seventh-round draft picks.

Marsh (6 foot 4, 245 pounds) appeared in 46 games in his four NFL seasons. Three of his four career sacks came in 2016 while with the Seahawks. He was Seattle's fourth-round pick in 2014.

Marsh is the second defensive player the 49ers have claimed off waivers this week. The club acquired former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Sheldon Day on Monday. The 49ers released defensive linemen Tony McDaniel and Datone Jones within the past week.

The 49ers are at their roster maximum of 53 players. The club will have to clear a roster spot if Tank Carradine, as expected, is activated off injured reserve in order to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Who 49ers start at quarterback is the last thing on Pete Carroll's mind


Who 49ers start at quarterback is the last thing on Pete Carroll's mind

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback C.J. Beathard is expected to make his fifth consecutive start for the 49ers on Sunday, but Seattle coach Pete Carroll said his team will be prepared to face Jimmy Garoppolo, too.

“It really isn’t a factor,” Carroll said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Wednesday. “We’re just preparing for the 49ers. They got a style of offense. They got really good players who do what they do. And whoever’s triggering it from the quarterback spot, we’re going to go play football.

“We’ve seen Jimmy play. We’ve seen how he’s mobile and the kind of athlete and competitor he is. But other than that, we just go play football. We can’t do anything about that.”

Beathard remained on the sideline when the clubs met Sept. 17 in Seattle. The Seahawks have defeated the 49ers seven consecutive times, including a 12-9 victory in Week 2 this season. Quarterback Brian Hoyer started the 49ers’ first six games of the season and rushed for just 7 yards during that time. Beathard has 115 yards rushing on 20 attempts in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

“He’s been mobile. He’s got a rushing average, you know,” Carroll said of Beathard. “He’s averaging 5-yards a carry and stuff. They’re incorporating him in the run game some that we have to be concerned about. That’s different than other quarterbacks at times. I’d think Jimmy can do the same stuff.

“He (Beathard) is getting more settled. You can see the offense growing. You can see Kyle able to expand and do more stuff. He’s an incredible offensive coordinator and play-caller that we’ve respected for a long time. I think they’re just grown and they’re getting more proficient at what they’re doing."