Former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia liked what he saw from rookie C.J. Beathard, who replaced benched starter Brian Hoyer on Sunday.
“It looks like he has that physical and mental toughness,” said Garcia, now an analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area on the latest 49ers Insider Podcast.
“That’s the thing you like to see out of a quarterback, to be a leader, to demonstrate what it’s all about and get everybody on board following him, and to play hungry, to play intense, to demand perfection out of yourself, to want to make every play.”
With Beathard taking over at quarterback, the 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit to tie the game in the third quarter. He also bought time with his legs to escape the pocket and throw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson in the closing minutes to give the 49ers an opportunity for a last-second win.
However, the 49ers lost their fifth consecutive game by three points or less with a 26-24 loss at Washington.
Beathard played with a sense of purpose and urgency Garcia said he did not see from Hoyer, who is playing for his seventh team in nine NFL seasons.
“I kept waiting for Brian to be that guy and he just wasn’t,” Garcia said. “That’s what frustrated me about Brian. Here he had a great opportunity to come in and be a starter and secure a position and take hold of a position for, really, the first time in his career.
“In retrospect, maybe he just is who he is, and that’s why he’s played for so many teams, and that’s why he’s never been considered a full-time starter or 'the guy' in the National Football League.”
Garcia added, “He left a door open, a window open, for another guy to step in and take advantage of it, and that’s what C.J. did. He was very opportunistic on Sunday in stepping onto the field and immediately having an impact.”