Up-to-the-minute 49ers starters


Up-to-the-minute 49ers starters

One week into free agency, the 49ers have most -- if not all of their projected starters -- in the fold."I feel good about the way things are progressing," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday evening upon leaving the team's Santa Clara offices.Right guard is the one position where there figures to be intense competition for the starting job. Daniel Kilgore is penciled in as the starter, but at some point there will be a roster addition who will challenge him.Also, the 49ers appear to have three starting-caliber wide receivers with Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Mario Manningham.Here's a look at the team's presumptive starters at this moment:OFFENSE
QB -- Alex Smith
(Colin Kaepernick is "just working" this offseason. Both he and Smith will be signed through the 2014 season, and Kaepernick will get a chance if he proves to the coaching staff he's improved enough to help the team; Scott Tolzien is the only other QB on the roster.)RB -- Frank Gore
(Kendall Hunter is the change-of-pace back; the club will look to give Anthony Dixon competition for more of an every-down back behind Gore; Rock Cartwright was added for his special-teams contributions.)
FB -- Bruce Miller
WR -- Michael Crabtree
WR -- Randy Moss
Slot -- Mario Manningham
(Kyle Williams and Joe Hastings are also on the roster. The 49ers will continue to look for depth in free agency and the draft.)TE -- Vernon Davis
(Delanie Walker remains with a vital role as the No. 2 tight end.)LT -- Joe Staley
LG -- Mike Iupati
C -- Jonathan Goodwin
RG -- Daniel Kilgore
RT -- Anthony Davis
(Alex Boone is the top backup swing tackle; free agents Geoff Schwartz and Leonard Davis have visited, as the 49ers look to add to the competition at right guard; at backup center Chase Beeler and Mike Person are possibilities.)DEFENSE
LDE -- Ray McDonald
NT -- Isaac Sopoaga
RDE -- Justin Smith
(Ricky Jean Francois, Will Tukuafu, Demarcus Dobbs and Ian Williams are the backups here.)LOLB -- Ahmad Brooks
ILB -- Patrick Willis
ILB -- NaVorro Bowman
ROLB -- Aldon Smith
(Smith is slated to take over for Parys Haralson as a starter; Tavares Gooden is the backup on the inside with Larry Grant's status as a restricted fee agent yet to be determined.)LCB -- Carlos Rogers
RCB -- Tarell Brown
Third CB -- Chris Culliver
(Tramaine Brock will fight for a backup role, along with Curtis Holcomb and Perrish Cox; the 49ers gave veteran Shawntae Spencer permission to seek a trade, and his status has yet to be resolved Spencer was released last week, and he signed with the Raiders.)
FS -- Dashon Goldson
SS -- Donte Whitner
(C.J. Spillman is signed to spearhead special teams while also filling role as a backup)SPECIALISTS
PR -- Kyle Williams
(Ted Ginn remains unsigned, so this is an area that the 49ers must address.)
KR -- Kendall Hunter
K -- David Akers
P -- Andy Lee
LS -- Brian Jennings

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


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


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.”