Redskins: 49ers 'are beatable'


Redskins: 49ers 'are beatable'

LANDOVER, Md. -- There was a lot of trash talk that began before the game when the Redskins were upset when some 49ers ran through their drills on the way to the locker room before the game.But it was all in the name of good competition, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said.
"It was normal," Davis said of the amount of interaction among the players on both teams. "They wanted to win the game. They competed. I can't downplay that. They had a lot of physical guys on their side. I think they played a helluva game, as far as stopping the ball and their DBs did a good job -- DeAngelo Hall and (LaRon) Landry."Here is what some members of the Redskins had to say following the 49ers' 19-11 victory on Sunday:"I thought the defense did some really good things, played well enough to win. I thought the intensity was there and I thought our players played extremely hard. But when you make that many mistakes, you have two turnovers (actually, three) on offense and eventually give up pretty good field position against a team that runs the ball extremely well, plays good rush defense, you can't have that many mistakes."
--Redskins coach Mike Shanahan"They are beatable. They came out and played their game the way they. They run the ball effectively, have a strong defense, didn't make too many mistakes of offense. We turned the ball over too much and we allowed them to run the ball. It's frustrating, but at the same time we had a chance. We gave them the (onside) kick. We have to come up with that and give our offense a chance to go out and tie the game."
--Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander"I don't think they (the 49ers) played that great. I don't think they have that dynamic of an offense. If you hold certain teams in the league to 19 points, you feel you did a great job. I don't think that's their type of offense. I think we could've played better. I think we made mistakes. They are a ball controldefensive team. They are the type of team we strive to be, and they have been doing it very well. "
--Defensive lineman Barry Cofield"We came back and looked at the photos that they gave us on the sideline. And there were a few (plays) where I could've waited a second longer and had a shot at something. I'm going off what I saw, and when you look at the pictures, there were a couple there. (Offensive coordinator) Kyle Shanahan and I were standing on the sideline and we said, 'Hey, you know what? Just wait a half-second longer and it'll get into this hole and we can shoot it there.' "
--Quarterback John Beck"I feel like I was getting open. A lot of times John would go through his reads and not come to me. But that's for coach to talk to John about. I just try to get open and make plays when it comes to me."
--Wide receiver Jabar Gaffney"We played hard. We're always going to play hard. Coach Shanahan coaches well, and we're always going to play hard. Playing hard and losing really doesn't do anything for you, so we've got to figure it out."
--Tackle Trent Williams

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.

49ers Mailbag: Should Shanahan give up play-calling?


49ers Mailbag: Should Shanahan give up play-calling?

Believe it or not, the 49ers’ offense is improved from last season.

The 49ers ranked 31st in the NFL in 2016, averaging 308.1 yards per game. Although the offense is producing just a little better (325.9 yards per game), their ranking this season has shot up to 21st in the league.

The 49ers have had a different head coach and different person running the offense in each of the past four seasons, so their continuity has been severely lacking.

Next season, the 49ers should finally have carryover from one season to the next.

The direction of the offense is one of the topics addressed on this edition of 49ers Mailbag (questions were submitted via Facebook):

Now that we have Jimmy G do you see 49ers getting an offensive coordinator or will it still be Kyle calling the plays? (Julio Orozco)
I'm not sure why the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo would have any impact on the 49ers’ offensive structure, but in any event, the answer is a resounding, “No.”

Kyle Shanahan has been hailed as one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL. The reason he was hired as 49ers head coach was, in large part, because of the success he achieved while designing offenses and calling plays.

Why would he give that up? It makes no sense.

Rob Demovsky of ESPN this week identified the 32 primary play-callers. There are 18 NFL head coaches with offensive backgrounds. Twelve of those coaches call their own plays.

Shanahan has a staff of assistant coaches on whom he leans. Passing game specialist Mike LaFleur and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello are closely involved in working with Shanahan on the passing game, while running game specialist Mike McDaniel, offensive line coach John Benton and running backs coach Bobby Turner spearhead the involvement in the ground game.

But, make no mistake, it is Shanahan who calls the shots. And that's the way it should be. If Shanahan stepped aside as his own offensive coordinator, he would be diminishing his biggest strength as a coach.

What do you see happing with the Hyde situation? We drafted Joe Williams and Breida seems to be a bright spot. There’s a lot of talk about Barkley from Penn State with that high 1st rounder. (Manny Hinojos)
There does not seem to be any movement toward a long-term extension for Hyde. It is getting to the point in the season where it makes a lot more sense for Hyde to play out his contract and hit the open market.

There is no question in my mind the 49ers like Hyde a lot. He has scored some major points with the organization for his performance on the field and how he has responded off the field.

GM John Lynch loved it when Hyde came to the defense of quarterback C.J. Beathard, tussled with Arizona lineman Frostee Rucker and got ejected from the game.

That said, the 49ers are not going to break the bank for Hyde. A multi-year agreement has to come at the right price. My personal feeling is that running backs are luxury pieces when the remainder of a team’s roster -- especially the offensive line -- is set.

Shanahan and his father, Mike Shanahan, and Turner (the assistant coach who served on both of their staffs) have achieved a lot of success without investing heavily in running backs. That’s why I think the 49ers would be best-served by investing elsewhere and using another mid-round draft pick on a running back.

With Joshua Garnett coming back next season how aggressive will Lynch and Shanahan be in trying to get guards this offseason? (David Hartless)
Garnett is not a particularly good fit for this offensive scheme. The presence of Garnett can help increase the competition next offseason, but I do not believe he is being penciled in as a starter.

The 49ers will certainly be aggressive in an attempt to upgrade the guard positions. Currently, Laken Tomlinson and Brandon Fusco are the starters. Neither will be assured a starting job when the offseason begins.

The 49ers did not see enough from Garnett to determine he has a future with the organization, but he will be given the opportunity to come back healthy and prove himself.

Is Eric Reid in long-term plans? (Grant Rasmussen)
I do not believe so. I think the 49ers would like their starting safeties next season to be Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt – with Adrian Colbert as the front-runner for the No. 3 job.

The 49ers can also be expected to add a player or two in free agency, as well as the draft, to provide a competitive environment in the offseason. The 49ers seemed to telegraph their intention with Reid when they moved him to linebacker with Ward and Tartt remaining as the starting safeties.

That position change lasted about a week, as Ward’s injury prompted the team to move Reid back to safety. Reid is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. It's entirely possible there will not be a big market for him, but I do not believe the 49ers are going to be ultra-competitive in retaining him on the open market.