49ers

Shanahan: 49ers need Hoyer to step up

Shanahan: 49ers need Hoyer to step up

The 49ers entered the regular season feeling as confident in quarterback Brian Hoyer as anyone on the offensive side of the ball.

But Hoyer has struggled through the worst back-to-back games of his 33-start NFL career. And the 49ers need him to get going, beginning Thursday night against the Los Angeles Rams, coach Kyle Shanahan said.

"I want him to get his edge back. I want him to get his confidence,” Shanahan said Wednesday on the KNBR Morning Show.

“We need Brian to step up, and we need everyone around him to step up.”

In the first two games of the season, Hoyer has completed 62.9 percent of his 62 pass attempts but for just 292 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating is a lowly 60.7.

The 49ers have scored only four field goals and no touchdowns on their 21 offensive possessions in losses to Carolina and Seattle. Moreover, the 49ers have converted just four of 23 (17.4 percent) of their third-down attempts.

The quick turnaround on Thursday at Levi’s Stadium is something Hoyer said he welcomes this week -- of all weeks.

Last season with the Chicago Bears, Hoyer did not throw for fewer than 300 yards in any of his four full games. On Sunday in the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seahawks, he managed just 99 yards passing.

“It was a tough game and now we move on,” Hoyer said. “Thankfully, this week we get to move on really quick and move on to LA.

”You get to put the last one behind you and move on to the next.”

49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk finishes first in Pro Bowl fan voting

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USATSI

49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk finishes first in Pro Bowl fan voting

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk was first in the final fan voting for the Pro Bowl at his position, the NFL announced on Saturday.

Juszczyk and DeForest Buckner were the only 49ers players to rank among the top-10 in the positional fan voting. Buckner garnered the ninth-most votes among NFL defensive tackles. Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams led all defensive tackles.

Juszczyk, in his first season with the 49ers, is seeking his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection. He was named to the All-Star team last season while a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Juszczyk received 361,196 votes. Jacksonville Jaguars fullback Tommy Bohanon was second with 139,297 votes.

Neither Joe Staley nor Trent Brown placed within the top 10 of offensive tackles. Tyron Smith of the Dallas Cowboys was the leading vote-getter among tackles. Staley has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times in his 11-year career.

The 88 players selected for the game are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches – with each group’s votes counting one-third toward selection. The 2018 Pro Bowl rosters will be announced Tuesday.

Tank Carradine finally in 49ers system that fits his style

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AP

Tank Carradine finally in 49ers system that fits his style

SANTA CLARA -- In dire need of a pass-rush specialist, the 49ers selected Tank Carradine in the second round of the 2013 draft after he recorded 11 sacks in his final season at Florida State.

Five years later and scheduled for unrestricted free agency in March, Carradine has found his niche as a run-down specialist while lining up at “big end” in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme.

“At first, they didn’t think I could play the run like that,” Carradine said. “But I think once I got into a scheme that fits me, I showed that I’m capable of stopping the run in this defense.”

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh described Carradine as an “elite” defensive end playing on base downs lined up against the tight end. However, Carradine’s season was derailed in Week 3 when he sustained two torn ligaments in his right ankle against the Los Angeles Rams.

Carradine missed eight weeks and came back rusty against Seattle in Week 12. After sitting out one game, he showed his power in the run game last week with a strong defensive effort in a 26-16 win over the Houston Texans.

“It’s not all healed, but it’s healed enough,” Carradine said. “I know I got the power back. I’m not 100 percent. I’m good enough to play and finish off the season. I want to play. I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team win. That’s what I’ll do.”

Carradine has not played a snap on third down in the five games in which he has appeared this season. He believes he still has a lot to offer as an inside pass rusher, but his presence has been felt for a much-improved run defense.

Last season, the 49ers were the worst run defense in the NFL, yielding an average of 4.8 yards per rush attempt. This season, the 49ers are vastly improved. At 3.9 yards allowed per attempt, the 49ers’ run defense is No. 7 in the league.

It all makes sense, according to Carradine, because Saleh has installed a system that fits the players in the team's front seven.

“Because you had guys in a scheme that didn’t fit them,” Carradine said of last season’s problems. “Moving to a 4-3, we have guys who fit the scheme and can just attack, get up the field. Last year with the 3-4, it was reading and playing your keys. When we moved to a 4-3, we had more guys with 4-3 potential.”

Carradine’s weight hovered around 300 pounds to take on the demands of being a 3-4 defensive lineman. Now, he is down to 270 pounds, which is closer to his ideal playing weight. Carradine does not have a contract for next season, but he made it clear he wants to return and make a mark under the direction of a coaching staff that has finally figured out how to utilize his style of play.

“I want to be here. I love it here,” Carradine said. “But I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve only played five games this year and I didn’t get to show a whole lot.

“But, hopefully, I can finish strong these last couple of games and come back next year and play because I love this scheme. I’d love to come back next year and play for the 49ers. If not, I have to move on and try to go to a team with a scheme that fits me.”