INDIANAPOLIS – New coach Kyle Shanahan appears to be appropriately underwhelmed with the pieces he inherits from the 49ers’ last-ranked passing offense.
No team in the NFL threw for fewer yards than the 49ers’ average of a meager 181.9 yards per game last season.
Among the 49ers’ obvious offseason priorities are quarterback and wide receiver. The 49ers have no quarterbacks under contract for the upcoming season. And the receiving corps needs a lot of help, too.
The team’s top two receivers from last year – Jeremy Kerley and Quinton Patton – are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Kerley led the 49ers with 64 receptions for 667 yards, while Patton caught a career-high 37 passes for 408 yards.
When asked at the NFL Scouting Combine if any of the 49ers’ group of wide receivers and tight ends stand out from his film evaluation, Shanahan was short on praise of the position groups.
“No one in particular,” Shanahan said. “I feel we’ve got a bunch of good players we feel we can compete with, and we know we need to add some, too. We’re going to add as many as we can to help our roster. We also want to have competition, because the more competition we have in OTAs, the more competition you have in training camp.
“If you cut some people at the end of training camp who you feel can play in the NFL, then that shows your organization is going in the right direction, and that’s really our goal.”
Veteran Torrey Smith is the 49ers' most-accomplished receiver. The six-year veteran signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the 49ers in 2015 after averaging 900 yards and 7.5 touchdowns per season in his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens.
In 12 games last season, Smith had career lows with 20 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns.
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.
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."