Smith: 'Kicking myself' over third-quarter interceptions


Smith: 'Kicking myself' over third-quarter interceptions

SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Alex Smith met the media on Monday to talk about the 49ers' 26-3 loss to the New York Giants. The 49ers have a quick turnaround with a game Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park.Coach was talking about how different people rebound off of a loss. What about you?
"Definitely not right away, that's not me, no. Waking up, thinking about it, replaying it even today a little bit. Consciously, obviously putting this one away quick with the quick turnaround Thursday. Normally it's a little longer, but this week, putting this one aside. Big division game."Do you like having a short turnaround after a loss, just come right back out?
"After a loss like that, yeah, in some ways it's nice because you can't dwell on it. Even as a team, you've just got to move on."What do the Giants do that's so vexing for you guys in their coverage?
"Yesterday, I thought we started well. We couldn't end anything, didn't finish anything well. It seems like every time we got some momentum going we couldn't really capitalize on it. Then you get down a couple scores and you got one dimensional. I really feel like we gave our defense a short field. For me, the two interceptions late (in third quarter) were the ones I thought about the most. It's third down you're trying to make a play, but you're just making matters worse. You really got to see the bigger picture there, make good decisions on both those cases. That's what I was really kicking myself for."Is it difficult, they can get away with just rushing four guys?
"That's the thing. They're so good when they get a lead like that, they don't have to bring pressure to get home. They've got a bunch of D-linemen that can all get after the pass. So, it's tough. They're tough when they get a lead like that."Looking back at those first two drives, what was the cause of frustration? Where did it end up and why did it go dry right at the end, those first two drives?
"The first two? I thought we had good balance. We were moving it and mixing it up, just didn't capitalize down there. Got in some third-down situations where we couldn't connect. Had the one tipped ball. Forget what the second one was, but moved it, changed field position, get down there to kick a field goal and to only come away with three points, that's tough."You started the game with more passing than usual, a lot of shotgun formations. What was it about the Giants defense that made you guys think that was an effective way to attack them?
"Different reasons. One, we're very conscious, they're a good D-line. I think they knock down more passes than any D-line in the NFL. They're all tall. They're all long. They all get their hands up. So a little bit get back there and get away from it a little bit. One, I think we had good balance out of that formation. The week before we had been running it well, even out of the shotgun. So, wanted to continue that and had good balance early. Like I said, just got away from it, got down multiple scores and got one dimensional and then started forcing things and then it really got bad."In your wins, you guys have looked pretty awesome. In your losses, there's been some wild fluctuations. Can you point to a reason for that inconsistency?
"A lot of reasons. There's not one, for sure. You turn on the film and offensively, it's easy to look at yesterday's film and ask questions about pretty much everything because none of it looked good. And it wasn't good enough. A lot of times that is the case with a loss. A lot of times you don't have a loss and you look back and, 'Hey, this was all great.' It was some things you've got to get better at and need to do that. I don't think there's any one thing, I guess. A lot of things playing into it. And then turnovers are just like the nail in the coffin. You're not going to overcome those, especially once you're down. In some ways it is nice to have a short week. We've got to just move a long from this one and get ready for a big division game."Transcript courtesy of the 49ers public relations department.

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely


Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.

“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.

“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”

The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.