49ers notes: Jack Heneghan lives out childhood dream in preseason finale


49ers notes: Jack Heneghan lives out childhood dream in preseason finale

SANTA CLARA – Jack Heneghan, with Dartmouth economics degree in hands, pushed aside his post-college plans when his hometown NFL team called.

He might have had an opportunity as an analyst at a private equity firm after serving an internship last summer, but his life took a different route when the 49ers offered him a spot on their 90-man roster as an undrafted rookie quarterback.

Heneghan received few practice snaps with the 49ers through organized team activities and training camp. But on Thursday in the 49ers’ preseason finale, Heneghan saw plenty of action as a reward for his hard work. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Heneghan deserved his extensive playing time against the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi's Stadium.

“He knows everything inside-and-out, and he’s worked as hard as anyone in learning the offense,” Shanahan said. “I think the guys really respect him, just how hard he worked this offseason through OTAs and how hard he worked out in the weight room when we were away. He’s a talented guy who deserved the opportunity based on his ability also the way he handled himself.”

Heneghan is a Bay Area native who attended Menlo School in Atherton. His father, Lal Heneghan, was a longtime NFL executive and spent five years with the 49ers as executive vice president of football administration.

The younger Heneghan completed eight of nine pass attempts for 58 yards on Thursday. He engineered a 16-play, 90-yard touchdown drive late in the game to give the 49ers a lead. But the Chargers scored late for the winning points in their 23-21 win to close out the preseason.

“I grew up watching the Niners and going to games back at Candlestick,” Heneghan said. “I’ve always been a big fan of the team. I would’ve been happy to have an NFL opportunity anywhere, but it was that much more exciting to do it at home in front of friends and family.”

Heneghan will not make the 49ers’ 53-man roster, but he still he will not begin charting the next move in his life until he sees what happens in the coming days – and if football remains an option.

“Like a lot of guys in the room, I’m waiting to hear what happens over the next couple of days both here and around the league and see where that takes me,” he said. “I definitely had a great time here, and I’d love to keep playing either here or elsewhere. One day at a time.”

Roster Cuts Await

The 49ers will have some difficult cuts over the next couple of days. Shanahan said the team would start delivering the bad news on Friday. The deadline to trim rosters to the 53-player maximum is Saturday at 1 p.m. Then, teams can start putting together their practice squads.

“There are definitely more than 53 guys I’d like to keep on our team,” Shanahan said. “And there are definitely more than 10 guys I’d like to have on our practice squad."

One interesting decision for the practice squad will be which running back the 49ers decide to keep around. Jeremy McNichols gained 27 yards and a touchdown on eight rushing attempts. Jeff Wilson had 17 yards and a TD on nine rushes. Joe Williams sat out the game with a broken rib.

James Appears in the Clear

Rookie receiver Richie James saw a lot of action on Thursday night. He caught a game-high seven passes for 80 yards. He also returned three punts for 32 yards and one kickoff for 22 yards.

But he said nobody has given him any indication whether he has made the team.

“No, that’s secret,” James said. “That’s something I can’t worry about. I control only what I can control, and play ball.”

Shanahan said James is among a number of wide receivers who performed well in camp. James, Aldrick Robinson, Kendrick Bourne and Aaron Burbridge are likely battling for two spots.

“He’s been consistent throughout it all,” Shanahan said of James. “He got some opportunities tonight and came down with them.”

This ‘N’ That

Linebacker Reuben Foster and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas were the only starters who saw action. Foster will begin serving a two-game suspension for violating the league’s policies on substances of abuse and personal conduct. Therefore, Shanahan wanted Foster to see some playing time. Foster recorded two tackles, including one stop on a pass play for a 6-yard loss. Thomas missed time in training camp with a concussion. “I didn’t get many reps in camp due to injury,” Thomas said. “I just wanted to get back out there and get in a few reps and just get ready for Minnesota.” . . . Joshua Garnett started at right guard, while Mike Person did not suit up. Shanahan said the team might not announce a starter until game time on Sept. 9 against the Minnesota Vikings. . . Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not suit up. Backup C.J. Beathard started but played just one series after taking a big hit on a sack. Shanahan said he did not plan for Beathard to play more than one series. That one series was a three-and-out. “I wish it would have been longer," Shanahan said. "It was a hard debate that it was only three quick plays. But it’s just not worth it. You’ve got to make that decision.”

Dennis Brown to replace Tim Ryan on radio broadcast for 49ers-Saints

Dennis Brown to replace Tim Ryan on radio broadcast for 49ers-Saints

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The 49ers announced on Thursday that former player Dennis Brown will replace Tim Ryan as the team’s radio analyst for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Ryan was suspended for one game after the organization said it was “disappointed” in his Monday comments on KNBR. Ryan referenced Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s skin color as a factor that contributed to the 49ers defense’s difficulty in defending the read option.

Ryan issued a public apology to Jackson for his choice of words.

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Brown, 52, played seven seasons for the 49ers as a defensive lineman from 1990 to ’96, and was a starter on the team’s Super Bowl-winning team after the 1994 season. He has served as an analyst on KNBR’s pre- and post-game 49ers coverage the past two seasons.

49ers' Marcell Harris, Mike McGlinchey make PFF's Team of the Week

49ers' Marcell Harris, Mike McGlinchey make PFF's Team of the Week

The 49ers lost just their second game of the season last Sunday in a battle against the Ravens in Baltimore, but they still landed two players on Pro Football Focus' Team of the Week. 

PFF awarded one San Francisco player on each side of the ball this past week. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey represented the offense, while safety Marcell Harris represented the defense. 

McGlinchey was phenomenal in the trenches against a stout Ravens defense. At 6-foot-8 and 310 pounds, the former first-round draft pick showed off his athleticism in the 49ers' outside run game, helping prompt running back Raheem Mostert to a career day. 

Mostert, who entered the season as more of a special teams star, rushed for 146 yards on 19 carries. He averaged 7.7 yards per carry, and scored a 40-yard touchdown

McGlinchey earned an 88.4 run-blocking grade from PFF as the 49ers as a whole ran for 174 yards on 29 carries, good for an average of 6.0 yards per carry. The second-year pro had an 88.9 overall grade as he also kept QB Jimmy Garoppolo on his feet all game long. 

While McGlinchey is a former top draft pick, Harris is a whole different story. Taken by the 49ers in the sixth round of the 2018 draft, Harris replaced an injured Jaquiski Tartt and made an immediate impact. 

With Ravens QB Lamar Jackson racing down the field, Harris tackled the speedster, ripped the ball out of his hands and recovered the fumble. It was Jackson's first recovered fumble of the year. 

[RELATED: Warner named NFC Defensive Player of Month for November]

Harris ended the game with two solo tackles, one assist and the forced/recovered fumble. He earned a 91.0 PFF grade in the loss.

The 25-year-old who was promoted from the practice squad in October, now has six tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery this season.