Mathieu: 49ers' simplified offense easy to anticipate


Mathieu: 49ers' simplified offense easy to anticipate

GLENDALE, Ariz. -– Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu was responsible for two of Colin Kaepernick’s four interceptions on Sunday.

To hear him tell it, Mathieu saw them coming.

Mathieu said after the Cardinals' 47-7 victory that the 49ers have become more predictable with the change of offensive coordinators from Greg Roman to Geep Chyrst.

“We knew going into this game that the focus for them was to run the football,” Mathieu said. “Their passing game has just simplified so much, it was easy for us to anticipate routes, get some good breaks on the ball.

[MAIOCCO: Instant Replay: Kap tosses four picks in loss to Cardinals]

“We started up front, forcing Kaepernick to throw some wild balls. Us on the back end anticipated some balls and jumped in front of them.”

Last week, Chryst said coach Jim Tomsula told him in the offseason to “strip back” the playbook to concentrate on elements of the offense that Kaepernick is most comfortable.

[MAIOCCO: 49ers' Kaepernick: Loss to Cardinals '100 percent my fault']

“And we’ve just gone down with a little bit of reset button hit here to maybe try to play back to Kap’s strengths,” Chryst said on Thursday.

Mathieu, a third-year pro from LSU, broke in front of Anquan Boldin like he was the intended target to interception Kaepernick in the first quarter. He returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. Mathieu recorded his second interception of the game late in the first quarter while in coverage against tight end Vernon Davis.

Jimmy Garoppolo's offseason plan has included rehab, recruiting free agents

Jimmy Garoppolo's offseason plan has included rehab, recruiting free agents

PHOENIX — Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is embracing his role as the leader of the franchise as he looks toward the start of the 2019 season.

49ers CEO Jed York spoke at the NFL owners meeting about Garoppolo like a proud parent.

He has been keeping an eye on his quarterback’s rehab and reports that he sees Garoppolo developing into a true leader. He said the two of them chat regularly.

“I’m not going over film with Jimmy,” York said, “so I don’t think we have to worry about anything from that standpoint. I see Jimmy, whether it’s in the lunch room or if I’m down in the training room or if we’re working out.”

Garoppolo has been organizing workouts at the team’s Santa Clara facility. There has been a group of 20 to 25 players participating from both the offense and the defense, York said. As long as there are no coaches present the players are allowed to work out at the facility.

“It’s great to see that,” York said. “The team is really, really jelling and watching them come together as a unit, that’s what you need. It’s not a collection of individuals. It’s a team.”

Garoppolo’s involvement doesn't stop there, though. 

He was very active during free agency, playing the role of recruiter by calling some players the 49ers were interested in.

“I know he called the guys who we were interested in on the first day or so of free agency and expressed his interest in getting guys here,” York said. “I’m fairly certain that he called Kwon (Alexander) during that negotiating window when you can start talking to people.”

York explained that this is a new aspect of Garoppolo’s role as the face of the franchise.

“Those are things that he wants to do,” York said. “That’s where it’s different when you come in and you’ve been a backup, now being the guy. It’s hard when you’re the guy, you’re the highest-paid player, but you’re not playing for (the) team.”

Obviously, York would have preferred to have Garoppolo on the field for the entire season in 2018, but he sees the positives that came from Garoppolo's season-ending knee injury.

“I think he was able to learn a lot of the cerebral things,” York said, “and a lot of the things that come with that leadership position over the last year, which really excites me for him going forward.”

[RELATED: 49ers were aggressive in pursuing Odell Beckham Jr.]

York said Garoppolo is ahead of schedule on his path back to the football field after sustaining a torn ACL in Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Garoppolo looks as if he has added some muscle to his frame while going through his daily rehab, York said.

“He’s just grinding every single day to get better personally and to get better as a team and understanding how important it is to do those things as a team leader,” York said.

CEO Jed York says 49ers were aggressive in pursuit of Odell Beckham

CEO Jed York says 49ers were aggressive in pursuit of Odell Beckham

PHOENIX – The 49ers were apparently not willing to part ways with the No. 2 overall pick without getting the New York Giants’ pick at No. 6 to acquire wide receiver Odell Beckham two weeks ago.

CEO Jed York on Sunday at the NFL owners meeting was asked how close the 49ers came from landing Beckham in a trade.

“Not close enough,” York answered.

The Giants worked out a trade with the Cleveland Browns on March 12 to trade Beckham in exchange for the Browns’ first-round pick at No. 17 overall, a third-round pick (No. 95 overall) and safety Jabrill Peppers.

After not showing any interest in dealing with Pittsburgh for Antonio Brown, who ended up with the Raiders, the 49ers pursued Beckham, York confirmed.

“We were definitely in it,” York said. “We were aggressive. But I think (the Giants) wanted different things than we had to offer. I think it would have been very hard for us to just give up a first-round pick and not get a ton in return, other than just the player, knowing that the second pick in the draft is a very, very valuable pick.”

[RELATED: Why Ford, not OBJ, made sense]

Beckham is not the first All-Pro caliber player the 49ers pursued in the past year in a trade but were unable to close the deal. Prior to the start of last season, the 49ers felt they had a better offer on the table to the Raiders for edge rusher Khalil Mack.

The Raiders ended up trading Mack and a second-round draft pick in 2020 to the Bears for first-round picks in 2019 and 2020, a third-rounder in 2020 and a sixth-round pick this year.