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San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard led Iowa to the Rose Bowl while in college.

C.J. Beathard is a rookie on the San Francisco 49ers. After leading Iowa to the Rose Bowl as a junior, Beathard led the Hawkeyes to an 8-win season in 2016. Now he’s on the 49ers depth chart.

Here’s what you need to know about the 49ers quarterback.

1. C.J. Beathard is all over the Iowa football record books

C.J. Beathard’s 21 wins as a starting quarterback rank third in program history. But he has a bunch more top-10 spots in the Hawkeyes record book.

  • 40 touchdown passes to rank sixth
  • 5,991 total offense to rank sixth
  • 454 completions to rank seventh
  • 5,562 passing yards to rank eighth

Beathard passed for 179 yards as a freshman and then 645 yards as a sophomore. He then took off as a junior, throwing for 2,809 yards, 17 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. Beathard led Iowa to a 12-0 start and a spot in the Rose Bowl. In his senior season, with the Hawkeyes receiving corps hurt with injuries, Beathard passed for 1,929 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

2. C.J. Beathard went in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft — a shock to experts

After Beathard and Iowa had a disappointing 2016 season considering the preseason top-20 ranking, Beathard seemed to have lost some momentum going into a possible NFL career. But Beathard didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2017 NFL Draft.

The 49ers drafted Beathard in the third round at No. 104 overall. That made him the sixth quarterback taken in the draft after Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and David Webb.

Beathard later signed a 4-year deal with the 49ers.

3. C.J. Beathard got the nickname “Sunshine” because of his long hair

Hawkeyes fans gave him the nickname “Sunshine” because of his long hair looked like that of Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass from “Remember The Titans.” Beathard eventually cut off his hair and donated it to Wigs For Kids. The non-profit organization makes wigs to support children who have lost their own hair because of various medical problems.

4. C.J. Beathard’s family is well-known in both football — and country music

Beathard’s grandfather, Bobby, is a former NFL general manager. Beathard’s father, Casey, is a songwriter. Casey’s co-written six No. 1 songs, including “The Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney.

Beathard even appeared in the music video at the 1:50 mark.

Beathard is also the brother of rising country music singer Tucker Beathard.

5. C.J. Beathard used a strong preseason to move up the depth chart

C.J. Beathard’s impressive preseason turned heads. He led 49ers quarterbacks with 26 completions, 45 attempts, 401 yards, 4 touchdowns and also had only 1 interception in the preseason.

But his most eye-opening play was on the ground. Beathard, who rushed for -13 yards as a senior in Iowa because of sacks, outran the Los Angeles Chargers defense for a 62-yard touchdown in an August 31 preseason game.

Thanks to the run, Beathard finished the preseason third on the 49ers with 85 rushing yards, behind only Joe Williams and Raheem Mostert.

Going into the 2017 NFL regular season, Beathard was second on the depth chart after Brian Hoyer, another former Big Ten quarterback. Hoyer played at Michigan State.


The 49ers strong safety is questionable to return.

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Fooch’s update: Eric Reid returned to the game on the 49ers first defensive snap of the third quarter.

The San Francisco 49ers took a tough blow on Sunday. Strong safety Eric Reid suffered a knee injury and had to leave the game in the second quarter. Reid is listed as questionable to return. In his absence, Jaquiski Tartt moved over to strong safety, and Jimmie Ward came on at free safety.

Ward is active for the first time this season, and was coming off the bench in the first half as a sub-package option. Tartt has made two consecutive starts at free safety, but will eventually be replaced in the starting lineup once Ward is ready to go back to being a full-time starter.

Reid’s loss is a tough one for the 49ers, as he had taken quite well to the strong safety role in this new-look defense. He was able to walk off under his own power, so we’ll see if he is able to return to this game.


SEATTLE—Sighing into the microphone as he stood at the 50-yard line of Centurylink Field, NFL referee Gene Steratore ruled during Sunday’s game that the San Francisco 49ers could put as many men on the field as they want. “You know what, the offense may have however many guys they need on the field to make this fucking thing close,” declared Steratore while waving the 49ers sideline onto the field before picking up the flag he had initially thrown for an illegal substitution. “Put 12 or 13 men in the huddle if you need to, or put the whole goddamn roster on the field. Fuck it, they’re all eligible receivers, too. Go 15-wide if that’s what you gotta do.” At press time, a visibly frustrated Steratore had ruled that, for all he cared, the 49ers could also violently shake an opposing players’ facemask or tear a ball carrier down by the collar if they could get close enough.


Seahawks Michael Bennett wants to see DeForest Buckner get a sack Sunday on Seahawks QB

DeForest Buckner is seeking his first sack Sunday in Seattle since recording six last season as a 49ers rookie defensive lineman, including this one in December on New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

SANTA CLARA – As the practice-field speakers cranked up to mimic Seattle’s deafening stadium, here are the top three things we learned Thursday as the 49ers prepared for their upcoming visit to the Seahawks:

Arik Armstead (91), left, and DeForest Buckner (99) participate in the San Francisco 49ers first team practice at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)

1. Pass rush plans. The 49ers aren’t the only ones hoping to see defensive lineman DeForest Buckner record his first sack this season. So is Seahawks counterpart Michael Bennett, who’s helped train Buckner the past two summers in Hawaii.

“Mike’s a good guy. I was just talking to him last night and he was telling me I better get a sack this week,” Buckner said Thursday. “So there’s a little pressure from him, but it’s all good.”

Wait, Bennett actually wants the 49ers to sack the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson? That must simply be out of respect for Buckner’s progress rather than any anti-Seahawks sentiment, right?

“Of course,” replied Buckner.

Buckner noted that he didn’t win his one-on-one matchups in Sunday’s opener against the Carolina Panthers, who did not allow Cam Newton to get sacked in the 23-3 victory.

“They did a great job protecting Cam,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “I mean he’s got one of the deeper set points in the league at eight or nine yards. Their offensive line does a great job and he’s got a big enough body to stand in there and take a pounding.”

Elvis Dumervil twice had Newton escape from his clutches for what would have been Dumervil’s 100th career sack. Dumervil posted a picture of one such near-miss on his Instagram account and captioned it: “Almost doesn’t count. We will be better. #QuestFor100.”

Arik Armstead only has 4 1/2 career sacks as the team’s 2015 top draft pick. His plan of attack on Wilson: “You want to be aggressive and go after him, but be mindful of his scrambling ability.”

“We’re going to approach this week different than we did with Cam, just from a D-line standpoint,” Saleh said. “I don’t if I can say it’s much different because (Newton and Wilson) are both running quarterbacks.”

One potential change is activating Aaron Lynch, who did not suit up for the opener as Saleh instead opted for interior depth with Xavier Cooper and D.J. Jones. “There’s no question it’s got to be better,” Saleh said of the pass rush.

Added Dumervil: “There’s no secret to it. It’s about everybody just going harder, playing a better effort.”

The Detroit Lions traded 2015 first-round pick Laken Tomlinson two weeks ago to the 49ers, who might be ready to insert him at left guard. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

2. The Great Laken?: Two weeks after being traded from the Detroit Lions, Laken Tomlinson lined up at left guard on the first-string unit, at least in the warmup session during the media’s viewing window at practice. Coach Kyle Shanahan wants to see how well Tomlinson has learned the outside-zone blocking scheme before making any lineup changes, which would likely mean benching left guard Zane Beadles.

Tomlinson has made a positive first impression on left tackle Joe Staley, who said: “He’s very eager to learn. He’s a great guy in our offensive line room. You see on the field he’s really stoutly, powerly built. He reminds me a little bit of Mike (Iupati). His feet are very quick, so you can see why he was a top pick (in the 2015 first round by the Lions) and why we tried to get him here.”

As for last Sunday’s woes, Staley said the offensive line’s film review held up as “disappointing” but that there were “no glaring, huge flaws that aren’t fixable.” Instead, Staley said communications and technique issues hurt them most against a powerful Panthers front.

3. Seattle sounds: Quarterback Brian Hoyer, wide receiver Pierre Garçon and fullback Kyle Jusczcyk have yet to play in Seattle in their careers, and it will be an ear-splitting debut for rookies such as tight end George Kittle and running back Matt Breida. But one skill position player who has experience is wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.

Goodwin was on the Buffalo Bills last season when they pulled within 28-25 of the host Seahawks before falling 31-25 on Nov. 7. Beside the obstacles created by a loud crowd, Goodwin has other advice for his 49ers teammates: “You’ve got to know those guys are going to bring it all four quarters, and you have to be mentally ready for that.”

Staley was midway through his rookie season in 2007 when he was stunned by Seattle’s noise. “No one really told me going in that it was a loud stadium,” Staley recalled. “In my own mind, I was, ‘(Expletive)! This is the NFL? What the (expletive) is this? I can’t even think.’ ”

Staley said he would make sure none of his current teammates “have crazy expectations like they’re about to hear a snap count.”


— Free safety Jimmie Ward warmed up with the defensive backs and did so for apparently the first time without a compression sleeve on his problematic hamstring.

— One reason Saleh is not taking the Seahawks offensive line lightly is their position coach Tom Cable, who interviewed in January for the 49ers coaching vacancy. Said Saleh: “Cable is one of the finest O-Line coaches in all of football. The message he delivers is awesome from a physicality standpoint. I know that whatever trouble they had last week will not be an issue this week.”

— Linebacker Reuben Foster, with his sprained right ankle in a stabilizing boot, put on boxing gloves to work on his hands with a strength coach during practice.

Saleh said he wants Foster to “learn. Just watch tape. Try to take in as much information as he can and to really focus on his body, getting it right. If he can come out of this really understanding the way we’re being attacked and to be able to really see what teams do to our scheme, it would be very beneficial.”

— Offensive tackle John Theus got claimed off waivers by the Panthers, who Theus did not suit up against Sunday prior to his release.


It looks like there may be some bad blood between the San Fransisco 49ers and former team member Alex Smith.

When speaking with journalist Graham Besigner about his time on the 49ers, the current Kansas City Chiefs QB did not hold back, saying the situation he was in on the team was “not healthy” and “really dysfunctional.”

Watch the entire 5 minute clip here:

It seems like Smith has the biggest issue with the culture of the entire building, which he described as a disjointed mess of sorts. It’s especially discouraging to hear him say that this wasn’t just a problem amongst the executives, but that it was amongst the team members as well. There’s no reason any NFL teams should have any sort of “side-taking.”

It’s even worse that 49ers fans couldn’t even rally around the QB:

If there’s anything I can pull from this interview, it’s that Smith will be much better off in Kansas City.


The San Francisco 49ers today announced they have signed linebacker Elijah Lee from the Minnesota Vikings practice squad to a two-year deal. In order to make room on the roster, the team has waived offensive lineman John Theus.

Lee (6-2, 229) was originally drafted by the Vikings in the seventh round (232ndoverall) of this year’s NFL Draft out of Kansas State University. In three seasons (2014-16), he appeared in 39 games (26 starts) and registered 209 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, five interceptions, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. As a junior in 2016, he earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors and Honorable Mention Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors after leading the team with 110 tackles. A 21-year-old native of Blue Springs, MO, he was waived by the Vikings on September 2, 2017, and signed to the team’s practice squad the following day.

Theus (6-6, 303) was originally the second of three fifth round (145th overall) draft choices by San Francisco in the 2016 NFL Draft. He appeared in four games (one start) as a rookie last season and was inactive for last week’s game against Carolina.


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — After another blistering day for football on Sunday, some San Francisco 49ers fans are complaining about the layout of Levi’s Stadium, saying something needs to be done to block out more of the bright, hot sun.

Season ticket holders say they know the 49ers can’t change the weather when it gets hot in the South Bay.

But faithful fans are hoping the organization can do something to help them get out of the hot seats.

The windy, overcast weather during a Daly City soccer practice is more of what soccer coach and Niners season-ticket holder Wilson Trujillo would want at the NFL games.

He went to several games last season and could hardly have a good time because of the temperature in the stadium.

“It’s terrible. It’s just really hot,” Trujillo said. “I don’t even sit in my seats to be honest with you.”

Trujillo says he and his family spend most of the time walking around in shaded areas.

So, can the 49ers really take the blame for the sun?

Of course not, but Trujillo has a theory.

“I think it’s the placement,” Trujillo said. “I think it’s how they designed the stadium to actually favor the higher-end seat holders.”

Apparently, he’s not the only one complaining.

In a statement, the 49ers say they did communicate to ticket holders prior to Sunday’s game that the weather would be unseasonably warm.

They also offered free water, sunscreen, and even personal misters for fans who needed them.

But Trujillo feels like something more needs to be done with the stadium itself, like what he saw at a stadium in Miami.

“What I’ve seen in the designs, what they did is they did kind of like an awning over the top end of the stadium. Something like that would help,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo isn’t planning on giving up on the Niners, but he says it’s hard for him to even take his kids to their seats when he’s worried about possible heat stroke on hot days like Sunday.

“You have faithful fans out there, and they’re willing to cheer for the team, but they’re also looking for their own safety, too,” Trujillo said.

A 49ers spokesperson says the team is also in talks with a stadium architecture firm to see if there are any feasible solutions to address concerns stemming from hot-weather days.


Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers got the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era off to an inauspicious beginning, losing to the Carolina Panthers by a final score of 23-3. There has been optimism this offseason, but expectations are still relatively low for this season, and that showed on Sunday.

The most notable news from the game was the loss of linebacker Reuben Foster to a leg injury. After a strong start in the first quarter, Foster went down grabbing his ankle. He was taken off on a cart, and the worst was feared. He eventually did walk back to the sideline, but had a notable limp. The 49ers taped up his ankle, but he did not return to the game. The upside to this is he was walking around without crutches. We’ll see if it’s an ankle sprain, and if it is, whether it is low or high.

The 49ers offense struggled in a big way on Sunday. We saw glimpses on a play here or a play there, but for the most part, the offense could not get most of the day. They had one drive go double digit plays, failed to convert on three of their four attempts at fourth down conversions, and had a fumble and interception.

Brian Hoyer had a less than stellar day, completing 24 of 35 passes for 193 yards and one interception. The interception was an awful throw where he just did not see Luke Kuechly. There were some times it seemed like he was holding onto the ball too long, but more often than not, Zane Beadles was getting beat by a pass rusher. Hoyer is a low ceiling quarterback, and a porous offensive line also lowers his floor.

5 things we learned

1. Laken Tomlinson needs to get up to speed in a hurry. The guard position in general is a mess, but Zane Beadles in particular is a turnstile right now.

2. The 49ers can’t afford to lose Reuben Foster for an extended period of time. NaVorro Bowman is not the linebacker he once was, and they need Foster out there in the nickel and dime packages.

3. Penalties remain a problem. We saw some issues with it in the preseason, and this group has some work to do to get on the same page.

4. Carlos Hyde is going to be busy in this offense. He only had nine carries, but he matched his career high with six receptions. He averaged five yards per carry on his rushes, but the 49ers just did not give him enough work. We’ll see plenty of him though this season.

5. Somehow the Los Angeles Rams are in first place in the NFC West. It’s only one game and the Indianapolis Colts sent out Scott Tolzien, but that was impressive.


Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers lost 23-3 to the Carolina Panthers in both teams’ season opener. For head coach Kyle Shanahan, it was his first game as a head coach. He is known as an offensive genius but his offense, which is a work in progress, accomplished very little on Sunday.

Shanahan has a message for the Niner Faithful. He wants you to stick with him and the 49ers and believes things will get turned around. Shanahan was asked how he felt about the number of empty seats at Levi’s Stadium for Sunday’s game.

“I didn’t notice the attendance of anything but I thought the fans were great,” Shanahan said. “Came out early in the game and I thought they were loud. I heard all of them early. I don’t think we gave them much to cheer for in the second half so definitely can’t blame them for that. Definitely want them to stick with us.

“I think this has been a great fan base for a long time. I think it still is. They haven’t had a lot to cheer about recently but I can promise them we’re doing everything we can, working as hard as we can to change that and we’re going to do it as soon as we possibly can.”

The 49ers have another tough opponent coming up. They travel to Seattle, Washington to face the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Sunday, September 17.


Exhibit A when documenting how feeble the 49ers’ run defense was in 2016: Fozzy Whittaker.

The Panthers backup running back never had surpassed 45 rushing yards in his four-year NFL career but ran for 100 yards in the teams’ Week 2 meeting in which Carolina finished with a season-high – by a wide margin – 529 yards of offense.

The run-oriented Panthers enter Sunday’s rematch with more ground resources than they had vs. the 49ers a year ago, including a healthy workhorse runner in Jonathan Stewart and a pair of quick-footed rookies, Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, capable of lining up at tailback or receiver on any given play. McCaffrey in particular has received plenty of hype this offseason with his Twitter handle, Run CMC, appearing on everything from T-shirts to baby onesies.

It will be an immediate test of just how much San Francisco’s run defense has improved from last season when Whittaker was one of 11 starting tailbacks to hit the 100-yard mark and the 49ers gave up more yards than any other squad in franchise history.

This year, simple mathematics suggest they will be better.

Their new defensive scheme essentially places five players along the line of scrimmage and sticks a strong safety, Eric Reid, closer to the ball on running downs so that he acts as a quasi linebacker.

“It’s another guy in the box,” linebacker NaVorro Bowman said of Reid. “Not all the time, but we have (plays) where he’s able to come down and make it an eight-man box. And teams will still try to run the ball against an eight-man box because it opens up their passing game. And if we stop the run, then they’ll have only one way to go, and that’s to pass the ball.”

The 49ers’ personnel also has been bolstered in key areas.

They finished the 2016 season without Bowman and defensive lineman Arik Armstead, both of whom were injured early on. Inside linebacker – a team’s primary run stoppers – was particularly troublesome last year; the 49ers started five different combinations during the season.

This year, Bowman is healthy again and the team drafted Reuben Foster in the first round. They used the No. 3 overall pick on a defensive lineman, Solomon Thomas, giving them three former first rounders – Armstead and DeForest Buckner are the others – in their defensive-line rotation.

The defense is modeled after the one used by the Seattle Seahawks, who have finished in the Top 10 in run defense for the last six seasons.

Linebacker Brock Coyle spent the last three seasons with the Seahawks while defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was an assistant in Seattle from 2011-13. Both cautioned that the 49ers’ defense won’t look exactly like the Seahawks’.

But Coyle said the overarching quality – its aggressive nature – has carried over. With so many players on the line of scrimmage, most defensive linemen are able to attack one gap in the offensive line as opposed to last year when they were responsible for two gaps and had to analyze a play as it developed.

Saleh has described the style as “all gas, no brakes.” Coyle called it “trying to be a violent professional.”

“I think about the Minnesota game in the preseason where you really saw our defense really bring to life what Saleh’s been emphasizing,” Coyle said. “And that’s running and hitting, all gas no brakes. Arik Armstead gets a sack, Reuben hitting (opponents), Bowman being the great leader he is. That’s a great start for what we want to build. And it’s exciting to see what it’s going to continue to be.”

One of the game’s storylines involves McCaffrey, the eighth overall pick in the draft, and the innovative ways the Panthers can use him.

Saleh, however, said the 49ers have not obsessed over the possibilities. If the defense operates as it’s supposed to, it should provide answers to whatever Carolina throws its way.

“You never want to chase ghosts,” he said. “… Will they use him? I’ll bet a lot of money they’re going to use him in many creative ways. It’s our job to understand that it’s not about the player that’s performing. It’s about the structure of the defense and how we defend the entire field.”

Said Bowman when asked about McCaffrey: “We’re not going to make it that big of a deal. He’s going to come out and try to make a statement in his first game in the NFL, and it’s our job on defense to not let that happen.”

Carolina Panthers’ Fozzy Whittaker (43) runs past San Francisco 49ers’ NaVorro Bowman (53) and Eli Harold (58) in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. Bob Leverone AP



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