The San Francisco 49ers will make a lot of decisions over the next ten weeks of football, and arguably the most important is what to make of new starting quarterback C.J. Beathard. Kyle Shanahan benched Brian Hoyer this past Sunday, and this upcoming Sunday will see Beathard make his first career start. Beathard looked solid in his first appearance last week, but naturally the hope is for more over the next two months.
Earlier this week, Shanahan was asked what C.J. Beathard has to show the rest of the season to prove he can be the quarterback of the future.
“Show that he has the ability to lead us to where we want to go. And I think that’s everyone in this league. Everyone’s goal in this league is to have an opportunity to go all the way. I think first and foremost, people are going to always look at the quarterback first. He’s the guy who touches the ball every play. Depending on that level, that helps you the most. There definitely isn’t 32 of those in the world. So, by no means do you have to be one of those top five guys, but you have to show the ability that you can build things around a person who gives you the chance no matter what type of defense you go against, that he’s got the ability to make those throws, he’s got the ability to make some off schedule plays and he’s the type of person who can handle all the stuff that goes with it.”
It’s not exactly the most specific answer, but I don’t think it’s an easy question to answer. It’s effectively, “We’ll know it when we see it.” I see it as wanting some kind of regular improvement. He’ll have some bad games to go along with what hopefully are some good games, but it’s about showing some basic improvement in the various key aspects of the game.
Will Beathard show enough the next ten weeks to shake up whatever the 49ers might have had planned for the quarterback position? Nothing would have been set in stone because of the unpredictable nature of free agency and the draft. We don’t know if Kirk Cousins will end up available to sign. If the 49ers don’t have the No. 1 pick, we won’t know who the Cleveland Browns (or whomever else) will take.
Whatever the case, the next ten weeks will provide critical points of data as they prepare for a huge offseason. This past offseason was big for the organization as a whole. It was important for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan to then get off on the right foot, but given the quarterback questions, I would argue next offseason will go down as the biggest for ShanaLynch.