The San Francisco 49ers got their first practice underway on Wednesday, and that meant the weekly media session for the team’s starting quarterback.
It’s an odd situation right now for the 49ers following their decision to trade for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers sent a second round pick to the Patriots with the hopes that Garoppolo can become their long-term answer at quarterback. However, they also currently have a guy in C.J. Beathard who is trying to show them he brings something to the table. He was viewed as a project coming in, but his opportunity came faster than expected.
Beathard has had plenty of ups and downs, and he has not been helped by the team’s shaky offensive line. But, it’s a business, and he seems to understand how things work, even as a rookie. Here’s what he had to say before practice on Wednesday.
What was your reaction when you got the news about the trade?
“Obviously I was a little shocked. It’s my first time, I’m a rookie in this business. It’s my first big encounter with a big move being made. But, it’s awesome. [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] is a good guy. It’s been nice getting to know him already.”
What was the conversation like with head coach Kyle Shanahan when he told you what was going on and told you what to expect going forward?
“I talked to Kyle and he told me a lot of positive stuff. He’s still confident in what I’ve been doing and it had nothing to do with my first two starts. It’s just an opportunity. Jimmy is a real good quarterback, too. It’s just an opportunity to up the competition level and stuff like that.”
You mentioned you were shocked. Did you have to call anyone to talk it through? Did it hurt your feelings at all?
“No. I wasn’t shocked like ‘Oh my.’ I was just like, ‘Woah.’ Obviously, I talked to my parents. I didn’t need to vent to somebody or anything like that. It’s part of the business part of the NFL.”
Did they give you advice?
“Yeah. Just stay positive and keep working. Just keep doing what I do and working hard and doing my best.”
Was it important of you to hear from Kyle that it wasn’t a reflection of what you did? Did you need to hear that from him?
“Me and Kyle have a good relationship. I’ve been meeting with him the last couple weeks. They’ve been good meetings. So, I never really thought it was something like that. When you watch film with Kyle you kind of go back and it’s nice talking through stuff with him because he knows how to explain it and help you do this or that. It was nice to hear, but it wasn’t like I had to hear it to be okay.”
You and Jimmy have the same number of career starts, if you want to look at it that way.
How will that competition make you sharper?
“Any competition makes you a better player. Whether it be quarterback, or any position. Anything in life I think competition makes you not only a better person but a better player in the long run. I’m looking forward to it. Especially when it’s with a good group of guys. It’d be different if Jimmy came in and he was some bad person. But, yeah I’ve already gotten to know him and he seems like a really genuine, nice guy. It’s going to be nice working with him and helping each other out.”
He hasn’t even been here 24 hours, but is he already bouncing questions about the playbook off of you?
“Yeah. I think the biggest thing is learning the playbook. It’s a wordy, it’s kind of funny because a few weeks ago it was me asking [QB] Brian [Hoyer], and now the role has changed. Now he’s asking me about the playbook because I know it better than he does. Definitely the biggest thing is learning that, learning the verbiage, and everything like that.”
Did he come to you and say anything after he got here?
“No, I just met him this morning actually. We met in the QB room and were just talking a little bit.”
What changes for you? Obviously T Joe Staley is out, everyone on the line is kind of rotating in to fill that in. How does that affect you directly? What do you need to get better in response to that?
“I think if anything try and get the ball out quicker. Obviously you’ve got to trust the O-Line and your protection, stuff like that. It’s real. We’ve got a lot of guys injured right now. I trust the guys that are in there to do a great job. Any way I can help them I’m going to try to do that as well.”
Is that kind of a point of focus for you is just being quicker with your decisions even more so?
“Yeah, I think so. The coaching staff and everyone knows the game plan is a little bit different, just the fact that we do have a lot of guys hurt right now.”
How would you describe what it’s like to digest this playbook without knowing any of it?
“It’s tough, it is. I think that was the hardest thing. Let alone, saying it verbally, but then just understanding what you’re saying. That was I think the biggest thing for me. I haven’t even aced it yet. I would imagine it’s one of the bigger things about any offense you have to go to.”