Saturday brought us an ugly evening of football from the San Francisco 49ers, with the first team offense looking particularly rough. There were certainly some quality moments, but there is no way we can overlook the turnovers, penalties, and inconsistency.
The worst play for Brian Hoyer was his fumble when he was trying to complete a pass to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.
He went to fire the pass and the ball just fell out of his hand. He talked about it after the game, describing what happened:
“I was getting ready to rip it to [WR] [Jeremy] Kerley. He had a double-move route and I thought he was going to win, And I went to throw it, I was going to throw it hard and literally I think my arm even went forward. Then looking around like, what happened to the ball. My quarterback coach asked me, ‘When’s the last time that’s happened to you.’ I think maybe a few years ago in practice it happened one time. I’ve never really had that happen in a game. So, it’s like the worst feeling. You know, you go to throw the ball and you’re looking, then all of a sudden you looking around and you have no idea where it is. It literally is the worst feeling that I’ve had as a quarterback.”
He didn’t know if the ball was slippery or what. It simply fell out of his hand as his arm went forward, and there was no real explanation.
The turnovers were a big problem, with four fumbles and one interception. But the penalties were also significant. The preseason brings plenty of penalty issues, but the 49ers roster and scheme turnover mean we can expect plenty more. I have a hunch this will be a prominent issue, at least early in the season.
Here’s the rest of what Hoyer had to say after the game.
Brian what’s the takeaway from this game?
“Obviously, disappointing when you turn the ball over five times, four times on offense, you’re never really going to have a chance to win the game. So, we’ve got to do a better job protecting the ball.”
You had the penalties too, do you feel like the offense is misfiring?
“Well, we can’t hurt ourselves, I mean, that’s obvious. We had it last week too on our third down. That stuff takes no effort, it’s the mental part of it. Lining up, making sure people are set when we motion. Things like that. We’ve got to really take control of it as an offense and not let it happen anymore.”
Any frustration from the players?
“Well, I think this is our first time handling a little adversity as a team as the 2017 49ers. Now, you just got to see how you respond to it. Are we going to take it and learn from it, and come together and come closer? Are we going to, you know, separate? I think we have the right guys in that locker room that we’re going to go tomorrow, Monday, and watch the film. Be really critical of ourselves, ask what we can do better individually. Then move on and have a great week next week.”
Did the interception surprise or puzzle you at all? You were probably looking and it looked like it might have been a completion and then the defender takes it.
“Well, yeah, I mean that’s just part of football you know. [WR] Marquise [Goodwin], he already came up to me and said he feels terrible about it. It’s football. It’s unfortunate, things happen. You move on and you play the next play. So, that’s the one thing. It’s not time to panic. You go on and you keep playing. That’s all you can do. You don’t want to worry about what’s in the past. You just worry about that play at that moment and you keep moving on.”
Before that fumble, I should say, it seems like you and WR Marquise Goodwin have sort of found a grove together, how do you think that relationship between you guys has been building?
“That’s the hard part. Even though we kept putting ourselves back, we were moving the ball. There’s definitely positives to look at. I thought our pass protection was unbelievable. I didn’t get touched all night. That’s two weeks in a row against two pretty good defenses where our offensive line has done a great job in pass protection. You obviously, right now, we feel all the negatives. But, I think we’re going to go and watch the film and realize really we’re just hurting ourselves. We’re doing positive things. We can’t do the things that are going to keep us from taking that next step.”
The first couple games you guys have struggled to get RB Carlos Hyde in a rhythm, is it important to do that at some point in the next two weeks to get him going, just so you know what it feels like within the offense?
“Yeah, for sure. Obviously, you want to go out there and perform well. The running game is so huge in this offense. You go against certain looks, now all of a sudden it’s a different look and they play a different front. That’s what this offense is built on. So, we’ll go back and watch the film. Make the corrections and get it working for this week.”
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan kept his cool with us but he definitely didn’t seem pleased by the performance.
“I don’t think any of us should be pleased right now. When you put the defense in that situation, regardless if it’s a regular season game or a preseason game you should feel displeased with the performance. That’s the biggest thing, how do we respond. Do we take it and you know, look internally and make the corrections? Or do we say, ‘Ah, you know it’s a preseason game, we’ll move on.’ I think we have the guys that have the right attitude and we’ll see how we respond this week.”
How did QB C.J. Beathard look from a quarterback perspective?
“Yeah, it was great. It’s funny, the play he hit to [WR] Aldrick [Robinson] is like almost the same play [QB] Matt [Barkley] hit him on last week. Kind of got things going. Then it was good to see [TE] George Kittle get out there and play, and make a play. I thought he was about to fall down and all of a sudden he runs a guy over and runs it into the end zone. So, those are positives too. In every game, you’re going to find positives and negatives. The thing is, you build on the positives and you learn from the negatives, and keep getting better.”
You guys practice against this team twice and more than held your own, and then what happened tonight? So, what’s the real?
“I think, in practice we didn’t turn the ball over, that’s the big thing. Then when it comes to a real game and you turn the ball over, and you put your defense in a bad situation, that’s just not winning football. We always talk about the ball, and protecting it, and the defense trying to get takeaways. Tonight, we were just at a bad turnover ratio. That never really gives you a chance to win.”
A game like tonight when things obviously aren’t going well offensively, what’s Head Coach Kyle Shanahan like on the headset, on the sideline. What’s his demeanor like?
“He’s great. He keeps looking at what can we do to get them. How are they playing and what are the plays that are going to affect their defense the right way? That’s the way it should be. The mindset of the entire team is, ‘Hey things aren’t going great but you just keep playing.’ That’s the thing, eventually it comes around. You hit a few big plays, just like C.J. did coming out of halftime and you hit a big play for a bunch of yards. Then come back and hit a keeper to George and he breaks a tackle and it’s a touchdown. That’s just the way football is.”
Are you looking forward to getting out of camp mode and start the whole game plan, start building the habits that’ll carry over for the season as far as your weekly routine?
“Sure. It’s always great to get to that third preseason week and really kind of model it after how the week is going to go during the season. Like I said we’ll go in, we’ll watch this film, really figure out what we need to correct. Then, go and prepare for Minnesota like we’re going into a regular season game. A normal week like that. Like I said, just see how we handle a little bit of adversity.”
How had some headset issues when you were out there?
“Yeah. It just wasn’t working. I kind of had to do the high school thing and run over to the sideline a few times. They gave me a backup helmet, and that was right before the fumble. It wasn’t too big of an issue. You know, we always have plays in case that happens. Before Kyle called the timeout, I had a play ready just in case and, obviously, he wanted to get the play called that he wanted. But, that’s something you have to deal with. There’s obviously hick-ups everywhere. No matter what part of the game it is. You just deal with it and you keep playing.”