For the first time in two seasons, the San Francisco 49ers have a quarterback, who isn’t afraid to take the punishment that comes with the quarterback position. Niners Live shows you why the grace under pressure displayed by C.J. Beathard in his five appearances this season is something that may be often imitated, but never duplicated.
If you are like Head Coach Kyle Shanahan, you cringe every time your quarterback leaves the pocket in order to avoid the sack or get extra yardage. You do this because you know with a piecemeal offensive line and only one other quarterback on the roster, the chances of injury are great. The San Francisco 49ers are just one season removed from losing their starting quarterback from injury for multiple games. Anything that stunts the growth of a franchise that is currently rebuilding would be catastrophic, yet that doesn’t seem to deter C.J. Beathard.
Before Sunday’s victory, Beathard had been sacked a total of 16 times in four games (per Pro Football Focus). Immediately, fingers pointed to the often reshuffled offensive line. Any other quarterback would become hesitant in the pocket or be less willing to take the hit that comes with a completed pass. Yet Beathard continues to operate the same way week after week. That may not be to Coach Shanahan’s liking, but it goes a long way towards winning the locker room.
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When you see your starting quarterback willing to actually come out of the pocket, run for a first down and take the subsequent punishment, it inspires both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. This was apparent when Beathard took a late hit at the expense of former 49er Antoine Bethea and the Arizona Cardinals. His predecessor, Brian Hoyer, never once left the pocket. Instead, he chose the safe route, leading to rumors of him losing confidence among his teammates.
All of this may not help him keep his starting job, with the attention focused on Jimmy Garoppolo, but one cannot help but admire the Toughness displayed by this rookie quarterback. No matter what happens, he’ll be favored amongst his teammates with his play and unquestioned grit, heart and toughness. That’s what makes a professional player/quarterback have the heartbeat and pulse of a team. No one will ever mistake him for a timid quarterback. He’s been, from that standpoint as aforementioned, a breath of fresh air in Santa Clara.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author and Staff Writer @NinersLive.net, David Edmondson. Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims