Before C.J. Beathard made his first start, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was asked how defenses typically take on a rookie quarterback. There were two approaches, he said. A.) A defensive coordinator will play it safe, guard against big gains and force a rookie to slowly work the ball down the field all the while hoping he makes a mistake along the way. B.) Blitz the daylights out of him. After three starts for Beathard, it’s clear what path opponents have chosen. “We’ve gotten blitzed probably more – definitely more – than I’ve ever had in my career,” Shanahan said in the run up to Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. “Most of it is run blitzes to try to stop your run and dare you to do some things.” Those run blitzes – extra rushers on typical running downs – have discouraged the team from handing the ball to Carlos Hyde. The 49ers have a lopsided 366 to 199 run-to-pass ratio this season while Hyde hasn’t rushed more than 14 times in a game since Beathard took over as quarterback. “I think that’s where we haven’t been able to dictate what the defense is doing and that’s the goal,” Shanahan said. “I don’t want to just bang my head against a wall and do stuff over and over. I want to find the weakness of the defense and attack that and make them change to open up other stuff. We haven’t done that consistently enough.” The 49ers had some success throwing to Hyde in last week’s 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He had career highs in catches (nine) and receiving yards (84). Through nine games, Hyde is tied with receiver Pierre Garcon for the team lead in receptions with 40.
‘We’ve struggled to make people pay’: Why defenses are having their way with 49ers
Sacramento Bee | Nov 12