SANTA CLARA — For two weeks, rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard was the future of the franchise. Then, the 49ers traded for Jimmy Garoppolo. And now Garoppolo is the future, and Beathard is back to being just a rookie. He seems to be handling the comedown well.
During his weekly press conference in the 49ers locker room on Wednesday, Beathard was relaxed, talkative and upbeat. He was in a good mood.
The two weeks before the trade, he seemed tense and overwhelmed during his interactions with the media, as if he knew he wasn’t ready to be the starting quarterback. As if the pressure of being a starter was a burden. As if he was afraid to embarrass himself. He said very little and spoke in generalities.
Now, he seems relieved.
“Obviously I was a little shocked,” Beathard said, referring to his initial reaction to the Garoppolo trade. “I’m a rookie in this business. It’s my first big encounter with a big move being made. But it’s awesome. Jimmy is a good guy. It’s been nice getting to know him already.”
Beathard said the trade didn’t hurt his feelings. “I wasn’t shocked like, ‘Oh my.’ I was just like, ‘Whoa.’ Obviously, I talked to my parents. I didn’t need to vent to somebody or anything like that. It’s part of the business of the NFL. (They told me) just stay positive and keep working. Just keep doing what I do and working hard and doing my best.
“I talked to Kyle (Shanahan) 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.”
Beathard played well against the Washington Redskins three weeks ago. He entered the game halfway through the second quarter, threw for 245 yards and one touchdown, led the 49ers back from a 17-0 deficit and almost won the game.
But he struggled the past two weeks. In those games, he threw two interceptions including one pick-six, missed some short, easy passes to running back Carlos Hyde, got sacked nine times and led the offense to just 20 points.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday in the 49ers auditorium the trade for Garoppolo had nothing to do with Beathard’s recent performances.
“This move has to do with a responsibility to the organization. When things come around, opportunities come around that can help the organization, you don’t hesitate on it.
“I have a lot of confidence in C.J. By no means has everything been perfect these last two and a half weeks that he’s played, but I’ve been excited about a lot of things that he has done. He has had some bumps in the road like first-time players will have and like a lot of veterans have, but I think C.J. has shown a lot of things that we’re excited about. I think C.J. will continue to get better. If we get better around him too, that will help him get a lot better also.
“I speak to C.J. a lot and I’ve told C.J. how I feel about him before this. I feel no different.”