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Matt Breida: 'C.J. Beathard Is Going to Be a Great Quarterback in This League'

The Los Angeles Chargers rallied from a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter to pull out a 29-27 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4. C.J. Beathard made an admirable debut in his first start of 2018. The second-year quarterback finished 23-of-37 passing for 298 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 82.9.

Here's what the 49ers locker room had to say about Beathard's performance and Sunday's loss to the Chargers.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan on his impression of Beathard's first start of the season:

"I thought he played well. We came up short there at the end. The last play was unfortunate. Wish we would have solved that and got rid of it. He gave us a chance to win today. Played very tough. Made some big plays, especially in some of the situations with guys going in and out. He handled a little adversity well, and a lot of chaos with some of the injuries. I was proud of how he played."

Shanahan on the team's adversity playing through injuries:

"I thought the guys fought hard. I know it wasn't perfect. I know we need to play better. I was happy when I watched how hard the guys battled. Losing both of our tackles there for a while was scary. We had to finish the first half without them. (Joe) Staley wasn't able to return. I was happy (Mike) McGlinchey toughed it out there. His obviously wasn't as bad as Staley's (injury), but I know it was hard for him to go that second half. Real proud of our center. He got hurt on the first play of the game and had to come out. He battled through that entire game and we needed him to because there weren't many guys left. Guys were going down, especially losing both Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis also. (Kendrick) Bourne and Trent (Taylor) stepped it up and played some positions they hadn't played yet. They did a pretty good job on their assignments, just being ready for that. When you lose guys like that — I haven't been around too many of them — but I was glad the guys still battled and gave us a chance to win there at the end. Just came up short."

Shanahan on the defense's performance against the Chargers:

"I think it was similar to the offense and special teams too. We had some misses [on both sides]. There were a number of three-and-outs like that on defense, they got a score for us with a pick six. We started the first couple of drives playing at an extremely high level. On offense, it seemed like we had a number of three-and-outs and we had a number of drives where we went down the field extremely fast. I think we are close. We have people who have the ability to do it and we are showing that at times but we have to be a lot more consistent. It can't be hit or miss and I think it's been hit or miss on both sides."

Shanahan on the number of injuries the 49ers suffered:

"I would guess so, I am not God so I don't know why injuries happen but they have been legit injuries. I think we have tough guys who try as hard as they can to play when they are hurt. It's tough when you're injured and you just can't go. It's happened to a number of guys, it happened to us a little bit last year too and unfortunately, it's happening again so far. Fortunately, it is a long year and hopefully these guys will recover. I don't know how bad they are right now, hopefully we will get a number of them back for next week but we will have to see tomorrow."

C.J. Beathard on his chemistry with George Kittle:

"We've gotten even better. I know the guy and his tendencies and what he's good at running. I know how he gets open and it's just kind of a feel thing, we gel together."

Beathard on his 82-yard touchdown to Kittle:

"I just felt like we were moving the ball, converting on third downs and if it's working, you just keep doing it. You get a nice drive going, we decided to take a shot on that one drive and we had a big play."

Matt Breida on Beathard's performance against the Chargers:

"He is a tough competitor, as you can see. He'll take the ball and run it, take big hits and get up and get back in the game. It is going to be hard to get C.J. (out of) the game. That is what is going to make him a great quarterback."

Breida on Beathard taking hits and making throws compared to last year:

"He is going to be a great quarterback in this league. Especially the one he threw to (George) Kittle, he was able to get the safety off all the way to the side of the field and Kittle was wide open."

Antone Exum Jr. on his first-career pick-six:

"It was just a really good call by our coach. He saw Philip Rivers looking that way and just by the grace of God I was in the right place at the right time. I tried to bait him a little bit to make him think I was not there and he threw it right to me."

Exum on his pick-six building momentum for the team:

"Any time you have a turnover or a big play happens, it is kind of a momentum change. I hope that is what it did to the team. I think it did. Everybody was excited."

Exum on how he performed in place of Jaquiski Tartt:

"I just tried to step in and do the best job I can. Tartt got hurt. He is a great player. I did not take his position or anything. I just stepped in and am just trying to play the best that I can to help the team win. (We) fell short today."

Reuben Foster on the energy of the defense against the Chargers:

"There was a lot of energy in the first half. We have great defense, but at the end, it was slow motion. That's not our defense, so we have to sharpen the iron really and just go out there and play our ball really."

Foster on how he can improve on tackling:

"We need to just do our job really and play the sport we love. I can say we've got to work on tackling, but at the end of the day, that's what we do, and we've got to really harp on that."

Foster on what he saw from Beathard against the Chargers:

"There isn't nothing sweet about C.J., so that's why we have faith in him and we believe in C.J. At the end of the day, that was really not surprising. It was surprising, (too), because I could see it in his eyes every time he came to the sideline about defense needing to go and jump back, saying we run with you all. Just by him saying that means a lot to me and the defense because we know where their heads were."

George Kittle on his 82-yard touchdown:

"It was something we've been practicing all year. We finally got it called. Safeties playing on the opposite hash, the guy drops me because he thinks I'm running vertical, C.J. finds me and got a good cut on the safety, he kind of stumbled, and just got a run from there."

Kittle on Beathard's performance:

"C.J. is one of the most competitive people I've ever been around. He hates losing more than anybody I know. He played the game angry, that's just how he plays it. It's awesome. I feel like he is more mature. I feel like we all are after getting a year under our belt. The guys responded to C.J. being out there and I think we responded really well. We're looking forward to having C.J. lead us from here on out."