View the top images from practice as the 49ers gear up for a road game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4.
The San Francisco 49ers will be tested by another high-powered offense in the second of their back-to-back road games. Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers offense is averaging 413.5 yards per game and have put up 82 points over the first three weeks of the season. San Francisco will rely heavily on its young defense to slow down Los Angeles' fifth-ranked offense.
As both teams seek to return to .500, take a look at what the Chargers locker room has to say about the 49ers ahead of Sunday's Week 4 contest.
Head coach Anthony Lynn on what stands out about the 49ers:
"Watching this team and looking at their situations, it seems very similar to us. They finished the season last year pretty hot. They're 1-2 right now. They've lost to pretty good football teams. They have a lot of weapons. You look at their offensive line, their left tackle Joe Staley is one of the best in the game, and they're doing a hell of a job running the football. I think they're number two in the league in rushing right now. They have the leading rusher in the backfield. Their wide receivers and those guys, they can play football. We have a lot of challenges in front of us, and we've got our work cut out for us."
Lynn on the challenges of facing San Francisco's secondary:
"I'm not sure how vulnerable the secondary is. It depends on how well the defensive line plays to be honest with you. They have a whole host up front, but if Richard (Sherman) doesn't play, I'm sure they have a quality backup and he's good in their system."
Lynn on the 49ers offense with C.J. Beathard under center:
"(C.J.) is more than capable of running this offense. He played in six games last year. He beat the Giants. I'm sure he learned from his rookie season. They took him in the third round for a reason. He'll move around a little bit. They do more things with him as far as quarterback-driven runs and things like that. I believe he can function well within that offense."
Lynn on San Francisco's defensive line:
"Yeah, they've got their defense. They've got three first-round picks just up front. I saw those boys a couple years ago when they were puppies and now they're grown men — and they're playing like it. They're really stingy against the run right now."
Lynn on the success of the offensive scheme San Francisco employs:
"Yeah, it always has been very complementary. It always starts with the wide-zone scheme and all the run actions that come off of that. It's really hard to stop them. It puts linebackers in a bind. You're downhill too far, the ball is behind if he's not down there fast enough to run the ball in, so it's a challenging scheme."
Lynn on the similarities between Kyle Shanahan and his father Mike Shanahan:
"Like I said, I've known both of those guys all my life. Mike is a mentor of mine. I played for him, he hired me as a coach. I've known Kyle. Like I said, he's very detailed and very strategic in his thinking. He's a hard worker and he can relate to his players and get the most out of them — heck of a football coach."
Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt on facing a similar defensive scheme as the Rams:
"You know, it's like you asked me last week, we knew (Rams Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) because we played him all those years in Denver. You know, sometimes it does, sometimes it hurts because you think that you know what you're going to see or you know that you're going to get this look. I mean, there are subtle differences that they do. They have different players. We're not going against the guys — the same guys that we see every day. So it's different. It is similar, but it is a little bit different. I think you have to try to prepare. You can't say, okay, hey, (Defensive Coordinator) Gus (Bradley), run this because they run it a little bit different you run it against different players. You have to look at it from the perspective of both. We're looking at different defense, different guys and prepare that way."
Whisenhunt on the Chargers struggles to score on the opening possession:
"I tell you what, if you go back to 2016, I think we were one of the better teams in the league in scoring on first possessions, but that didn't give us much. So I think it is a stat that you can measure things by, but it doesn't necessarily factor into how good you're going to be now. Now I say that and we're 1-2, but, yes, we need to be better at starting games. We got down against Denver last year for our chance to break that jinx, and we had first and goal, and then went four plays and didn't score. Gosh, we just haven't gotten out of that funk yet. That's something that we want to do better and it is something that we talked about."
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on what stands out about the 49ers offense:
It's a big week for us, just as far as offensively, they're very talented — I feel like a broken record — but (they have a) really good offensive scheme. When you take a look at these guys on tape, they're very multiple. They have some really talented players — fullback is very talented, tight end, and obviously the (running) back. They're the number two rushing team in the league. The do a little bit by committee — ten carries here, 15 carries for another guy. I just have a lot of respect for Coach Shanahan, the scheme, what they do and the versatility of how they use the players — the flexibility I should say in the way they position them. With a new quarterback coming in, I think — watching tape from him last year — they have confidence. The game really didn't change much. They might do a few things differently, but for the most part I think they know what they are, what they want to be and they do those things really well."
Bradley on Kyle Shanahan as a play caller:
"I have a lot of respect for him just in the times we've gone (against each other) on the same Sundays and things like that. I think he utilizes his personnel. He knows what he wants. He knows what he's looking for. As a head coach now, he's got the ability to go out and try to get those guys. So, for example, he likes to operate in 21 personnel. In order to do that, he needed a talented fullback, so he went out and got a talented fullback. I think his personality and the way he goes about it, he really knows he has strong conviction of how a good offense should look and how they should attack defenses. He goes out that way week after week."
Bradley on how Shanahan was influenced by his father:
"That would be a great question for him, but you see some similarities — some of the things that his dad did, but I'm sure it's who he's influenced by. He also does some things that are his own. He understands defenses really well."
Bradley on San Francisco's offense under Beathard:
"It's the same style of offense. They're going to run the stretch play. The different runs, they're going to do some movement, some wide motions and things like that. So that doesn't change with a new quarterback. The new quarterback has the ability to extend plays and do a good job there, but their longest explosive pass last year was from (Beathard). It's not like they hold back with him at all."
Bradley on having to prepare for Beathard:
"Well, I think you know you do you watch the tape from last year and some of the plays from there. Then you focus a lot of your energy on these games this year because you know what they're doing. They're second in the league in rushing. That's not going to change just because of who their quarterback is. So I think those styles of play will remain the same and they go about it. Now you're just looking how can you affect the passing situation and what his style is."
Bradley on his relationship with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh:
"I haven't had a chance to watch much of San Francisco on defense. I don't know what they're doing. I'm sure there's some similarities in how we approach it. We were together for quite some time, but I'm sure he's branched off. Kyle was at Atlanta with (Falcons Head Coach) Dan Quinn. Dan Quinn was with all of us in Seattle. Kyle's had a chance to really go after that defense week after week in practice, in OTAs and now in San Francisco. You can imagine that he has a pretty good understanding of what we're doing. So I think it's important that execution is going to have to be really good. It's just like going against our offense. Now, after going through a couple of years, they understand, have a pretty good idea what we're doing. Not all of it, obviously, and all the little things, but — it goes back and forth. There's some challenging times in there for them and for us. So it's a great challenge for our whole defense and our team."
QB Philip Rivers on Jimmy Garoppolo's injury:
"I don't know him, but it's tough. You hate to see that. Especially the non-contact deal. I didn't see the replay until a few days ago. A lot has been made of he shouldn't have cut back in there, but it happened before there was any contact. So you hate to see that. You feel for him. The year he had last year, finally getting his opportunity to really, you know, be the quarterback of a franchise. Then this year, you know, all the expectations they had. So it's tough anytime you see any guys go down. It seems like there's been quite a few season-ending — seems like there's more. It seems like each week, not just at quarterback, but there are Achilles and ACLs and lots of things going on early in the season, but certainly hate to see that happen to him."
S Derwin James on what he's seen from Beathard:
"He makes a lot of good throws. They are just as comfortable with him. He does a great job scrambling around. He's a little bit more athletic than Jimmy, but he's a good quarterback."
James on the similarities between the 49ers and Rams offense:
"It kind of helps. We know we'll see some of the same plays. Just being able to see it another week makes you fix the mistakes you made last week."
CB Desmond King on Beathard's athleticism at Iowa:
"(Beathard is a) phenomenal athlete. He's very competitive on and off the field. He's going to give 110 percent. Watching film on him, he looks more experienced this year than from last year."
King on Beathard's mobility at quarterback:
"We all know that he can use his legs and run the ball. We know he can throw the ball or he wouldn't be the starting quarterback for them right now. It's an opportunity for him. We've got to seize the opportunity as well and get the ball out of the air."
King on the challenges Beathard brings to opposing defenses:
"His legs. Not most quarterbacks can run the ball. When he is active on their roster and active at quarterback, they switch it a little bit up and start running a little more run option with the quarterback. That's going to put more plays into his hands. So now we're going to have to focus on whether him running the ball, handing the ball off, or him faking the run off and throwing it down the field."
King on facing his former Iowa teammates:
"It's going to be a very exciting game between all of us. Me, George (Kittle), you've got Greg Mabin out there at cornerback for them as well and C.J. so you know it's going to be a good family reunion between us four and I hope to see them."