SANTA CLARA — Brian Hoyer did his best, Kyle Shanahan said on Monday, it just wasn’t good enough.
So, the 49ers will move forward with CJ Beathard as the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. And for the fans at home, it was as hard for Shanahan to not pull that trigger sooner than you’d think.
“I wanted to wait until I thought it was the right time, which I was trying to be very patient with that, which is a challenge for a naturally impatient person,” he said Monday. “But, I tried to wait for if it’s the right time for him and the right time for the team.”
After entering the game, he completed a couple downfield throws (going 3-for-7 on deep passes, according to Pro Football Focus), and added an element to the offense by being more mobile than Hoyer.
The praise from fans rained down — as it should, especially when you’re the first person to show any kind of skill at the position in 2017 — but Beathard was far from perfect, making more than a couple poor decisions with the ball.
Shanahan is committed to giving him more reps to help his new QB to get accustomed to the pro game. But, the receivers are going to have to start catching the ball if Beathard is going to build any confidence this season.
According to PFF, the 49ers dropped seven passes on Sunday and lead the league with 20.
“If you have good hands and you’re having drops, it’s a huge mental thing,” Shanahan explained. “It doesn’t get easier. The more you drop it, it gets harder to catch it because now you’re starting to think about stuff.”
That can’t be comforting for the Niners’ new quarterback. But, it’s his reality.
Next man up
The 49ers lost 2015 first-round pick Arik Armstead to a broken hand during Week 6 and Shanahan announced the big defensive end might be done for the season.
“He’ll be out for a while,” Shanahan said, before noting the team is going to discuss placing him on the injured reserve.
In three seasons with the Niners, Armstead has played 30 games — logging six sacks.
His absence will open up more playing time for 2017 first-round pick Solomon Thomas.
Thomas paired with DeForest Buckner to place pressure on Washington for most of the second half. The former Stanford standout led the team with nine tackles and a sack.
“I thought he played relentlessly,” Shanahan said.
With Armstead out and Aaron Lynch sidelined for at least a week, Thomas will get ample opportunity to emerge as a bright spot for the winless 49ers.
The Niners lost because Pierre Garcon was called for a questionable offensive pass interference in the final moments of the game.
Afterward, Washington linebacker Zach Brown told reporters he knew the play was coming and that he ran into the 49ers receiver on purpose because he figured it would draw the flag.
Shanahan wasn’t buying it when apprised of the comments on Monday.
“I know what happened to him. He hesitated looking back. We snapped the ball. He was a little bit late to guard his guy from the flat. He didn’t play a different level,” Shanahan said. “That’s why he ran into Pierre, because he was a little bit out of position.”
Shanahan, unsurprisingly, doesn’t like it when opponents hint his play calling is predictable.