Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch says Eric Reid is a better athlete than Kam Chancellor

Aug 24, 2017 at 7:29 PM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joined the "Tolbert & Lund" show on KNBR Thursday night and discussed the team's sloppy preseason loss on Saturday to the Denver Broncos. He also shared some interesting updates on numerous players as the team continues to iron out its roster.

Below are some of the topics that Lynch discussed in the lengthy conversation.

Mistakes against the Broncos

The 49ers had four turnovers against the Broncos. Anytime you lose the turnover battle against a team, it is a safe bet that you will lose the game itself. The Broncos capitalized off of the 49ers' turnovers, scoring the majority of their points from them.

"In this league, you're going to have games that don't go the way you want and we certainly earned that loss the other night and you've got to bounce back," Lynch said. "And I think we've had a real productive week thus far getting ready for another really good team in Minnesota."

"[The game against the Broncos] was sloppy, for sure," Lynch continued. "One of the people that I respect most in this business, most of us do, Bill Belichick, he used to say and still does, 'In order to win, you have to first keep from losing.' And we didn't do that. So, when you're heavily penalized and you're turning the ball over, you just don't give yourself a chance.

"Starting with the penalties, it's something we've been working on. We obviously haven't done a good enough job yet of fixing and correcting that. I can tell you that it's been emphasized with great focus this week and I'd be very surprised if that continues. It can't continue. Our guys understand that.

"And then, the turnovers, it's something typically in this league, you get what you emphasize. We emphasize that all the time. It's just a focus of where Kyle came from in football but also, just recently in Atlanta, it's all about the ball. It's everything and we talk about it a lot. So, you just don't give yourself a chance to win football games in this league when you do those two things and we've got to correct that. The guys are aware of it. Now, they've got to go execute it."

Eric Reid and Jimmie Ward

Lynch went on to discuss safety Eric Reid, who was impressive on Saturday against the Broncos. The general manager feels that Reid's skills fit the defensive system that Robert Saleh and the coaching staff have installed.

"He's playing that role that we've seen Kam Chancellor play so well," Lynch said. "And Eric's probably not the physical player that Kam Chancellor is but he's a better athlete, I believe. I think somewhere in between. I think Eric showed us the other night what he can do. Not just the other night. He's been very consistent throughout the offseason just being around the ball.

"He's got an opportunity to grow in the defense in terms of his leadership. We're really excited with the way Eric Reid is playing and we're excited to get Jimmie Ward back there and see that duo because we think it would be a really effective duo and think that we have some depth at safety. Jaquiski Tartt is playing well. Lorenzo Jerome, the undrafted free agent, has been making his presence known so we feel like we've got some strength at that position."

Earlier on Thursday, rookie tight end George Kittle explained the great job the 49ers did easing him back from injury and Lynch said the team is taking the same approach with Ward.

Lynch explained the thinking behind that process by saying, "I think we're trying to figure out that right balance between, 'Does Jimmie need snaps?' Of course he does but we want him for the entire season as well.

"I can tell you that Jimmie has done a tremendous job of sitting back there and taking mental reps and those aren't the real thing but he's done everything he can and we're going to have to figure out how we get him best ready and whether that includes some reps in preseason or going cold turkey."

Solomon Thomas

Lynch went on to explain that the 49ers are taking it slow with defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, who missed all of the team's offseason program due to the league rule that prohibits rookies from joining their new teams until their school has completed finals. In fact, Thomas didn't even officially sign with the 49ers until the middle of the team's first training camp practice.

"He's not a guy who's going to play every snap of every game," Lynch explained. "We're going to pick our spots as to where we feel like he can be most impactful and effective and we've got the depth at that position to be able to do that. But he will make his presence known. I'm confident in that."

C.J. Beathard

Lynch also discussed the 49ers' rookie quarterback, C.J. Beathard. He said that the 49ers would be comfortable with a rookie as their number two quarterback. Beathard was the first quarterback off of the bench in Saturday's preseason loss.

"C.J. Beathard has been very impressive and he's a guy we obviously liked," Lynch said. "We moved up into the third round and drafted him. He's a guy we kind of targeted as a guy we would really like to come out of this draft with. We have him and he's been very good.

"Is he perfect? No. He's a rookie and he makes some rookie mistakes. Some of those penalties were on C.J., sending those guys in motion before we're set and that's going to happen. So you know you're going to experience some of those growing pains. But I can tell you, he's not a guy who makes the same mistake twice often."

You can listen to the entire interview with Lynch below.

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