Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Rice thinks 49ers QB C.J. Beathard’s deep throw vs. Saints was laughably off-target

Nov 16, 2020 at 10:36 AM--

Can the San Francisco 49ers pass the football deep downfield? Are they capable of it? Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice wonders that. A lot of fans wonder that too. The team certainly doesn't take a lot of deep shots against opposing defenses.

They took one on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, though, and it did not go well.

Wide receiver Richie James had Saints safety Marcus Williams beat deep. Niners quarterback C.J. Beathard, out of the shotgun, threw the football toward the open receiver.


As in, in the direction of but not on target. Beathard underthrew the football, and San Francisco, once again, missed out on a big opportunity.

It was Beathard's only snap of the game. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, he was on the field as the team examined Nick Mullens for a quad injury.

"[James] was moving, man," Rice said Monday morning on 95.7 The Game's The Morning Roast. "And he had everybody beat by maybe about five yards. And C.J., he was not able to get him the football.

"I think they announced this right before that. They said something about C.J., his arm strength, that's probably why they're bringing him into the ball game. So, he throws this ball up, and ... it was not even close."

That's why Rice and the radio hosts burst into laughter.

"I could not believe it," Rice continued. "I was like, 'Are you serious? You've got James like maybe five yards in front of this guy, and you don't even give him a chance.'"

Rice is perplexed why the 49ers don't make more of an effort to get the ball downfield. Maybe Shanahan doesn't have faith in his other quarterbacks to accurately hit their targets beyond the short to medium range. Beathard can at least get it that far, it seems.

"When you get an opportunity like that, man, you've got to connect," Rice added regarding Beathard's attempt. "And I was so disappointed in everything that happened on that play."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Rice below.

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