QB C.J. Beathard Press Conference

QB C.J. Beathard

Press Conference – December 23, 2020

San Francisco 49ers

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This will be your first start since about midway through the 2018 season. How do you think you’ve changed behind the scenes? Like what areas did you kind of focus in on for when you got your next opportunity?

“You know, I think a lot of things you work on obviously in a span of two years. You’ve got a lot of stuff to work on, whether it be practice, offseason, scout-team stuff. I think one of the bigger things is getting the ball out quicker, better moving in the pocket-type stuff. And yeah, so that’s probably one of the bigger things.”

I know you’ve got a game to prepare for on Saturday, but does it fall to you given that no one else is really available to help get QB Josh Rosen up to speed or give him a rudimentary look at this offense coming up?

“Usually during practice I’m out there pretty busy you know? Scout-team stuff, he’s been taking the scout-team stuff, but [QB] Jimmy [Garoppolo] has been out there this week practicing. So, him and Jimmy, he’s got Jimmy to help him with. And obviously our quarterback’s coach [quarterbacks coach] Shane Day, with the offense.”

Are you taking these last two as kind of an opportunity that you have a tryout to kind of stay around or do you even think in those terms when it comes to playing?

“I’m not really thinking of those terms. I’m just thinking of, in terms of, you know, we’ve got two games left here in the season. Obviously, our playoff hopes are dead now. So, I think it’s an opportunity to go out there and have some fun, got there and let it rip and just have some fun. Don’t think too much about the future because you never know what the future holds. So, I’m just really focused on just going out there and doing what I can do and having some fun.”

This might be a function of getting the ball out quicker, but you were known for being able to take incredible punishment and keep getting up. Obviously, I’m sure you’d prefer not to do that. That has to do with, you know, having courage and staying in the pocket. But I mean, what will a quicker release, you know, I mean, I guess obviously, are you hoping that leads to taking less shots like you have in the past?

“Yeah, no doubt. I mean, you want to limit as much hits as you can take in a game. I think we’re a lot better team than we were back then too. I think we’ve got a lot of guys that have been in the offense, you know, some of us for two, three years now that they know the scheme. Receivers, O-Line, guys that know what they’re doing. Me being able to get the ball quicker, being on the same page with guys and that helps a lot to.”

Obviously, you’ve been through a lot away from the field. In terms of the support structure you have either with your family or with the organization, who has helped you out the most in just dealing with everything that you’ve done with and what kind of headspace have you been in this season?

“Yeah, this past year has been a lot, you know, me and my family have been through a lot. I think it’s tested our faith for sure in a lot of ways. And yeah, I think that I’ve really matured as a person, just not only my person, but in my faith. I’ve put things into perspective with what happened to my brother a year ago, it’s put a lot of things into perspective and what matters in life. You truly never know when your last day is going to be, so it’s trying to be a light to people and go out every day, whether it be second-string, third-string, first-string, going out and enjoying and having fun each day and doing the best that you can with a good attitude and all that kind of stuff because at the end of the day, that’s all you can do. And you know, I’m excited for this opportunity. I think I’ve really learned so much in the last year. I’ve never been in as good of a spot as I am mentally than I ever have been just with what I’ve learned and truly knowing where to put my faith and what things get to you and what things don’t get to you. Whereas the past, I might’ve, you know, let little things really ruin a day or not. And now, I think I’m a lot better head space. I’m excited for this opportunity.”

Following up on that little C.J., but know you’re a fairly high draft pick, you were thrown in early, there’s a lot of pressure and expectations. Is a lot of that gone and have you felt like when you’ve been thrown into games this season that you’ve been able just to play more relaxed and free?

“Yeah, no doubt. I think a lot of that has to come with it being my fourth year in the system obviously, but just being more mature in a sense that don’t put so much pressure on myself knowing that I’ve got nothing to lose at this point. I’m going to go out and have some fun. This team has nothing to lose at this point. We’re not going to make the playoffs. So, we’ve really got nothing to lose. We’ve got to go out there and leave it all on the field and just have some fun with it. And, you know, that’s kind of been our motto the last week is just go out there and have some fun. So, I’m excited for the opportunity.”

Head coach Kyle Shanahan has talked a lot about how you and QB Nick Mullens weren’t necessarily put in the best situations whenever you guys have been called on back in 2017 and 2018. In retrospect, was it good for you to be able to kind of exit the lineup when you did to get in that right frame of mind and kind of put things into perspective and enable you to grow behind the scenes?

“Yes and no. I mean, I’ve never questioned God’s plan for my life. So obviously you look back on some stuff and sometimes you’re bitter or wish it would’ve went this way or that way, but I can tell you right now, I would not be where I am now if I didn’t go through the stuff I did my first couple of years, even in this past year, especially. Nothing compares to losing a sibling and that stuff puts everything into perspective. And I can honestly say I’ve grown so much just through everything in my life, football and non-football that I know I would not be where I am today had I not been through everything that I’ve been through and I would not be the person I am today. I’m a lot better mentally in my faith than I ever have been.”

There’s been some talk about you changing yourself physically, maybe getting a little bit stronger. Is that the case and what was that process like and what were the areas that you wanted to focus on?

“Yeah, I mean, this offseason really had a lot of time to, with the virus and stuff going on, I had a lot of time just to work out on my own in a gym. I was allowed into a local high school gym that one of the coaches would let me in and I’d just go in there and train really by myself. And then I would train with [TE] George [Kittle] and some receivers and tight ends a couple of times a week throwing the ball, but weightlifting-wise, I was really able to get after it and just kind of focus and just focus on getting bigger and stronger. And then, you kind of do that all up until camp comes around and then once camp comes around, you know, it’s a lot more football focused. So, you lose a little bit of the strength, but you kind of try and maintain it as much as you can throughout the season. And I feel like that was my goal was to put it all on, the weight, the strength, the muscle during the offseason so once a season came around I would be able to maintain it better.”