No. 3: He’s learned more of Shanahan’s system and is improving
Two things need to be understood about Beathard’s poor numbers from 2017: he was only a rookie and didn’t have a full grasp of the offensive system from Shanahan.
Now he’s not only gained more experience, but he has a full year of learning Shanahan’s complex offensive schemes. Shanahan spoke about this even further as Beathard heads to the sixth start of his career:
C.J. is very impressive. He’s very smart, he always knows the game plan inside and out, he works very hard, he is a thinker and he also is a reactor out there… When you know the whys and you have experience, it’s a lot easier to improve.
Beathard went further into his experience being a key factor for him:
It’s Year 2 for me in this offense. With any extra time doing something, the better you get at it. I’m definitely understanding more of the whys, why certain things happen, why we think this guy will be open, why we attack certain things versus certain coverages.
An important thing for 49ers fans to remember is that a quarterback having an offensive system in place for consecutive seasons is important for their development. One quarterback that can attest to that is former Niners QB Alex Smith.
Smith went through seven different offensive coordinators in his first seven seasons. He almost floundered out of San Francisco because of it and was nearly named a bust.
Not to mention Shanahan has success at making quarterbacks better in their second year of the system. He turned Matt Schaub into a Pro Bowler in the second season of him being an offensive coordinator in Houston with the Texans. And he turned Matt Ryan into an MVP in his second year in the Shanahan system as well with the Atlanta Falcons.
The sky’s the limit for Beathard to improve.