SANTA CLARA, Calif. — C.J. Beathard got his first extended opportunity to play quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, playing well enough for coach Kyle Shanahan to commit to him moving forward this season.
Beathard enters this week as the starter for the first time, with a chance to establish himself and, perhaps, make the Niners rethink their long-term quarterback plans.
Here’s a closer look at the Niners’ third-round rookie out of Iowa:
Football runs in the family
Beathard’s first career touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter Sunday, when he hit receiver Aldrick Robinson down the right sideline and Robinson evaded a tackle and sneaked into the corner of the end zone. It was a fitting first scoring toss, considering Robinson just so happened to score in the corner of FedEx Field where the name Bobby Beathard hangs in the Redskins’ Ring of Fame.
Bobby Beathard is C.J.’s grandfather and one of the most well-known talent evaluators and team builders in league history. Bobby Beathard spent 38 years in the NFL, 22 as general manager in Washington and San Diego. The elder Beathard helped construct a pair of Super Bowl champions and is the contributor finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2018 class.
So does country music
In addition to football, the Beathard family has made its mark on the country music scene. Beathard’s father, Casey, is an accomplished songwriter, penning songs for well-known country artists such as Kenny Chesney, Billy Ray Cyrus, Trace Adkins and Eric Church. Casey Beathard played wide receiver at Elon College and eventually combined his music talents with his football background to write the gridiron-themed song “The Boys of Fall” for Chesney.
The country music bug has continued to run in the family, with C.J.’s older brother Tucker now a singer-songwriter signed to Dot Records. He released his first single last year….