© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Part of the 49ers’ weekly preparation involves the scout team quarterback imitating, to the best of their ability, the upcoming opposing quarterback. While that duty alternates, the person with the honor of the first set of Russell Wilson imitation reps on Thursday was C.J. Beathard.
The start of those reps was unlikely to earn Beathard an Oscar for his Wilson portrayal. It instead earned him a strained back and some heckling from Richard Sherman.
“We switch it up back and forth, C.J. strained his back doing it yesterday,” Sherman said, laughing. “I had to talk to C.J. about that. It was pretty funny. Well, not funny because he hurt himself, but that’s not your game.”
Beathard said he’s fine injury-wise, but the pass fell incomplete.
“It was actually one of the first plays yesterday,” Beathard told KNBR. “I was running left and then tried to through across my body… I didn’t complete it. It was kind of a jump ball.”
The back pain was minor, and was matched by a friendly old-age barb from the 31-year-old Sherman to the 25-year-old Beathard.
“I told Sherm and the first thing he said this morning was, ‘How’s your back?’ Like, ‘Dude it still hurts,'” Beathard said. “He’s like, ‘Hey, you’re getting old.’ I’m like, hey I must be getting old.”
In addition to Beathard’s role as a Wilson imitator, Emmanuel Sanders also had the task of imitating the Seahawks’ slot receiver, Tyler Lockett. Sanders donned a blue, No. 16 pinny and along with the rest of the wide receiving corps, ran the same routes that the Seahawks run.
Of course, the Seahawks’ offense is at its most deadly when things don’t go according to plan. It’s why Beathard was rolling to his left and throwing across his body. Pain from that incident aside, he said he’s enjoyed the task of operating off schedule.
“It’s tough, but it’s also fun at the same time because you kind of have an excuse,” Beathard said. “When you have guys, trying to imitate other guys who are strictly pocket pocket passers, the defense gets mad, like, ‘Hey, dude, he doesn’t do this. This isn’t realistic.’ But this week, they’re like, ‘Hey, when the pocket breaks down, move, run around.’ So it gives you an excuse to move in the pocket and the off-schedule stuff is pretty cool… It’s like backyard football. You’re pointing, telling people to go deep, come back. It’s pretty fun.”
Jokes aside, free safety Jimmie Ward told KNBR Beathard’s impression has been fairly solid.
“It’s cool right now,” Ward said. “Scramble drill. Sometimes he’ll throw it up, scramble some more. It looks alright to me.”