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week Customized San Francisco 49ers Jerseys , featuring this intriguing quote: Not just a tight end — Juice was a two-time All American at Harvard. But he had no chance to play that position in the NFL, despite 22 receiving touchdowns in college, because he’s 6’ 1”.Fullbacks are disappearing from the NFL, because GMs don’t want to give a precious roster slot to someone unlikely to touch the ball. The job is being divvied up between running backs (5’9” to 6’2”) and tight ends (6’4 to 6’7”), but blocking is a secondary skill at both positions. “Move” tight ends — i.e. big guys who can’t block — are increasingly common, and no one expects an RB to lead block on running plays. Running backs are supposed to protect the quarterback in passing situations (third down) while providing a check down receiving option, but again neither skill is their primary job requirement and a lot of them aren’t that good at one or both of them.Because of his height, Juszczyk is a “tweener,” in between the ideal size for two different positions, and NFL talent scouts hate tweeners. To be fair, a lot of tweeners who were great in college don’t cut it in the pros, because size + speed is a real thing, Sometimes they just get pushed around.Juszczyk got lucky because Kyle Shanahan, and his mentor Gary Kubiak — the OC at Baltimore when they first started Juice in 2014 — realized that fullback is kind of a tweener position these days, and the Harvard kid fits it perfectly. He’s tough enough to lead block on runs, quick and mobile enough to pass block, and flexible enough to line up at any pass-eligible position. (He’s even the team’s emergency quarterback.)But most GMs couldn‘t see beyond his (lack of) height. Juice has 255 yards receiving this year, more than WRs Martavis Bryant, Laquon Treadwell or Doug Baldwin, while blocking better than any of them. He has played almost two-thirds of the Niners’ snaps and rivals Marquise Goodwin and Matt Breida for explosion play potential, even as he personally springs Breida for his big runs with key blocks at the second level. But height-bias nearly kept him out of the league altogether.This is even more of an issue at quarterback, where college prospects 6’2” or less are routinely dismissed (except for the odd Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, or Nick Mullens who sneaks through and establishes himself as an NFL superstar).Again, these personnel evaluators are not crazy. Height is a real thing for QBs, When I was covering Michael Vick in Philly, there were many situations where he just literally couldn’t see over the various linemen and ran outside the pocket, not because of “happy feet” but just to see who was open.My theory is that some of the heroic, shorter college quarterbacks — like Johnny Manziel or Vernon Adams, Jr. — catch our eye because their size forces them to take wild chances. When those pay off, it’s impossible not to get excited. But “hanging on for dear life” in college turns into “just getting smothered” in the pros, where everyone is yet bigger, stronger and faster.But height is not the only thing that makes a QB good. (Just ask Brock Osweiler.) Niners fans are well aware that the abilities to read defenses, find open receivers, throw with a quick motion, and deliver the ball accurately are at least as important as stature. How many potentially great quarterbacks never get a chance — or are converted to wide receiver, where 6’2” is big —because of rigid conceptions about height, while absolute stiffs like Christian Hackenberg get chance after chance?If Jimmy Garoppolo was 6’4” www.sanfrancisco49ersteamonline.com , he probably would never have been a backup quarterback and fallen into the 49ers clutches. Some really bad team would have drafted him in the top 10, and he’d be the injury-addled QB for Tampa Bay, or someone like that.The situation is a shame, but it’s also an opportunity for GMs and coaches able to see past the trite clich茅s of NFL size requirements. The Niners might have not one, but two great quarterbacks — and an all time great fullback — on their roster right now because Lynch and Shanahan don’t share the league’s blind bias against short players. I haven’t actually watched the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, at least not in its entirety, nor did I see any of it live. But I’m looked at plenty of film and the game was ... somehow uglier than I’d heard, and I think everyone here is well aware of how low my expectations can be.49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard was sacked seven times for a loss of 49 yards. He threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble. It was as ugly as ugly gets, and I am, of course, here to take you through some film review of the sacks allowed.For this film review, I’m primarily used one .gif per sack, as the coaches’ film angles tended to be pretty good this time around. Al of note: if any of the gifs below appear tiny, click on them or try and open them up in a new tab. Not sure if that issue has been fixed yet.Assigning blame is a favorite pastime of mine, so let’s keep the intro short and jump right in.10:07 of 1st Quarter, 2nd-and-16 from SF 45: Beathard sacked for -3 yards (Samson Ebukam)Right out of the gate, we get an ugly one. This play resulted in a fumble that the Rams recovered. The initial pressure is given up by Weston Richburg, though Mike Person also loses his man at right guard. The sack eventually goes to Mike McGlinchey’s man, but it was after Beathard had been driven out of the pocket by the pressure. George Kittle is open right away on this play, early enough to where Beathard could fire it off on a timing route and get it over the linebackers — but it’s not a timing route as Beathard is staring down his outside man on the left the entire time. But it’s hard to fault him given how quickly he was under pressure. It appears as though he’s going for Kittle when he’s on the run, but the ball comes out shaky as he’s hit.3:32 of 1st Quarter, 3rd-and-11 from LA 27: Beathard sacked for -11 yards (Cory Littleton)There had to have been some kind of miscommunication here on the part of the offensive line and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. McGlinchey goes to block the outside man, as does Juszczyk, and the blitzing player goes right between them. It’s also possible Richburg wasn’t supposed to kick to his left, but it really seems like Juszczyk was the one out of position on this play. As far as what’s happening downfield, at the time Beathard finishes his drop back, he has the dump-off option underneath, but it’s a 3rd-and-11. There’s little chance that play gets converted, as the other three routes are still developing by the time Beathard is getting pressured. It does seem odd that Beathard doesn’t try to dump that ball over the blitzing player, but given his earlier turnover, I suppose it makes sense.13:40 of 2nd Quarter, 3rd-and-13 from SF 22: Beathard sacked for -6 yards (Aaron Donald) Here, the entire pocket collapses — I can’t tell for sure but it feels like Beathard is supposed to take another step or two back, just given the way the offensive line yielded space on the play. Beathard is eventually sacked by Donald, who beats both Laken Tomlinson and Richburg on the play, while Person blocks his man into McGlinchey, allowing McGlinchey’s man to get around, so he’s right there too.Both underneath options were obviously open and available San Francisco 49ers T-Shirt , but again it was a long third down. Beathard’s inside man on the left side finds a soft spot in the zone, and well in time for Beathard to throw it, but Beathard never looked his way.15:00 of 3rd Quarter, 1st-and-10 from SF 25: Beathard sacked for -9 yards (Donald)This one is just ugly. When Beathard finishes his route, his deep receiver has about 5 yards of buffer to work with. McGlinchey takes his man all the way around, and Beathard trips as he’s trying to get away from McGlinchey’s man. You can also see, in the .gif below, Juszczyk trying reeeeeeeeally hard to not get pushed back, but he gets pushed far.This one zooms out pretty quickly, so I’ve included the other angle below:3:29 of 3rd Quarter, 3rd-and-7 from LA 25: Beathard sacked for -8 yards (Littleton) The Rams rush six, and Juszczyk picks up his man well, but he turns him to his right, where Person is essentially blocking nobody (he is beaten badly off the snap), leaving Tomlinson and Richburg collapsing far to the right as well. When Beathard finishes his dropback, he’s got receivers open underneath, but the Rams are so good at closing I’m fairly certain they would have managed to pick it if the ball were thrown to the center option, which is where Beathard was looking when he was pressured.13:44 of 4th Quarter, 1st-and-10 from SF 9: Beathard sacked for -5 yards (Donald) Joe Staley goes far out to his left, and Tomlinson is so slow off the snap that Michael Brockers manages to get right by him. Raheem Mostert throws his body in there, but he basically bounced right off of Brockers and into Beathard. Person and Richburg do well on the play, but both Garrett Celek and McGlinchey are beaten fairly soundly on the other side.As far as Beathard, it’s a play action, and he has virtually no time to throw the ball, though he has multiple options if any of them happen to be timing routes — he’d have enough time to throw. But it’s hard to fault him on it, as pretty much everyone was slow off the snap. Everyone wearing white, at least.9:56 of 4th Quarter, 3rd-and-5 from SF 40: Beathard sacked for -9 yards (Donald) The Rams show an all-out blitz, but they end up rushing five. Juszczyk, McGlinchey, Staley, Tomlinson and Person all hold up their ends of the bargain ... but Richburg can’t contain Donald, who beats him one-on-one, as expected. You can see the finer details of that sack below. Beathard makes a mistake here — he has an open man with space to his left, but pump fakes instead of letting it fly. That would have been a big pickup.
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