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SANTA CLARA — The 49ers (1-7) take a a six-game losing streak into Thursday night’s home game against the Raiders (1-6). They can take this mailbag with them:
Is Shanahan at risk? (@wgclements)
Nah. Don’t reach for the low-hanging-fruit, fire-the-coach angle (see: 2014, ’15, ’16). Shanahan received a six-year contract because this was a massive rebuild. He’s 1 1/2 seasons into it, and he’s had more bad luck than imaginable. To borrow his own signature line, by no means has he been perfect. Play calls, personnel moves and all aspects are increasingly up for debate. What’s not in question is his job security, not for at least another 12 months.
You think Nick Mullens has a chance to start Thursday? (@Triolanto)
It’s extremely unlikely. That said, if Mullens makes his NFL debut against the Raiders, it would be more a result of C.J. Beathard’s right-wrist injury rather than Beathard’s 0-5 record. We don’t know the severity of Beathard’s injury, which was reported Monday. He’s played every snap since replacing Jimmy Garoppolo.
What is the feeling of the team after another loss? I flew from DC to watch this… (@49erlover4life)
Each of the past five years, I’ve walked into the Arizona Cardinals’ visiting locker room following a 49ers loss, and this time it felt more somber and catatonic. There wasn’t as much anger as there was resignation, as if this just isn’t their year if they’re going to give away wins like that. No, nobody’s quit, but the 49ers look very much like a team on a six-game bender.
Do you remember when Q, AC, Spoon and SAVA5E looked like a great young nucleus to build a defense around? (@jbeale49)
Don’t give up on that quartet. They – Jaquiski Tart, Adrian Colbert, Ahkello Witherspoon and Reuben Foster – are indeed young defenders with growing pains. They mostly didn’t make the big jump from Years 1 to 2, as Jim Harbaugh once said of a critical development period. Draft picks deserve a few years before giving them the thumbs up/down. By the way, DeForest Buckner is the defense’s centerpiece only 2 1/2 seasons into his career.
What’s your prediction for total turnovers Thursday? Asking for a friend. (@RoodyPoo10)
Trick question. That infers the 49ers and/or Raiders would have to force turnovers, and they are among the league’s worst at doing so. At least the 49ers had a fumble recovery and interception last game to end a three-game, takeaway drought. As turnover-prone as the 49ers and Raiders have been, C.J. Beathard and Derek Carr are coming off interception-free games Sunday. Prediction: 49ers 3, Raiders 3 (for turnovers – but perhaps the score).
Is there an explanation for Solomon Thomas’s ineffectiveness? I don’t remember many people being critical of the pick at the time. Possible it’s bad coaching?
He’s best used as an inside rusher. But he’s been mostly invisible. An explanation? Let’s search hard for clues these next eight games.
Is there any plan to change any of the coaching positions? Mostly strength and conditioning coach. This team is not in shape and the injuries are a direct result of that. (@mattreiter)
No word on possible assistants getting axed, and no hint of dissatisfaction by the 49ers brass about their strength program. Each year, injuries can take their toll. Each offseason, a new training method is unveiled (2017: an incline ramp; 2018: a Navy SEAL obstacle course; 2019: I’d recommend jumping jacks to get back to the basics).
Why don’t they just sit Breida and Foster until they heal instead of putting them out there injured every game and taking them out when they injure it worse? (@gamerollerb)
Breida and Foster, both second-year players, indeed have pushed through their injuries with mixed results. Breida knows this is a golden opportunity to play and improve before Jerick McKinnon returns next season. Foster’s shoulder issue won’t get fixed until the offseason, and now he has a hamstring strain which may be more difficult to overcome and thus could shelve him a couple games, in my opinion.
Cam, are there any more young, talented, and extremely injury prone players that the 49ers should be examining to draft in the spring? Perhaps some kids in college that get hurt all the time and can’t stay on the field? (@joedtoc)
Your sarcasm can’t hurt our funny bone.