WRs taken aback but don't fire back

Some of San Francisco's younger receivers – the intended targets of Fred Beasley's verbal rampage Wednesday – stopped well short of firing back at the Pro Bowl fullback and appeared taken aback by some of his comments.

When told of some of Beasley's inflammatory comments pointed directly at the "young guys" starting at receiver, fourth-year veteran Cedrick Wilson – the team's starting flanker – said they were a product of the adversity the team has faced during a trying 1-6 start.

"I haven't heard Fred ever say anything like this," Wilson said. "You're talking about a guy that has been in this game for a long time. He has the heart and the drive and he wants to win. I think that's everyone's goal – to win football games – and each one of us is trying to go out there and put in a great effort.

"The situation that we're in right now is very frustrating and it's easy to kind of let your frustrations come out. But at the same time, (Beasley) just wants to win. He wants everybody to. He's one of the leaders on this team, and for him to speak out like that … It's something that he feels. I respect his word a lot, but at the same time it's just frustrating that we're in this position that we're in right now."

Beasley questioned the commitment and work ethic of particular receivers, declining to specify individuals but clearly indicating one of them was second-year player Brandon Lloyd, the team's starting split end.

When some of Beasley's harsher comments were read back to Lloyd, he responded, "We work hard to try to make plays. All I can say is, I know that when guys are given the opportunity to make plays, they're trying their best to make plays, regardless if it's a receiver, an offensive linemen, whatever. We're doing our best to make plays. We're all frustrated, though. That's all that is."

But it seems like more. A smoldering Beasley seemed like he was attempting to light a fire under some of the team's younger players, and that could cause some dissension in a locker room where those younger players clearly outnumber veterans who have been around a while.

"I don't know what he's trying to do," Lloyd said. "He doesn't say any names, so … I think guys are working hard, they're busting their butts out there. I think we're working hard. We're just a couple of plays away from winning games."

When asked if he'd personally take issue now with Beasley because of the incendiary comments, Lloyd said "I don't think so. It's not going to affect the way I catch balls. It's not going to affect the way Cedrick's going to catch, or Curtis (Conway) is going to catch. We're going to go out there and continue to play."

Added Wilson, "The group that I work with, I know we're a bunch of hard-working guys. We're a bunch of guys that want to be successful in this league. And the only way receivers are successful in this league is if they get the football. And I know each and every one of my guys that I'm around every day wants the ball. We're hungry for the ball."

Beasley said some of the receivers were more worried about how many balls were coming their way and how many receptions they were recording than the success of the team as a whole.

When Wilson – who was held without a catch for the first time this season Sunday in Chicago – was asked if enough balls were coming his way, he responded, "I don't want to add fuel to the fire. It's already frustrating as it is to be in a position that we are right now. My coaches know I want the ball. Our coaches know that every one of our receivers wants the ball. But I'm sure if we could get some wins, it will heal everything."

Rookie first-round draft pick Rashaun Woods, who figures to play a more prominent role in the rotation at receiver the rest of the season, said he was oblivious to any of Beasley's frustrations with the young receivers.

Actually, Beasley may have been suggesting with some of his comments that the Niners should give Woods more time on the field, which is what the team plans to do over the next two months.

"I've never spoken to Fred ever since I've been here," Woods said. "It's one of those deals where me, personally, all I can do is handle what I'm doing on the field. I'm not going to look at anybody else and say they should be doing this or they should be doing that. I'm just trying to do exactly what (Beasley)'s saying some guys are not doing, and that's give 100 percent. And that's what I've been trying to do, and I've been trying to stay in close contact with the coaches and make sure they're happy with my effort, and for the most part, they are."

Lloyd took Beasley's remarks seriously, but seemed to shrug them off as the verbal frustrations of a proud veteran that will blow over quickly instead of lingering in the locker room.

"If it was important," Lloyd said. "He would have come to us first."


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