One of the players who expressed his discontent with coach Dennis Erickson's offense Sunday was receiver Terrell Owens, who complained regularly about his role in former coach Steve Mariucci's offense. The other was fullback Fred Beasley, who has never been publicly critical of the team's coaching staff in his six seasons with the club.
"(I'm) beyond frustration," Owens
said. "This is the West Coast Offense; they say it's all about timing. You'll
never see the air attack coach Erickson wants if we don't get the
Owens was critical of the 49ers' offensive line,
which was playing Sunday without two starters: left guard Eric Heitmann and left
tackle Derrick Deese. Second-year player Kyle Kosier and rookie Kwame Harris
started Sunday's game.
But Owens also expressed his dismay with
his role in the offense. Owens caught eight passes for 90 yards from quarterback
Jeff Garcia, but said he wanted more passes to come his way. Moreover, he said
when plays were called for him, they were the wrong plays for the defenses the
Erickson said Owens had reason to be
"I don't blame him," Erickson said. "We're not
getting him the ball. Sometimes he's open. Sometimes he (Garcia) is pressured.
We say it and talk about getting him the football in key situations, but we're
not getting him the ball."
While Owens dissected the team's
passing game, Beasley came down on the 49ers' two-running back platoon of
Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow.
"We need to stick with running
back, either Garrison or Kevan as the primary back," Beasley said. "I haven't
been a fan of it since we started using it when Kevan got here."
Clearly, neither Hearst nor Barlow was able to establish any sort of tempo
against the Browns. Hearst gained just 18 yards on nine carries, while Barlow
rushed for 14 yards on seven tries. The 49ers' leading rusher was Garcia, who
gained 40 yards on five scrambles.
Beasley, who is best friends
with Hearst and has feuded in the past with Barlow, stopped short of naming
Hearst as his preference to be the every-down back. Beasley has said that Hearst
is the most complete halfback because of his ability to catch passes out of the
backfield and pick up blitzes.
"Neither one of our backs benefit
from it," Beasley said. "One does something better than the other, so he should
be the primarily back. You can't ask someone to be a game-breaker when he's just
going to be in the game every-other series.
"That's asking too
much. You can have one guy in there and he can be setting up the defense, but
the next time the other guy is in the game and he didn't see the stuff that the
other guy saw."
--QB Jeff Garcia sustained a slight left groin
pull but remained in the game. He appeared to be a little off his game,
completing just 21 of 35 passes for 198 with no touchdowns and one interception.
He is listed as probable for next week's game against the
--WR Terrell Owens was clearly frustrated throughout
the game, as he managed just eight catches for 90 yards. Afterward, he
complained about the team's makeshift offensive line and his role in the team's
--CB/KR Jimmy Williams sustained a concussion in the
first half and did not return. Williams returned two punts for 25 yards before
getting sidelined with the injury. He is listed as probable for next week's game
against the Vikings.
--LT Derrick Deese was inactive for
Sunday's game with a right ankle sprain. Rookie Kwame Harris started in his
--LT Kwame Harris, a rookie, got his second consecutive
start in place of injured Derrick Deese. Harris appeared to hold his own
throughout most of the game. He surrendered a sack when Browns defensive end
Mark Word looped inside him.
--RB Garrison Hearst could never
find any kind of rhythm running against the Browns defense. Hearst gained just
18 yards on nine carries. He entered the game as the 49ers' leading rusher with
a 6.1-yard average.
--LB Julian Peterson recorded his first
interception of his career, as he followed Jamel White out of the backfield and
latched onto Kelly Holcomb's underthrown pass.
--CB Mike Rumph
had his roughest game of the season. Rumph, who is starting at right cornerback
for injured Jason Webster, gave up some plays in coverage and was also called
for two pass-interference penalties totaling 27 and 21 yards.
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