Chris Long calls out 49ers' James for pouting after underthrow originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
It wasn’t pretty, not even a little bit -- and you could see that by the reactions.
But quarterback C.J. Beathard, in for Nick Mullens on that one play, missed his target badly.
Kyle Shanahan’s reaction and Richie James’ reaction tell you everything about this play.
Shanahan’s at the Saints’ 43-yard line and watch his reaction.
10-point game, 10 minutes left and THIS. pic.twitter.com/uOoF33QBGz
— Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav) November 17, 2020
As you can see, James was displeased with the underthrow (well, that’s an understatement) and so was head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Former NFL defensive end Chris Long discussed James' reaction to the underthrow on his podcast "Green Light."
“He got underthrown badly by Beathard,” Long said. “He had beat somebody and there was separation, and this was like San Francisco’s last gas to get back in the game, and Beathard airs it out on one of these late possessions, and to Richie James’ credit, he’s out in front, Beathard -- 10 yards short, I mean … it really was bad.”
“But instead of running back to the huddle, he’s flailing his arms in the air like ‘F--k, you underthrew me, you’re the fifth-string quarterback and you underthrew me.' "
The 49ers punted it back to the Saints, but the 49ers quickly forced a punt from New Orleans on the ensuing possession. James, sure enough, was back to receive the punt and muffed it.
The fumble set up another Saints touchdown, which ultimately sealed the deal for New Orleans.
Long suggested there might have been some karma in James' saga.
“That’s a little lesson for me, like, it’s hard not to do it sometimes, you get frustrated, but I used to try to not show anybody up,” Long added. “Maybe he was just frustrated because he had a great route, but it just comes back around because you could be the guy in the next play.”