As a former NFL quarterback with 15 seasons of playing experience under his belt, Jim Harbaugh has seen his share of cut-down days.
So to be expected, the 49ers head coach felt compassion for the 26 players released by the team on Saturday.
“You feel for them all,” Harbaugh said on a conference call. “They worked really hard.”
Harbaugh noted that although those 26 players didn’t make the final roster, they benefitted from gaining quality experience in training camp. He especially felt for the players who’ve previously been on the 49ers roster.
Perhaps the most important news of the call touched on Harbaugh’s former position.
The 49ers coach said it’s possible the team could bring in a third quarterback to add to the group of Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. “I anticipate there will be one in the building, practice squad or other,” he said.
If the 49ers elect to utilize two quarterbacks on the roster, they’re well aware of it what it means.
“Any team that carries two quarterbacks at this time,” Harbaugh said, “You’re rolling the dice and we understand that.”
The 49ers have two fullbacks and two tight ends, but rookie Bruce Miller will be the backup fullback and third tight end, Harbaugh said.
It appears a different backup in the backfield has been determined, too. Rookie Kendall Hunter will serve as Frank Gore’s understudy, ahead of second-year runner Anthony Dixon.
Gore was also mentioned by Harbaugh, when the coach discussed Saturday’s team meeting.
Gore and linebacker Patrick Willis were elected team captains, representing the offensive and defensive units respectively. Based on a vote by their teammates, each player was acknowledged in the meeting where they spoke in front of their teammates.
“The mood was good with the squad when we met today,” Harbaugh said. “Patrick and Frank Gore summed it up – it starts right now getting ready for Seattle and that’s the mood. It’s serious and they’re ready to get going.”
Harbaugh said two of those players eager to play, undrafted defensive linemen Demarcus Dobbs and Ian Williams, made it hard on the coaching staff for them to say goodbye and release the talented linemen.
“They had good upside,” Harbaugh said. “They were men who earned their way on to the roster.”
The inclusion of special teams players like linebacker Blake Costanzo and rookie safety Colin Jones wasn’t as difficult of a decision to make. With respected coordinator Brad Seely on board to coach special teams, there’s been a clear commitment by Harbaugh and his staff on winning the third phase of the game.
“That’s a sign we want to be strong on special teams,” Harbaugh said.
Tags: Frank Gore, Jim Harbaugh, Patrick Willis
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