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49ers Feature Quality QB Quartet

Posted by Alex Espinoza on August 14, 2012 – 3:42 PM

Since the 49ers signed Josh Johnson to a free-agent deal this offseason, Coach Jim Harbaugh has lauded his quartet of talented quarterbacks, saying they all have a chance to enjoy long and successful NFL careers.

Between Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Johnson and Scott Tolzien, the 49ers boast one of the best quarterback quartets in the league. Until recently, it appeared to be a three-horse race to see who would backup Alex Smith as the No. 2 quarterback on the roster. But on Tuesday, Harbaugh told reporters that second-year signal-caller Colin Kaepernick has started to separate himself.

“I would say Colin has emerged there,” Harbaugh said. “It’s been very good. Nothing’s set in stone in that regard, but there’s been some emergence.”

Kaepernick has been taking second-team reps throughout training camp and helped bolster his standing with a solid performance in last week’s preseason opener against Minnesota, highlighted by his 78-yard touchdown run. Tolzien also had an impressive day, going 10-for-13 for 84 yards, while Johnson led the offense to the doorstep of the end zone before kneeling the ball to end the game.

Harbaugh didn’t rule out the possibility of carrying all four quarterbacks into the regular season, while noting the benefits of having the quality group in practice.

“We knew that it would be very competitive in the offseason and in training camp,” Harbaugh said. “It’s been a great value in that we don’t take a bad rep in practice because of a quarterback not knowing what to do or not having the ability to make any particular throw.”

Harbaugh said Smith will be followed by Kaepernick, Johnson and then Tolzien in Saturday’s preseason road matchup against the Houston Texans. But as Harbaugh said, “This competition – it moves. It’s fluid; it goes up, it goes down, it goes sideways.”

The depth at the position has also benefitted the skill players on the offense. Tight end Vernon Davis said he’s enjoyed working with the talented group of quarterbacks and that he’s noticed improvement from Smith following his career year in 2011.

“It’s a blessing to have our four quarterbacks,” Davis said. “Especially to have Alex Smith. He’s got so much better at everything and they’re really drilling him to make sure he has all the knowledge that he has to get out there on the field.”

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Posted in Announcements | 20 Comments »

20 Responses to “49ers Feature Quality QB Quartet”

  1. By Greg on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I really, really hope they dont cut Tolzien loose. My goodness he was impressive. im hopin they cut JJ…IF they cut any.

  2. By RED N GOLD on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply


  3. By 805faithful on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I see more potential in S. Tolzien than the rest. He looks like he’s ready to go than Kaepernick or Johnson. We all know what A. Smith got so we better be smart and see that we have a Drew Brees in the making.

  4. By Denom on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    They are all 49ers I love them all =)

  5. By HueJastle on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    Josh Johnson was only brought in to make sure Kaepernick and Tolzien didn’t grow complacent… he was brought in to push them and make them earn their spots and it is working… he won’t make the cut

  6. By trob0 on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    JJ is and Tolzien are two totally different qb’s. Tolz reminds me of a Jeff Garcia, a leader, fast getting in and out of the hudle. JJ is more of a taller Vick looking for that big throw or tuck and run for the 1st. Its nice hearing we have the most talented qb’s in the game. Give’s us that much more confidence going into the season. I personally don’t listen to any of the haters and still have full confidence in Alex Smith from day one. People need to remember there’s gotta be somethin there if he was drafter NUMBER 1!!!! Over Aaron Rodgers who had Brett Farve to learn from. This is Smith and the Niners season!!!!!!!!!!

  7. By Bill on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I’m surprised. Tolzien seemed to have a better game. I liked the way he seemed to be comfortable in the pocket. Also seems to be very accurate. Collin does have some nice tools, good runner and strong arm. However, he doesn’t seem as accurate and will take off if his first option is covered. I haven’t seen much of Josh, so I can’t really comment. Harbaugh knows more than I, just my opinion.

  8. By ace on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    so wait how many qb’s are we gonna carry this year i say 2 and one on practice team can u do that ? cuz every roster spot counts and a 3rd qb shouldnt be in the game anyway,im gonna say it now, alex smith will start every game for the niners this year,and the playoffs,superbowl,but he actually shouldnt play in the pro bowl cuz its before the superbowl u guys f….ed that up, go niners !!!

  9. By # 1 D-FENSE 2012 on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    I believe coach harbaugh it talking kap up a bit to try and hide tolzein from “prying eyes”, I like tolzeins ability to throw the ball and I like kaps ability to run with it

  10. By JasonInRenoNV on Aug 14, 2012 | Reply

    No hate here….never. All 4 QB’s are great players, but yes I think that we’ll have the same three QB’s as last year, (1) Smith (2) Kaepernick (3) Tolzien, and all 3 will suit up on Game Day.

  11. By 49Wayz on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    No excuses this year. Lets get it Niners

  12. By bobcat2u on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    We were one overtime field goal away from the big dance last year. Let’s take that final step and win the superbowl at the building we used to own in Nawlins.

  13. By Truballas on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    I think if the lockout didn’t happen last year, Kap would’ve started over Smith. I’m glad Smith had a solid season last year, and I’m GLAD that all of the QBs on the roster are pushing him to do better. To build on last year, Smith has to prove himself as an ELITE QB, not just a QB that can manage the game.

    JJ has the speed and arm strength, Tolzien has the pocket awareness and control, Kap has all of the above.

  14. By We Cut Who? on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    With so many new players added to the roster and so few released or lost in trade or free agency, carrying FOUR QB’s isn’t likely to happen – Having Josh Johnson is nice insurance for depth in case of injury or if one of the other 3 flake out, but honestly there aren’t enough roster spots for this to be happening.

  15. By Armchairscout on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    I hope they keep all four. We could always trade one for future draft picks if we decide on only three. I wold want at least a 3rd round draft pick for Tolzien or Johnson.

  16. By Armchairscout on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    I am really sold on Tolzien. He reminds me a lot of Joe. And I know its just coincidence that his number in college was 16, but it makes me want to keep him around that much more.

  17. By ALLtheWAY49 on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    Its going to be very intresting to see who is the 3 QB. It’s going to be very difficult
    to keep all 4, unless one signs to the practice squad, We just dont have the roster space to keep all 4, kind of how we don’t have the space for 6 HB or 8 WR.

  18. By Randy K. on Aug 15, 2012 | Reply

    The real question is the stable of running backs. Would you cut Anthony Dixon for Bruce Miller? Can Anthony block as well as Bruce? He is also a powerfull running back that can go the distance. But four quarterbacks? Let’s not be rediculous.

  19. By Johnfrom DC on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    I want Alex Smith to be the Guy, but I think i would totally throw off the opposition to have CK have a handful of downs in each game. Not as a sign to replace Alex, but just to confuse the hell out of defenses.

  20. By Josh49 on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    No way do we give CK a package to use in game. Only chance you see that is in mop up time or Smith is out with injury (knock on wood). I understand CK’s ability to run the ball, but I think people forget about Smith’s ability to do the same. His ability to do that lead to the second biggest play in that Saints game.

    1) Smith 2) Tolzein 3) CK Cut)JJ

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