Golden Nuggets: Backup QB Up For Grabs, Justin Smith Says Time Is Now

Hey everyone. Aaron here, and I'm filling in for James. He's out 6-8 months with a torn ACL. No, seriously...he's got an ear infection and is laid out. So everyone light a candle for his speedy recovery. The good news is that James will be back soon. The bad news is that you are getting an abbreviated Nuggets (that are going up way earlier than usual) because it's my wife's birthday and we're going out soon. You're all lucky that she has exams next week and has the unfortunate responsibility of having to study on her birthday or you'd get no Nuggets at all. So everyone wish Lucy a Happy Birthday and be thankful for what you have. On to the days news...

Coach Harbaugh has come out and said that the backup quarterback position is up for grabs. I know Coach doesn't like for people to read between the lines but I'm pretty sure that means that Colin Kaepernick is really getting outplayed by Josh Johnson. Kaepernick will have a roster spot no matter what, so Johnson and Scott Tolzien are fighting for the last QB spot and then battling CK for the key backup position. | Harbaugh says backup QB up for grabs. (Mercury News)

Remember Harris Barton, our former Tackle. Both of his parents died of brain tumors and recently, a who's who of 49ers and Bay Area football luminaries got together to help raise money for the cause. Here's the story. | Legends get together for Harris Barton. (Mercury News)

Justin Smith usually leads by example. But now he's being a bit more vocal. He's said that windows close rapidly in the NFL and that teams don't stay together forever...so the time is now. I agree. | Justin Smith says the time is now. (Mercury News)

As far as everyone is concerned, Randy Moss' beginning with the 49ers couldn't be going better. He's still showing the skills that will make him a hall-of-famer when retires and has been nothing but a professional since signing on the dotted line. | Moss showing his star quality. (ProFootballWeekly)

Eric Branch has some notes as minicamp wraps up. Among them are Justin Smith's views (mentioned above), Coach Harbaugh's off to Peru, and the team will stay in Youngstown, Ohio again this year. | Branch's notes from minicamp. (Branch)

Coach Harbaugh couldn't be happier with the teams wide receiver corps. The new additions and the continued development of our returning veterans (who, we should keep in mind, are still young players) should add up to an explosiveness we haven't seen in the passing game since Garcia to Owens. | Harbaugh happy with WR. (Yahoo! Sports)

The 49ers have released long snapper Ryan Pontbriand. I don't know if he was supposed to challenge Brian Jennings or not, but that position battle was apparently the easiest and earliest one to be decided. | Pontbriand released.

Bucky Brooks from NFL.com has 4 reasons why the 49ers are going to be extremely dangerous on offense this year. Nearly everyone agrees that if we had a mediocre offense we could have possibly won it all last year. Alex Smith keeps getting better, the receivers are going to be strong this year and Coaches Harbaugh and Roman have a full offseason to develop and implement a creative offense. Plus there's tons of embedded video. | Bucky Brooks on why Niners offense will be explosive. (NFL.com)

Matt Barrows gives 5 thoughts from minicamp and they are on point as usual. He notes that contact-free, padless football favors the passing game and so those players stood out. Kaepernick struggled but will excel when the preseason begins, Randy Moss and Perrish Cox were the standouts, and Alex Boone looks to have a good grip on the RG position are among the notes here. | Barrows' thoughts on the closing of minicamp. (Barrows)

ProFootballWeekly is running a series where the 8 best defenses are battling it out to see who's number one. We're up against the Eagles and I don't think this is even up for debate. Unfortunately, there is no link to the video other than PFW's homepage. So I'm linking you to the Yahoo! article in regards to the PFW's article. Goofy...but if they don't want to cooperate, what can I do? | PFW battle of the defenses. (Yahoo! Sports)

Offseason Q&A: Jonathan Goodwin. (49ers.com)

Video: Chris Culliver talks. (CSN Bay Area)

Mike Sando has a piece on how good Randy Moss has looked, complete with quotes from coaches and veteran players. That's all great news, but I don't think anyone thought he would come in and be a problem in the first minicamp. | Sando on how impressive Moss has been. (Sando)

Sando notes that Ahmad Brooks was tabbed as a possible breakout player by ESPN insider Gary Horton. Donte Whitner explains why he is poised for such a step. | Brooks as possible NFC breakout player. (Sando)

Bay Area Sports Guy breaks down the events of the last day of minicamp. Colin Kaepernick to A.J. Jenkins was a thing of beauty, allowing both players, who, by most accounts, seemed to struggle, to end on a high note. | BASG on the minicamp. (BASG)

Chris Burke, in his Huddle Up series, asks whether Aldon Smith is ready to make the big jump that the team expects of him. His talent is undeniable, but Parys Haralson's play has been so steady over the years, last year included, that it may cost us to take him off of the field in the base 3-4 packages. | Is Aldon Smith ready? (SI.com)

So I've gotten as many links up as possible, but I've had to do them earlier than normal (way earlier) so I assume some of the beat writers may be posting up thoughts on the closing of minicamp. David might add to this before it goes live, but if not, then you guys know the routine. Post some links in the comments below...and remember, a big Happy Birthday to Lucy. Until tomorrow.

Being a Sheep

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