Fooch's Note: Wes wrote this before Coach Harbaugh announced that Josh Johnson would enter this Saturday's game against the Texans as the No. 3 QB. Tolzien filled that role last week, so the battle is ongoing.
In terms of conversational precipitation, this should probably have been the post I wrote and posted the other day, instead of the RBs review. I mean, if Shakespeare were a Football fan, he would have written "the QB's the thing." So, in a way, this whole Scott Tolzien hoopla should be front and center in my mind.
And it is. I shouldn't deny it. But, I wanted to be prudent before putting my thoughts out in a public forum, so I went with the easier to review RBs.
Well, the time has come. After thinking about it and watching major portions of the game over again, I keep coming back to one thought: man, Tolzien looked awesome - I wish it wasn't against scrubs.
This isn't to discredit the man. He put on a great show and really made a case for a spot on the 53 man roster. This makes me happy. I'm a big Tolzien supporter. I really do believe that he can have a very successful career in the NFL - probably as a back-up, but I wouldn't be surprised if he could be an above-average starter. The guy sure has a lot of the qualities one needs to be successful in this league. His ceiling seems pretty high too.
But the fact still remains that at this point in his career, he is still young and relatively unpolished. The Kaep attack has gotten more practice reps and game time. He was producing well against the Vikings' 1 and 2 guys (unlike Tolzien, who was against the 2s and 3s), and I cannot overstate how big of a drop off that is.
This isn't to say that Tolzien will never leapfrog Colin Kaepernick on the depth chart (though I somewhat doubt it, just based upon draft pedigree and how quickly back-up QBs bounce from team to team in this league). I'm just saying that based ONLY upon the evidence one could cull from Friday's preseason game, it isn't justified yet.
One quick note on Josh Johnson - while he didn't look great, it wasn't bad enough to write him out of the back-up QB competition (if, indeed, this is a three man race). I was surprised that he played last, though - to be frank - his level of play in comparison to the others warranted it. I think it's a bit too early to form solid opinions yet, but right now I lean toward letting him go, since I don't think Tolzien would even make it to our Practice Squad. I'm really interested in seeing how the coaching staff treats JJ going forward.