49ers Position Battle Review: QBs (Post-Game Two)

In light of Jim Harabaugh's endorsement of Colin Kaepernick's lead this last week, I think it is safe to say that the competition has largely been relegated to the third position spot. If we have to put in the third-string QB, then the season is largely lost. All this discussion is about the future and about having a guy on the roster that could someday contribute.

So let's all be thankful that guy isn't David Carr.

This is the logic, I think, that makes me really want to root for Scott Tolzien. I think, long-term and potential-wise, he is the better candidate than Josh Johnson.

That said, we should be honest here, and recognize that both of them have been pretty mediocre in one game and decent-to-good in the other. They just flipped-flopped. So, going purely on the most recent game, Josh Johnson would get the nod.

The pass that I think everybody will remember from this game is the first pass to A.J. Jenkins, which was about as good as you want to get. Jenkins came down with the ball, and bam, he looked like a nice deep threat.

The throw I really like from Johnson, though, was the next one. Or, rather, not the throw, but the play. On this play, Jenkins did a nice stop and go, basically putting on a double-move before beating the CB deep down the middle of the field. Johnson dropped back and over-threw him. Frankly, there was just too much air under the ball and it sailed too far. Also, Johnson stumbled a bit which resulted in a late throw.

What's good about this throw, in combination with a few successful shorter passes on Johnson's part, is that it shows he doesn't have to be the run and gun type of guy. If he can keep up the pocket passing, which he did well enough Saturday to be encouraging, then he can play within our offense. Given his previous outings on the NFL stage, well, just color me skeptical. But based solely on Saturday, I liked what I saw.

With Tolzien, though, not so much. Tolzien frustrated me quite a bit with his throws down the middle of the field. All of them were high, and that's a mistake that results in a lot of interceptions.

What's so frustrating, too, is how important that throw has become in the modern NFL passing game, because it can beat both man and zone coverage. Last week, it was nice seeing how accurate, quick, and good with reads Tolzien was. We didn't see quite so much this week. It's clearly not enough to write the man off. As I said above, the third QB is pretty much about potential. Might as well go with the guy who has the most potential.

That said, let's see what happens in the next couple of games. Josh could be that much better of a player.

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