49ers QB position leaves some room for intrigue behind Colin Kaepernick

Jason O. Watson

The 49ers are set at quarterback with Colin Kaepernick locked in as the team's long-term answer. The roster spots behind Kap are up for grabs with Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien and B.J. Daniels competing for time. We take a look at some comments from Jim Harbaugh about the competition.

When Jim Harbaugh meets with the media, he usually gives away next to nothing in terms of actual information, preferring to stick to generic content and various platitudes. However, we got a little bit of insight into the 49ers depth chart in yesterday's press conference. Coach Harbaugh was asked how the quarterbacks behind Colin Kaepernick were performing, and if he had a sense of "the way they're competing for that number two job." Harbaugh's response?

"Colin is playing so well right now that he overshadows some of the other guys. There's really some good, some consistent play, and then some mistakes, but I'd say both guys are kind of going through that right now."

In case you missed it in there, Coach Harbaugh referenced "both guys" when talking about the players behind Kap. A reporter followed asking, "Both guys meaning?" Harbaugh's response?

"[QB] Scott [Tolzien] and [QB] Colt [McCoy]"

We've been talking about B.J. Daniels in the mix, and I've even projected Daniels into the 53-man roster. While we have to take most of Coach Harbaugh's with a sizable grain of salt, it does at least keep us on our toes a bit.

Practice reports have indicated B.J. Daniels has been impressing thus far. However, he is getting work at a variety of positions, including quarterback, running back, wide receiver and punt returner. Coach Harbaugh was asked about Daniels and his role:

Where do you classify QB B.J. Daniels, he's all over the place, do you view him as a potential number three or is he kind of a Swiss-army knife kind of a player?

"He's really kind of progressing at quarterback. He's doing a good job there. Then he's put in a lot of work at the receiver position and the halfback position. He's getting an opportunity to practice at all three of those positions right now. It's been impressive how he goes from receiver to quarterback and then takes off and puts on the gloves and he's back at running back. He's doing a pretty darn good job. I think just what we have been doing is more and more quarterback play as the days go by and he's showing a good grasp of the offense. Arrow up there."

Do you think that's helped him to wear so many different hats so when he goes back to quarterback he has a more substantial view of the offense?

"I think it does because, just understanding the offense from different positions points of view. Also, engaged every snap. So I think it's been beneficial."

It would not surprise me in the least that Harbaugh could be sand-bagging when it comes to the quarterback position. He indicated Tolzien is competing with McCoy for the backup position, and Daniels is just sort of working all over the place. Could the team decide to keep four quarterbacks? Or are the odds a bit more sizable that the 49ers are going to try and stash him on the practice squad.

Next week, the 49ers host the Denver Broncos in their preseason opener. Kap will likely get a series or two, with McCoy probably coming on in relief for most of the rest of the first half. Based on Harbaugh's comments, Tolzien would follow McCoy. The question is how much playing time will Daniels get? Where does he fit into this equation? Is he guy who will settle in with the practice squad and help the team prepare for read-option attacks? Or could he find himself actually earning a roster spot?

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