49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

August 14, 2012
Johnson, not Tolzien, will be No. 3 QB on Saturday


Don't go awarding Scott Tolzien a roster spot just yet.

Jim Harbaugh today said that Josh Johnson, not Tolzien, would be the third quarterback to enter Saturday's preseason game against the Texans. Tolzien was the No. 3 quarterback in the preseason opener against Minnesota and played well in completing 10-13 attempts.

Harbaugh has said all along that the situation behind Alex Smith is fluid and that a combination of practices and exhibition games would determine the final order. He did say, however, that Colin Kaepernick has "emerged" recently as the No. 2 quarterback, a role he had against the Vikings and one he'll retain Saturday in Houston.

"It's been very good," Harbaugh said of Kaepernick. "Nothing's set in stone in that regard, but there's been some emergence."

Harbaugh has consistently praised all four quarterbacks and said that practices are crisp because each knows the offense very well. "It's been of great value that we don't take a bad repetition in practice," he said.

Asked if it's possible that the 49ers keep four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster this season, Harbaugh essentially said, we'll see.

"We'll do what's best for our football team, what we feel like helps be a better team and win games," he said. "This is one of those things that was foreseen that we have four very good quarterbacks. These are four quarterbacks who'll play a very long time in this league. We knew it would be very competitive."

Keeping four quarterbacks, however, would be difficult. The 49ers are deeper at running back and receiver than they were a year ago, and they have several young offensive and defensive linemen they want to develop.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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