Harbaugh says McCoy is Kaepernick’s backup

SAN FRANCISCO – Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said at the podium after Sunday night’s preseason game, courtesy of the 49ers.


Was that about everything you wanted to see for the third exhibition game?

“Yeah. Saw a lot of good football and pleased with the way our guys worked, practiced all week and then came out and played in the game. I thought there was a lot of good football out there.”


Is QB Colt McCoy your backup quarterback now?

“Yeah, yes he is. I thought he played very well. Thing that’s been very encouraging is he’s progressed and gotten better every week. Tonight, just down after down, consistently good, that’s what we’ve been looking for.”


Did the momentum of the game determine why not all five quarterbacks played in this game?

“Yeah, sometimes you got a plan and then you have a feel. So, I felt like we were getting good work and Colt was, he’s probably set a record for being, starting a drive inside the 10 yard line in the preseason. Colt McCoy, quarterback, starting a drive inside the 10 yard line. Backed him up to the one, the two, the eight, it was really encouraging to see the second offense step up the way they did and put 17 points on the board and move the football consistently. That was very encouraging.”


There was a report that you guys were looking to trade Colt McCoy, any validity to that?

“Well, as you know we never talk about the things that appear on the internet. ‘If it’s on the internet it must be true’ type of speculation. Very pleased with the job that he did. I thought [QB] B.J. [Daniels] did very well as well. And then, the receiving corps, [WR] Quinton Patton, thought he stepped up. I got very excited about him tonight, strong player. He’s been showing that in practice and to see him take that to the game, that was also really encouraging. [WR] Marlon Moore as well. Good to see [TE] Vernon [Davis] involved. I thought, so many guys, [DT] Justin Smith was, he had a burr up his saddle or something tonight. He was Justin Smith, it was great. [S] Eric Reid, I thought he played well. [LB] Ahmad Brooks and [LB] NaVorro Bowman. And then just our defense in general, just talk about the, they’ve done a fine job all preseason. Finally gave up a touchdown on the short field.”


The competition now at quarterback is for the number three job going into the season? Is that accurate to say?

“Yeah, I feel real good about right now that Colt’s the backup.”


What about your new wide receiver Jon Baldwin? Did you get him as much, as many snaps as you wanted?

“Yeah. He’s had a nice command of the offense. The very short time that he’s been here he has shown that he absorbed it real quick and put him in some situations where he hadn’t practiced. Some of the things he did there tonight showed that he was taking mental reps and the one’s he was in, that was real encouraging. He pays attention and has real good physical ability. Everybody likes him. He’s fit in real well.”


Were you happy with QB Colin Kaepernick’s series?

“I was. I thought Colin did a fine job. I felt the line protected very well with the first group, it was very encouraging. We got off blocks in coverage team, that was real encouraging. Had some coverage tackles inside the 20 on the kickoff and it was good.”


Was this a test for Colt McCoy that if he didn’t play well he wouldn’t have gone on with this team?

“No, not at all. Everybody’s under the, it’s a challenge, there’s a test so to speak. You can say that about every player that’s out there playing this game. Like I said, the thing that stands out to me is just the improvement weekly. And tonight, just consistently good the whole night. I thought he was real accurate with his throws. The command of the offense was good. He’s getting better. So, I thought he was plus-plus tonight.”


Are you able to make any assessment on Eric Reid in his first NFL start?

“I thought he was good. He was deep when he was supposed to be deep, made tackles, showed up on special teams, did a fine job. Another guy that just continues to get better.”


WR Lavelle Hawkins had a couple of nice plays, he also followed them up with penalties. I guess, in the final assessment, did he hurt his chances tonight by what happened after those plays?

“Especially, after you point it out, one strike, two strikes, probably the two-strike level. He did score a touchdown and had a big catch. He’s definitely got to do a better job of not getting emotionally high jacked after doing something great.”


I think I know the answer, but another report was that Colt restructured his contract. The assumption is because of that he’s going to stay on the team. Is there any validity to that?

“Again, just always felt it’s best to not talk about contracts publicly. That would be with all players. You’ve never heard me do it before and I’m not going to start now.”


How are RB LaMichael James and LB Cam Johnson doing?

“LaMichael and Cam Johnson. LaMichael, Cam Johnson.”


Two injuries, sorry. Both of them left with injuries, what’s their status?

“I think LaMichael’s fine, LaMichael’s fine. He’s going through a little something with his elbow. Cam, I’m not aware of his status right now.”


You obviously saw a lot of Quinton Patton in the offseason, but not a lot of him catching the ball and moving with the ball. Was that impressive to you how quick he was after he had the ball in his hands?

“We saw a lot of him catching the ball prior to July 23, then he had the injury and was out for three weeks. But, he wasn’t really out, because he was still out there practicing. But, yeah I think he’s a good physical player. I don’t think that the big stage bothers him, and it doesn’t make him nervous. He’s a competitor, you notice that. Boy you hate to say too much more about a rookie player. See if he can’t just keep getting better.”


Has CB Nnamdi Asomugha taken that lead role for that number three cornerback job?

“There’s quite a bit of competition still there.”


You had him in that third role tonight.



Was that just to see how he’d mesh with that first unit?

“Well, there’s a very competitive role between [CB Tramaine Brock] T-Brock and Nnamdi at that position, and it’s good for our ball club that both those guys have stepped up. They’re both ascending players and both improving players. That’s good for us.”


Can you talk about the play, Ahmad Brooks came out hot in the first couple series and just how, what you’ve seen from him this exhibition season?

“Guys jumping out. Right off the bat with Justin and [DT] Ray [McDonald] and Ahmad and NaVorro were playing. They were leading us. That group of guys. You’ll have to talk to them, there was something good, it was special, I liked it.”


It seemed like something kind of clicked with Kaepernick on the third series when he converted on that 3rd-n-10, is that what you saw too?

“Yeah, on that 85-yard drive there was a lot of things that were clicking. Vernon, good to see Colin and Vernon. I know a lot of people talk about that, the chemistry between those two and how that’s progressing. I thought that the series before, the first series, we had the ball at the 12 and wasn’t able to get it into the end zone and the second series ended with Colin kind of getting his arm grabbed as he was throwing. I felt like he got into a good rhythm and had an opportunity to make plays on that drive whereas in the first two series there wasn’t anybody really open on the first drive when he was throwing and the second one he got the arm grabbed. So, when he was able to have a good chance to make a play he did.”


RB Kendall Hunter had a 15-yard run, did that look like his familiar burst to you? Is he kind of where he was before the injury or not?

“He looked like it ,yeah. He’s looked like it in practice as well. A lot of the fellas have been talking about how he seems faster. So, I can’t say that I disagree with that.”


We see a lot of different philosophies from coaches around the league. Manning threw 34 passes in the first half yesterday. Why do you manage Colin the way you do with, he only played one quarter today, that’s the most he’s played in these first three games?

“Just feel like probably what’s best for our team. They probably feel what’s best for their team. I think pretty much we’ve always done it that way. They play what they play each preseason game. There’s no emphasis on any other, the third game is no magic third game.”


Will Colin play next week?



He will?

“Yeah. I think. Don’t hold me to that. Subject to change. How about that? Subject to change. That he will play next week will all be subject to change.”

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  1. Then there’s this from the Media Teaser:
    Q. Will Colin play next week?
    A. Yeah. I think. Don’t hold me to that. Subject to change. How about that? Subject to change. That he will play next week will all be subject to change.

      1. I would not be upset if they traded McCoy and Haralson for draft picks. I think BJ Daniels will be fine, he’s never gonna play this season anyway. Go with 2 QB’s with Gray as the 911 QB3/TE4. Positional flexibility rules the bottom of the roster.

      2. McCown has actually looked great for the Saints. I think they are set with him as the backup from what I’ve seen.

        The Haralson thing is interesting, but unless it’s at least a 3rd rounder, I’d keep him. Chances are he will be needed and he’s going to be going hard in his contract year.

        The Saints could be a team that is interested in claiming Johnson when he’s cut loose.

      3. Jon in SoCal,
        I like your idea a lot. Maybe next game they’ll have him start with the first team to see how he can do against a first team defense. Other than that, it’s an act of faith and not something I think they’d risk.

  2. During the regular season, we will see two completely different teams:
    the Niners with Kaep running out of the read-option
    the Vikings with some guy named Adrian Peterson toting the pigskin.
    There is no question that the Minnesota staff will risk “freakisk” injury when they insert Peterson into the lineup.
    If Coach Harbaw tries to avoid the same “freakish” events by limiting the amount of runs from scrimmage by his starting QB, the opponents’ defenses will adjust. The defensive ends will bring more pressure; there will be more stunting, more blitzing. Colin must prove himself able and willing to absorb a hit and keep on playing (including running the ball). Take away his running game and how many Niner fans expect to see him become another Brady or Manning or Rodgers or …. Please advise.

    1. Well unlike Alex this kid has tremendous zip on the ball. He makes throws that the big guns make, in tight windows and on the money. It’s refreshing that we have a QB that is willing AND able to take some risk to move the team down the field instead of playing it safe like grandma.

      1. Fabio, keep in mind, this is against 3-4th team players. His upside is good, but you cannot distinguish any reasonable potential unless we see him against a 1st string NFL defense.

      2. FDM,

        You appear to have allowed your obsessive defense of the KC QB to negatively impact your reading comprehension. Either that, or you really think CK7 has not been facing 1st string NFL defenses.

        I know – you must have posted this in the wrong conversation thread.

    2. CK has always been a pass first qb. the media is very stupid. do not listen to what they say about him being a run first guy

    3. Take away his running game and how many Niner fans expect to see him become another Brady or Manning or Rodgers or …. Please advise.

      I expect him to be better than all three even without a prolific and freakish speed.

  3. I do not believe Coach Jim H! he is not going to share anything with the media. But i have no faith in Colt, if coaching staff decide to keep him then so be it.

  4. Could Celek end up in KC? They just lost their TE to a fractured shoulder and their rookie pick at 63 is out with a bruised knee. Is making a trash dump 3 times to the same spot wearing out your welcome?

    On other unrelated news, Braylon Edwards couldn’t even make the Jets team. He was cut today. Ryan is going out on a tyrant and cutting vets left and right. He also let McKnight go.

  5. Parys Haralson reportedly on the trading block. I think I still like him better than Dan Skuta or Cam Johnson but maybe the salary figure is too high for a backup on this team.

    1. The shame here is that he took a million dollar pay cut to stay with the organization this season. I’m not positive, but I think he only makes 1.15 million this year.

      1. Any cap money they save can be rolled over into next year, and they still want to pay Iupati, ASmith and Kaep. They’re going to need every dime.

      1. I don’t like this Parys trade talk stuff. His return is one of the reasons why I feel so good about the D Line this year. He gives you top notch depth and change up on the end. Plus he is one who is dedicated to the cause.
        The only good reason to trade him is he is probably gone next year with no draft pick to show. So plan for future or for Super Bowl drive.

      2. So plan for future or for Super Bowl drive.

        How about both? Skuta will probably slide in Haralson’s role as a key backup and STs player plus we get a draft pick along with some cap relief.

  6. Mortensen, who sometimes gets good access, is saying BJ makes the 53.
    Who knows? That’s what I’m hoping for though.

    1. I can’t see how he doesn’t. Exactly what you want in a 3rd QB. Functional, with crazy athleticism. Too much upside(at the most important position) for somebody not to snatch him up off of waivers.

      1. I’m against Daniels as the backup but as the 3rd guy it makes some sense. I’m still not sure they don’t have him ticketed for the PS, but a 3rd QB is often a young developmental guy so I could see it.

      2. Daniels to the practice squad makes very little sense to me. He flourished against the scrubs. If he is an NFL player, he SHOULD flourish against the scrubs. (Cream rises).
        Harbaugh admitted that Daniels didn’t get much practice as a QB in TC or in minicamps. This guy has learned a system that Colt McCoy hasn’t picked up with his 4 years in the league. (He’s been with the organization since the draft.)
        Daniels is a GREAT fit to THIS SYSTEM. I’m sure he’d struggle if he had to stand in the pocket and read defenses. That isn’t what SF is asking for in a QB. He will make the 53.
        The only question in my mind is, “If SF trades away McCoy, does that move Daniels up to the backup QB?

      3. Matt,

        Daniels has played at the end of two games against players that will most likely be on PS’ or out of the league entirely. He has not faced the caliber of players McCoy has and he has not had many snaps in a game situation.

        The reasoning for putting him on the PS is because this is a SB team. A SB team is not going to put their season in the hands of a 7th round draft pick if their starting QB gets injured. Daniels has done well with the chances he’s been given but he’s inexperienced and far from a finished product. That is why they likely will either keep him as the #3 or sign him to the PS. If he turns out to be a revelation great, but keep things in perspective.

      4. Matt says “I’m sure he’d struggle if he had to stand in the pocket and read defenses. That isn’t what SF is asking for in a QB”
        Matt if teams are not asking their QB to stand in the pocket they are basically asking to lose. If the Niners are not asking their QB to stand in the pocket then most definately other teams will. Offenses cannot dictate very much these days in the NFL because it has great athletes and great coaches.
        You must be able to skin a cat multiple ways or you become one dimensional and end up 6-10.

      5. Functional with crazy athleticism – good describer. That combo equals potential for upside at the most important position.
        In addition as Jon of So Cal said position flexibility rules the bottom of the roster and Daniels clearly comes with that.

    2. Gadd zukes people! Daniel’s will not make it to the practice squad. If they don’t include him in the 53 he is gone. He will be on another team to haunt us down the road.
      There is no sneak left in this game, he has been showcased. Their are teams out there right now with know discernible QB for the future, drooling over a pistol type QB, just waiting to ponce on Wilson 2.0.

      1. I kindda have the feeling that maybe McCoy wasn’t being shopped rather he was being pursued(by Buffalo) and when they were rebuffed(or extorted) they moved on to Leinart and Thad Lewis. Just a crazy theory.

      1. His salary is down to $750.000 from 1.5 million, I expect to see him play on Thursday, however I don’t expect our starters to play more then a few plays.

      1. I think Williams is expendable. Manningham could be gone too if Collie makes the team or if as Midwest said, Moore plays exceptionally well.

      1. Scott Tolzien / Baby brees is gone. Funny for his size, I thought he would have had a stronger arm. Watched him all last year warm up before games. No fastball, only a changeup.
        Good luck to him though…..

  7. J..E..T..S..
    They are desperate for some kind of experience at qb.

    Some kind of experience in the FO and HC too, IMO. What a train wreck.

  8. My prediction for the additional 10 players that will be cut by tomorrow:

    1. Lamar Divens
    2. Jennings, Brian
    3. Chuck Jacobs
    4. Okoye Laurence
    5. Schepler, Jason
    6. Omameh, Patrick
    7. Morris, Darryl
    8. Bykowski, Carter
    9. Wiggins, Kenny
    10. Hall, Chad

    1. Or they might hold on to the rookies until the last preseason game and just cut the vets so they can look for other jobs.

    2. Chicago,

      Omameh, Bykowski, and Wiggins will not be cut tomorrow. They are needed for Thursday nights game.

      Look for all 3 to be cut after that game and Bykowski to be added to the practice squad.

      1. good point! i guess if they need bodies they might keep some of the OL players for the last game. but for sure they will cut them after the forth game. The rookie most likely will be added to PS.

      2. Also don’t see them cutting Jacobs in the first group of cuts. He will be in next round and added to practice squad.

        Substitute Collie/Hawkins in there. Both vets deserve an extra week to find another team.

      1. I don’t believe they will cut Cam unless his injury is long term. He has received very good feedback from the coaching staff.

      2. He could be waived and resigned to PS if he clears, or waived with an injury settlement, or placed on IR or PUP. With PUP he could come back later if there are injuries in his position group that go on IR.

  9. The 49ers will eventually get down to 53 but if i was a player on that list i would’nt be rushing out to buy a house. They will have to release as many as 4 more players before the end of the yr to make room for Carradine, Dial, Manningham and Crabtree.

      1. I was high on Tolzien last year. Tolzien is a pocket passer and doesn’t fit the new system SF has behind Kaepernick.
        Behind Alex Smith, Tolzien was a good choice. He offered much of the same with a better pocket presence.
        In a spread offense, Daniels and Wallace are better choices. I think Tolzien, McCoy would both be successful in GB, NO, NE, or even Dallas.

      2. Tolzien’s problem is the system. He is a square peg that’s trying to be squeezed into a round hole. He’ll be a successful backup elsewhere. I think we are all in agreement that he has the talent to be an NFL backup. He just doesn’t fit in our offense now that it isn’t handcuffed to Alex Smith.

      3. I don’t agree Matt. Tolzien is nothing more than a 3rd string guy in the league. He struggled mightily whenever asked to play up, meaning above the 3rd/4th team guys.

      4. I agree with Jack. Tolzien has not shown he is a #2 QB in the NFL.

        I thought Tolzien was a nice addition in 2011, but it was clear during the 2012 preseason that the game was slowing down for Kaep but was not for Tolzien. I was hopeful that another year in the system would help that, but he still looks like the game is just a little too fast for him. When he has time, he plays well, but against even second string defenses, he does not have the time he needs to execute. I wish Tolzien the best, and maybe in the right situation he can make the transition, but at this point, I would be surprised if he is ever more than a 3rd string quarterback in the NFL (I would not mind eating those words if he does make the transition).

      5. Yes and no. BJ has a higher ceiling.

        I’m referring to the anointing of a young player issue we seem to have every year Grimey. I don’t know what Daniels ceiling is. What I do know is nobody ever heard of the guy before his name was called in the 7th round, and Tolzien picked up a lot of fans after having a great 4th preseason game against the Niners 3 years ago.

        Daniels fits as a 3rd QB prospect, but I would not want him as the backup this year, and certainly am not ready to proclaim him as anything more at this point. He’s had about 2 dozen snaps against practice squad caliber players. Perspective. That’s all I’m saying.

      6. Tolzien did look good, against the SF 3rd/4th string. Unfortunately that’s his ceiling.

        For my money give me BJ. He can be a good #3, and groom him to replace McCoy next season. When he comes into the game the pace of the offense picks up. We saw that last year with Kaepernick as well.

        Wasn’t sold on him after KC due to level of competition, but last night he stepped up and did it against Minnesota’s backups.

      1. A moron comes to mind who only shows up here when Alex Smith is brought up. This person now I hear is on the Chiefs blog regurgitating the same garbage. Guess who?

      1. Not really. Our team is developing a 3-4 hybrid defense. In other words what Haralson knows from his time here will probably be completely different by the time we play the Saints.

      2. No, no; I was referring to Tolzien in that comment. Tolzien spent the last two years photographing that playbook in his head. Remember that is what staff liked about him.
        In fact I think he had so much in his head that it over whelmed him and he could never play by feel. Remember Harbs comment about “over analyzing” Will Pete Carroll grab the gold mine of info?

      3. Sorry. I hit the wrong thread. I agree with your statement on Tolzien, but I do not believe that he fits the type of QB the Seahawks want behind Russell Wilson on the depth chart.

    1. Jack,
      Couldn’t agree more. Wilson 2.0 actually looks ahead of where CKap was back when he debuted. And BJs QB career in the NFL started out in truncated mode.

  10. Possibly waiving Jennings is concerning. An excellent long snapper is important for a team with hopes of winning a championship. If this happens I hope it doesn’t backfire.

    1. Yes true. But he is 36 and expensive. If the rookie continues to play well then they might opt to cut him to make room for all the future players they have to sign.

  11. C49
    I understand, but I think back to the 49er-Giant playoff game where the longsnapper cost the Giants the game :) I don’t want that to happen in a year we have a shot at the Superbowl.

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