Preseason finale looms large for Tolzien, other 'bubble' 49ers

Preseason finale looms large for Tolzien, other 'bubble' 49ers
August 29, 2012, 5:18 pm
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The preseason is the NFL lifeline for players like Scott Tolzien. The quarterback has a stellar college resume that includes a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and a 72.9 completion rate from 12 regular-season starts his senior season. That completion percentage set the single season school record at Wisconsin and led the nation for 2010 as well.But when no team drafted the Illinois native, Tolzien had to build his NFL resume through any game action he could get. He signed a free agent contract with San Diego and played in three preseason games with the Chargers. His third game was a 16-23, 226 yard passing performance in a loss to the 49ers with a 69.6 completion rate despite being sacked five times. Tolzien was already on the 49ers' radar, but after that game, the team picked him up and made the rookie the third quarterback as soon as the Chargers cut him.RELATED: 49ers make cuts to 75-player limit
There was other factors in that decision, just like theres other factors in everybodys decision, head coach Jim Harbaugh said of adding Tolzien to the 53 man roster last season. Body of work thats been built up, the year before, in the offseason, in training camp, in other preseason games.Tolzien has a wisdom beyond his 24-years and made sure he passed his experience onto this years crop of rookies, especially the undrafted free agents. He told A.J. Jenkins, Nathan Palmer, Chris Owusu and some of the linemen to make every moment count Thursday night.This isnt just the last preseason game before the regular season begins, this is big for us, Tolzien said. This is our chance to get a lot of playing time and really show what weve been preparing for.RELATED: Maiocco -- The numbers game: The 49ers most impacted
What these young players need to showcase to clinch a spot on the 49ers, or any NFL teams roster, differs from player to player. Tolzien is looking to relax, get into a rhythm and more than anything look for completions. Palmer wants his body of work to highlight the progress hes made throughout his first NFL training camp.One of the big things that I was labeled as is a guy that cant get separation and a guy thats not willing to block, so thats been one thing that I focused on this whole preseason here, Palmer said. Im a big critic on myself. I definitely think I can play a lot better on film, but Ive learned a lot here and it shows on film.Palmer admitted he was a nervous wreck and didnt sleep much the night before the first cut. But he understands the chances of him remaining with the 49ers past Fridays final cut are slim. Tolzien is more at ease with his situation.Just preparing as if youre the starter, whether its football or not, Tolzien said, just looking back with no regrets at the end of the day.In the NFL, just be sure that at the end of the day its all on film.