Talkin' QBs -- 49ers and around the NFL


Talkin' QBs -- 49ers and around the NFL

Like most NFL teams, the 49ers kept three quarterbacks after their cut to 53 players.The 49ers gave it a long thought before deciding to part ways with veteran Josh Johnson while keeping Scott Tolzien as the No. 3 guy behind starter Alex Smith and backup Colin Kaepernick.RELATED: Video -- Matt and Mindi finalize the 49ers roster
"I won't delve into every aspect because really there was a lot of body of work," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "There was a lot of thought that went into it. I think about the quarterback position in some form or fashion every day."I can't tell you how close it was. It was a dead heat. Both those players made a great argument for both of them to help our team win on any given Sunday. It was close in the beginning, it remained close all the way through and it was a tough decision."In the NFL, a tie generally goes to the younger, less-expensive player. And such was the case here. Tolzien is 15 12 months younger than Johnson, and his appointment on the roster, instead of Johnson, saves the 49ers nearly 300,000 in salary this season.Following is a listing of each team's active quarterbacks:ARIZONA
Kevin Kolb, Houston, 6
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State, R
Starter: John Skelton, Fordham, 3ATLANTA
Dominique Davis, East Carolina, R
Luke McCown, Louisiana Tech, 9
Starter: Matt Ryan, Boston College, 5 BALTIMORE
Starter: Joe Flacco, Delaware, 5
Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, 2BUFFALO
Starter: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard, 7
Tarvaris Jackson, Alabama State, 7
Tyler Thigpen, Coastal Carolina, 4CAROLINA
Derek Anderson, Oregon State, 8
Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 3
Starter: Cam Newton, Auburn, 2CHICAGO
Jason Campbell, Auburn, 8
Starter: Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt, 7 CINCINNATI
Starter: Andy Dalton, TCU, 2
Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo, 7CLEVELAND
Thaddeus Lewis, Duke, 2
Colt McCoy, Texas, 3
Starter: Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State, RDALLAS
Kyle Orton, Purdue, 8
Starter: Tony Romo, Eastern Illinois, 10DENVER
Caleb Hanie, Colorado State, 5
Starter: Peyton Manning, Tennessee, 15
Brock Osweiler, Arizona State, RDETROIT
Shaun Hill, Maryland, 11
Kellen Moore, Boise State, R
Starter: Matthew Stafford, Georgia, 4GREEN BAY
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, 1
Starter: Aaron Rodgers, California, 8HOUSTON
John Beck, Brigham Young, 6
Starter: Matt Schaub, Virginia, 9
T.J. Yates, North Carolina, 2INDIANAPOLIS
Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois, R
Starter: Andrew Luck, Stanford, R
Drew Stanton, Michigan State, 5JACKSONVILLE
Starter: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri, 2
Chad Henne, Michigan, 4KANSAS CITY
Starter: Matt Cassel, Southern California, 8
Brady Quinn, Notre Dame, 6
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa, 2MIAMI
Pat Devlin, Delaware, 2
David Garrard, East Carolina, 9
Matt Moore, Oregon State, 6
Starter: Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M, RMINNESOTA
McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Sacramento State, 1
Starter: Christian Ponder, Florida State, 2
Joe Webb, Alabama-Birmingham, 3NEW ENGLAND
Starter: Tom Brady, Michigan, 13
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas, 2NEW ORLEANS
Starter: Drew Brees, Purdue, 12
Chase Daniel, Missouri, 4NEW YORK GIANTS
David Carr, Fresno State, 11
Starter: Eli Manning, Mississippi, 9NEW YORK JETS
Greg McElroy, Alabama, 2
Starter: Mark Sanchez, Southern California, 4
Tim Tebow, Florida, 3OAKLAND
Matt Leinart, Southern California, 7
Starter: Carson Palmer, Southern California, 10
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State, 2PHILADELPHIA
Trent Edwards, Stanford, 5
Nick Foles, Arizona, R
Starter: Michael Vick, Virginia Tech, 11PITTSBURGH
Charlie Batch, Eastern Michigan, 15
Byron Leftwich, Marshall, 10
Starter: Ben Roethlisberger, Miami (Ohio), 9ST. LOUIS
Starter: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, 3
Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi, RSAN DIEGO
Starter: Philip Rivers, North Carolina State, 9
Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson, 7SAN FRANCISCO
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, 2
Starter: Alex Smith, Utah, 8
Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin, 2SEATTLE
Matt Flynn, Louisiana State, 5
Starter: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, RTAMPA BAY
Starter: Josh Freeman, Kansas State, 4
Dan Orlovsky, Connecticut, 7TENNESSEE
Matt Hasselbeck, Boston College, 14
Starter: Jake Locker, Washington, 2
Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic, 3WASHINGTON
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State, R
Starter: Robert Griffin III, Baylor, R
Rex Grossman, Florida, 10Note: According to the NFL, the five rookie quarterbacks who will debut as starters is the most since at least 1950. The previous high was three in 1968 (Dan Darragh, Buffalo; Greg Landry, Detroit; and Dewey Warren, Cincinnati) and 1969 (Greg Cook, Cincinnati; James Harris, Buffalo; Roger Staubach, Dallas).

Uh-oh: Is Kyle Shanahan going to be Harbaugh-tastic in his timing?

Uh-oh: Is Kyle Shanahan going to be Harbaugh-tastic in his timing?

Until now, Kyle Shanahan’s hiring by the San Fracisco 49ers looked great because of his two-and-a-half predecessors – the last days of Jim Harbaugh, the misplaced concept of Jim Tomsula and the couldn’t-make-chicken-marsala-out-of-old-Kleenex problems surrounding Chip Kelly.

But now, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has told us all that Shanahan has a gift we in the Bay Area know all too well. Specifically, that Shanahan took too long to call plays to the Super Bowl the Falcons vomited up to the New England Patriots.

Now who does that remind you of, over and over again?

Yes, some things are evergreen, and too many options in this overly technological age seems to be one of them. Data in is helpful, but command going out is what bells the cow. Ryan said Shanahan was, well, almost Harbaugh-tastic in his timing.

“Kyle’s play calls -- he would take time to get stuff in,” Ryan told Bleacher Report. “As I was getting it, you're looking at the clock and you’re talking 16 seconds before it cuts out. You don't have a lot of time to say, ‘There's 16 seconds, no, no, no, we're not going to do that. Hey, guys, we're going to line up and run this.’ You're talking about breaking the huddle at seven seconds if you do something along the lines.

“With the way Kyle's system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot more than we did with (former coordinator) Dirk (Koetter). You couldn't get out of stuff like that. We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I'm all for it. But there's also winning time. You’re not being aggressive not running it there.”

And the reason this matters is because the Atlanta Shanahan had multiple good options on every play. In San Francsco, at least in the short term, he’ll be dealing with minimal options. That could speed up his choices, as in “What the hell, we don’t have Julio Jones.” But it could also mean more delays, as in, “Okay, him . . . no, maybe not . . . no, he just screwed up that play last series . . . oh, damn it, time out!”

In short, it’s growing pains season here, children. On the field, on the sidelines, and maybe even in Kyle Shanahan’s head.

49ers defense: Top training camp competitions

49ers defense: Top training camp competitions

Before starting six games as a rookie, Rashard Robinson had not played football since the 2014 season at LSU.

Yet, Robinson is the closest thing to a sure bet to win a starting job among 49ers cornerbacks.

Tramaine Brock was projected as the starting cornerback on the other side until his arrest on suspicion of a troubling domestic incident prompted the 49ers to release him more than three months ago.

The 49ers open training camp next week, and here are the top competitions for starting jobs on defense:

Keith Reaser has yet to make an NFL start while appearing in 28 games the past two seasons. The 49ers rotated cornerbacks with the first-team defense during the offseason program, and Reaser put himself in position to enter camp as the slight favorite to replace Brock.

Veterans Dontae Johnson and Will Davis will try to work their way into the picture. And the 49ers are hopeful talented rookie Ahkello Witherspoon will develop a willingness to play with more physicality. The 49ers selected Witherspoon in the third round. He has the size and all the tools to win the starting job, but there were times in college he showed an alarming lack of aggression as a tackler.

K'Waun Williams is healthy after missing last season due to an ankle injury and falling out of favor with the Cleveland Browns. Defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley, one of the few holdovers from Chip Kelly’s staff, thinks highly of Williams after coaching him with the Browns. Hafley said he believes Williams can become one of the top covermen in the slot in the entire league.

Williams lined up with the first-team defense throughout the offseason program. His biggest competition could come from Will Redmond, whom the 49ers selected in the third round of the 2016 draft but did not play as a rookie due to a knee injury. Redmond has some rust to knock off, but he did not appear to show signs of the injury during the offseason program.

Arik Armstead is not the prototypical player at the “Leo” position. At 6 foot 7, Armstead does not have the low center of gravity that is typically associated with that position. But Armstead is certainly not lacking for athleticism.

The 49ers need a more consistent pass rush to assist their unproven cornerbacks, and this spot will be counted upon to provide more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Veteran Elvis Dumervil, who believes he has regained his explosion off the edge after being hampered with Achilles injury, was added last month to do what he does best. Dumervil, 33, enters the season with 99 career sacks.

Aaron Lynch is on notice as he enters his fourth NFL season. He moves from outside linebacker to defensive end in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme. Multiple competitions will be ongoing at this position, as the 49ers will look to determine the best fits for base downs, as well as passing situations.

The signing of free-agent Malcolm Smith raised a few eyebrows. It was just the offseason program, but Smith was as impressive as any player on the team during the non-padded practices. He is clearly comfortable in Robert Saleh’s scheme, which is based on the Seattle Seahawks’ defense.

The 49ers had Reuben Foster rated as their No. 3 prospect in the entire draft. They traded with the Seahawks to move up to select him at No. 31 overall. The 49ers seem thoroughly unconcerned with Foster’s shoulder. The club believes he will be medically cleared for the opening of training camp.

The 49ers might want to bring Foster along slowly, but it is clear they do not expect him to be a backup for very long.