49ers feel good about their three QBs

February 23, 2012, 8:35 pm
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Coach Jim Harbaugh admits to some sleepless nights as his starting quarterback remains unsigned less than three weeks before the beginning of NFL's free-agent signing period."Yeah, Alex (Smith) is our guy," Harbaugh said Thursday at the NFL scouting combine. "He had a tremendous season. Definitely, as a coach you worry about a lot of things. And when a quarterback is not signed and he is a free agent that leads to some lost sleep."When -- not if -- the 49ers sign Smith to an extension, the organization will feel good about their quarterback depth chart, general manager Trent Baalke said. Behind Smith last season were rookies Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien.Baalke said he does not consider it a priority to strengthen the team's quarterback position this offseason."Is it a focus of need right now? No," Baalke said. "We're very comfortable with the younger guys and it remains to be seen what we'll be able to get done with Alex, but we feel very comfortable there as well."It's not something that Jim and I or anybody else in the organization are real stressed out about."A year ago, Harbaugh watched Kaepernick and Tolzien at the scouting combine. The 49ers traded up to select Kaepernick in the second round. He saw extended play time during the exhibition season. The 49ers added Tolzien, who went undrafted, off the waiver wire after the San Diego Chargers released him at the end of training camp.
Once the regular season began, Kaepernick attempted just five passes and Tolzien never suited up for a game. Harbaugh said he was pleased with the progress of the rookie quarterbacks behind the scenes."Both of those youngsters did as good a job or better as I've ever seen young quarterbacks approach the game," Harbaugh said. "Both of them were just sponges, in terms of picking up as much as they possibly can. That was the most impressive thing."(I) also liked the way they competed in practice, before practice, after practice and the way they physically played. They belong. And an offseason is going to benefit both of those youngsters very much."I've always felt that the most improvement you can make is from Year 1 to Year 2."When asked specifically about Kaepernick's progress, Baalke said the second-round pick was "wired" the right way. He said Kaepernick came to work early every day and stayed late. Kaepernick took snaps out of the "pistol" formation at Nevada, so learning how to work under center was an adjustment."It's important to him," Baalke said. "He really started to grasp being under center and taking snaps under center, the footwork that goes along with it, (and) the eye progression that goes along with the offense, which is much different than the offense that he came out of."