Kaepernick will enter exhibition opener as No. 2 QB

August 6, 2012, 9:20 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Colin Kaepernick, who entered training camp as the 49ers' No. 2 quarterback behind Alex Smith, still holds that role, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday."Colin Kaepernick is making some real strides," Harbaugh said. "He needs to play football games. And he'll get that opportunity to do that Friday night and this preseason. He's ahead in that regard, as it stands now as the No. 2 quarterback. And he'll be the No. 2 quarterback into the game Friday night."RELATED: Colin Kaepernicks stats splits game logs
Kaepernick is battling veteran Josh Johnson and Scott Tolzien for the backup job behind Smith, the unchallenged starter. All the quarterbacks will get a lot of game action during the exhibition season, Harbaugh said. The 49ers open Friday against the Minnesota Vikings at Candlestick Park"They all need it (playing time). They're all fighting for that job, and the competition is very close," Harbaugh said. "We're at that next step to get those game reps. Colin, specifically, he needs that work. It has been a long time since he played in game action.RELATED: 49ers Camp Battle: Kaepernick vs. Johnson
"(I) kind of liken it to a golfer who plays the same course over and over and over again. It's kind of what practice can be like for a quarterback. They're getting a lot of out practice and practice tempo and things of that nature, but there's something about playing the games that makes them advance even further.Kaepernick has not played extensively since last exhibition season when he completed 24 of 50 pass attempts (48 percent) for 257 yards with five interceptions and no touchdowns.He saw limited action in three regular-season games, completing 3 of 5 attempts for 35 yards as a rookie. The 49ers selected Kaepernick in the second round of last year's draft.
Kaepernick has been inconsistent on the practice field during training camp, often showing a tendency to pull the ball down early to run. His strong arm has been inaccurate, at times. During one practice sequence on Monday, he overthrew wide open Brett Swain down the field. But on the next play, he came back with his best throw, a 20-yard rocket to tight end Konrad Reuland.

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