Kaepernick: 49ers not 'comfortable,' but 'ready'
SAN DIEGO -- Colin Kaepernick's cameo produced a touchdown to get things rolling Thursday night.
But Kaepernick was far from the only offensive star in a 41-6 win that included memorable plays from quarterback B.J. Daniels, as well as wide receivers Quinton Patton and Lavelle Hawkins.
[RECAP: 49ers 41, Chargers 6]
Hawkins had the most remarkable play of this -- and just about any other -- exhibition season on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Daniels in the fourth quarter.
Daniels beat a blitz by dumping off a pass across the middle to Hawkins, who was running left to right. The ball deflected off Hawkins' hands at the 40-yard line but he continued running and caught it in stride at the 37. He stepped over Chargers linebacker Daniel Molls, then bounced off safety Jahleel Addae and changed directions back to the left.
Hawkins eluded an attempted arm tackle from defensive end Logan Harrell, who also took out Addae as he had another shot at Hawkins. Then, Hawkins picked up a nice block from running back Anthony Dixon on cornerback Greg Gatson to allow him to get into the end zone.
"I was thinking a lot of things," Daniels said. "I was thinking, 'Oh, man, incompletion.' 'Oh, it could be an interception.' 'Oh, he's going to get tackled.'"
Hawkins caught four passes for 62 yards one week after a 105-yard touchdown on a kickoff return. But has every reason to be concerned as the 49ers must get down to final cuts on Saturday. Hawkins is believed to be the 49ers' sixth wide receiver. If they keep five wideouts, he would likely not make the team.
"The Hawkins play was a highlight play," Harbaugh said. "That was a spectacular play.
"You like to see him playing his heart out, touching the ball and making touchdowns. Obviously, that bodes well for him. (But) there are a lot of good players at that position. I feel real good about the wide receiver position right now. I love the way they work and love the way they compete."
Patton, the fourth-round pick from Louisiana Tech, has no reason for concern. He is assured a roster spot. The only question is how he will fit into the offense during the regular season. Patton took a short pass from Kaepernick and turned it into a 43-yard touchdown to cap the first unit's one and only drive.
"He made a great play," Kaepernick said. "That's what he's shown us throughout camp is that he can make plays like that and he had a great night."
Daniels was the third quarterback into the action for the 49ers. He had another good showing after impressive performances against Kansas City and Minnesota.
When asked to assess Daniels' roster chances, Harbaugh said, "He's made a case, no doubt about it. He's made an argument with the way he's played."
Daniels completed five of nine pass attempts for 76 yards. He also threw a beautiful 14-yard touchdown pass to undrafted rookie receiver Chuck Jacobs on a fade route in the fourth quarter.
Daniels is one of three quarterbacks who made the trip to San Diego. Veteran Seneca Wallace, who signed with the 49ers a week earlier, surprised Harbaugh earlier in the day when he told him of his intention to retire, Harbaugh said.
[NEWS: 49ers down to three QBs]
"(That was) something that was his decision," Harbaugh said. "He felt strongly about it. Don't talk people out of that. Never seen it done on game day, but I wish him well and it got Colt (McCoy) and B.J. more snaps tonight."
McCoy, who Harbaugh announced as the backup quarterback last week, completed eight of 15 passes for 56 yards. He threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Dixon in the second quarter.