Harbaugh explains rationale for releasing Daniels, signing Skelton
B.J. Daniels won the 49ers’ No. 3 quarterback job out of training camp over Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace. (AP)
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Coach Pete Carroll last month revealed the Seattle Seahawks had keen interest in then-49ers quarterback B.J. Daniels during the draft.
And in his first meeting with the Seattle media after the Seahawks claimed him off waivers this week, Daniels expressed his belief that gamesmanship among NFC West rivals had nothing to do with his new place of employment.
[RELATED: Seahawks claim B.J. Daniels off waivers]
“I don’t agree with that at all, honestly, because in the draft process, I had Seattle come and work me out as a private workout,’’ Daniels said. “So this is one of the places I thought I was potentially going to get drafted.’’
After all, how much help does the defense need against the 49ers’ offense? The Seahawks held the 49ers to 207 total yards in a 29-3 victory in Week 2 in Seattle.
“That’s all overrated,” Daniels said. “It doesn’t help at all anyway, to be honest with you. It’s just one of those big, running jokes that doesn’t really mean a whole lot.”
The 49ers on Tuesday waived Daniels, who won the 49ers’ No. 3 quarterback job out of training camp over Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace. The 49ers decided they would rather have veteran John Skelton over Daniels.
Tolzien won the 49ers’ No. 3 job in 2012 over Josh Johnson. Coincidentally, Johnson won the Cincinnati Bengals’ No. 2 job this season over Skelton.
Jim Harbaugh explained the move: “I felt like we wanted to have two veteran quarterbacks, two guys that have started games, played in games, won games. I felt like that’s what we needed to do at this time.”
Skelton (6 foot 6) is more of a drop-back passer. Daniels (5-11) is adept at running the read option, which has turned into a small portion of the 49ers’ offensive system as defenses have adjusted.
Greg Roman, the 49ers’ offensive coordinator, said he has noticed that defenses are better-prepared to handle the read option than they were a year ago when the offensive wrinkle was new to the NFL.
“I definitely think from time-to-time we’re seeing people that are game-planning in order to box you in,” Roman said. “I think people have definitely tried to change what they’ve done and robbed Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. I definitely think there has been an effort to do that.”
Skelton signed a one-year, $630,000 contract with the 49ers, a source told CSNBayArea. He is scheduled to make the prorated amount of more than $480,000. He could rise to No. 2 on the depth chart ahead of Colt McCoy this season, and could be re-signed to head into 2014 as Colin Kaepernick’s backup.
The 49ers made the quick move to sign Skelton after learning he had taken part in a workout Tuesday with the Tennessee Titans after an injury to starting quarterback Jake Locker.
Skelton worked out for the 49ers a month ago. The organization asked him to keep them informed if another team showed interest.
When asked what he likes about Skelton, Harbaugh said, “Good stature in the pocket. Experienced guy. He’s played, won games and been in those battles. Had an excellent workout when he was here a few weeks back. One of the better workouts I’ve seen from a quarterback in one of those type of workout environments.”
Daniels was inactive for the 49ers’ first four games of the season, but he figured to have a chance to earn the role as Kaepernick’s backup next season. The 49ers waived him, but intended to bring him back to the practice squad. But the Seahawks pounced on him.
“It was a surprise to me,’’ Daniels said of the 49ers’ decision to cut him. “I didn’t know what to expect.’’
In Week 2, Daniels drew praise from 49ers coaches and teammates for his ability to mimic Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in practices. Daniels is familiar with the player with whom he has been compared. He is third on Seattle’s depth chart behind backup Tarvaris Jackson, an eighth-year professional.
“He was a guy I definitely watched,’’ Daniels said. “There were a lot of great, athletic quarterbacks that I paid attention to and try to take bits and pieces from every one to try to help out my game. I’ve learned some things from Kap, and now being here just trying to look ahead and see if I can learn anything from Russell or T-Jack, as well.”
When asked about Daniels prior to the 49ers-Seahawks meeting, Carroll told the Bay Area media he had a high opinion of Daniels. The 49ers selected him in the seventh round of the draft.
"We thought he was a very good football player and somewhat underrated and under the radar a little bit, but obviously not there because they (the 49ers) figured it out and drafted him," Carroll said.