When QB Alex Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs after spending the first seven seasons of his career in San Francisco, one question arose – who will be the guy backing up Colin Kaepernick?
Kaepernick started just 10 times, proved to Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers coaching staff that he has all the tools – a high football IQ, speed, a strong and accurate arm – to be the franchise player to lead the 49ers.
Kaepernick has as high of a ceiling as any player in the NFL. But if he goes down via injury, San Francisco would be a COMPLETELY different team. Alex Smith was a game manager, an excellent one indeed, but a mere game manager. If Kaepernick, god forbid, goes down, his skill set is one that can’t be replaced.
Although his mobility prevents him from taking the big hit, what happens if something crazy happens? Kaepernick out, ______ in. Nobody knows exactly who that guy will be. Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman aren’t hiding the answer from us; they don’t exactly know either.
Seneca Wallace, a seven year veteran, has the opportunity to seize the backup job. Colt McCoy, who was favored to win the backup job at the start of training camp, has not excited anyone. Scott Tolzien, the 49ers No. 3 QB last season, was expected to be a strong candidate to backup Kaepernick ; he was thought to be a great “game manager”, similar to Alex Smith.
The guy who may start the season as the backup is B.J. Daniels, who was drafted late out of South Florida and led the 49ers to a 15-13 win against the Chiefs in Week 2 of the preseason. Yes, it the preseason, so you can’t put too much stock in it. But Daniels at least showed some signs of life, unlike McCoy and Tolzien, who struggled.
Daniels has the ability to run the ball better than any of the quarterbacks battling for the backup spot, which could play an advantage in keeping some plays that were run for Kaepernick. He has got some increased reps this week in practice, and the Saturday night game against Minnesota will be big for him.
Wallace? McCoy? Daniels? Tolzien? Who do you think will end up with the backup spot? Cast your vote and comment your input.