5 Things To Watch In 49ers’ Final Preseason Game

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Aug 17, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback

Blaine Gabbert

(2) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos in the inaugural football game at Levi

Backup Quarterback

Here we go again. After trading for Blaine Gabbert, the former #10 overall pick in the 2011 draft, the 49ers had hoped they finally found some solidity residing at the backup quarterback position. Instead they’re just a game away fromwhat could be a rehash of last year’s revolving door behind Colin Kaepernick.

More from Blaine Gabbert

Simply put, Blaine Gabbert has been underwhelming at best so far.

In his first two games he had passer ratings of 1.7 and 32.4 and went a combined 11-25 passing with two interceptions  before finally showing some positive quarterback play in the third game. In that third game he was able to show us what Jim Harbaugh sees in the former Jacksonville starter and busted out throwing for 66 yards on 7-11 passing and finally hitting the end zone.

His competition, Josh Johnson, has looked a bit better, though in much less playing time. The issue with Johnson though is turnovers and negative plays. Yes, he is has completed 13 of 19 pass attempts in three preseason games, but he has also been sacked four times. Add in two fumbles lost — one in each game — and you see why he isn’t getting much playing time.

I agree, he fits the scheme better than Gabbert ever will, but it’s hard to start a mobile quarterback who is getting sacked behind the same line the the non-mobile quarterback is.

Also, keep in mind that Jim Harbaugh and the rest of his 49ers staff may only keep two active quarterbacks on the roster to make room for other positions. If that’s the case then this battle is not only for Kaepernick’s backup, but for a final spot in the 53-man roster as well. I’m hoping it’s Johnson, but it seems more and more likely that Gabbert will take the #2 QB spot.