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49ers kept Scott Tolzien for awareness more than ability

Scott Tolzien AP

The 49ers didn’t necessarily keep the best player in the preseason as their third quarterback.

They kept the one that could help them the most in the regular season.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee points out that the disparity in preseason stats doesn’t explain why the 49ers kept Scott Tolzien over Josh Johnson as their third behind Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.

Tolzien has taken his role as the scout team QB in practice as his niche, knowing the 15.6 passer rating in the preseason finale (while Johnson threw for two touchdowns) wasn’t the reason.

“The week’s short. I mean, it goes fast,” Tolzien said. “And (Smith) doesn’t have time to go through every last bit of film. It’s not possible. So anything I can do to complement that is for the better of the team.”

The 49ers trust him as an extra set of eyes, and he’s good enough to simulate Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and so on in practice.

“Scott – I can definitely ask him to try to keep an eye on things and watch specifics that week,” Smith said.

It’s an unusual existence, nearly an admission they don’t have any interest in him playing a down. And with 13 teams electing to keep just two quarterbacks, keeping a stable pony is a luxury some teams aren’t interested in.

But Tolzien’s a gym rat, who actually tried to occupy the 49ers facility for a few weeks when they signed him. He was spending late nights there studying film, so he slept in a recliner, showered in the locker room and ate in the team cafeteria until coaches figured out what he was doing.

“I was here late nights,”Tolzein said. “So I figured, why not just stay here?”

It helped keep him there, even above more talented players, so why not?

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10 Responses to “49ers kept Scott Tolzien for awareness more than ability”
  1. niner13 says: Sep 3, 2012 12:58 PM

    Just another savvy Harbaugh move.

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 3, 2012 12:58 PM

    Josh Johnson had a better college career as a dual threat quarterback than Newton or Griffin.

  3. 49erstim says: Sep 3, 2012 1:43 PM

    What a tough decision, but this seems like a reasonable explanation. Tolzien sounds really dedicated and I hope this works out for him

  4. cosanostra71 says: Sep 3, 2012 1:45 PM

    Wish we had kept Josh Johnson, but what is done is done.

  5. seamus0317 says: Sep 3, 2012 1:47 PM

    They don’t work ant harder than Scott Tolzien!

  6. edge661 says: Sep 3, 2012 2:22 PM

    It’s time to ninner up folks!!!

  7. hannahsdaddy says: Sep 3, 2012 3:09 PM

    I’ve never heard of this dude but after this article, I pray he has a long NFL career (even if it’s as a bench player his whole career).

  8. nickyleacy says: Sep 3, 2012 3:17 PM

    Straight from the ‘Jim Sorgi School of Practice Team Quarterbacks’

  9. jimmysee says: Sep 3, 2012 3:23 PM

    Another Badger QB — like Russell Wilson up in Seattle.

  10. discosucs2005 says: Sep 3, 2012 8:41 PM

    This doesn’t mean the 49ers don’t think Scott will ever be serviceable in some capacity. It just means as 3rd QBs go they’d rather have someone to be Smith’s personal assistant (and I don’t mean that in a bad way) then someone slightly better.

    The 49ers would have to go through 2 QBs to get to him so it’s not a huge risk or anything. And anyone who watched all of Josh Johnson’s preseason knows he is not the answer anywhere.

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