Our own Aaron Erickson sent out a series of tweets this morning regarding the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback competition during training camp. There have been a number of conflicting reports regarding the battle for the starting job between Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick. Some say the competition is even at this point while others have Kaepernick or Gabbert with the edge.
The 49ers have only had three training camp practices so far and while the two quarterbacks have been splitting rep time evenly, it is far too early to determine a leader, much less a winner.
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"Don't kill yourself trying to keep track of the QB competition," warns Erickson via his Twitter account. "There are a lot of conflicting reports, and none can be 100% accurate. Reporters don't know what the QBs are reading, or what they've been instructed to focus on by coaches that day. One QB is told to push the ball deep, the other could be instructed to hit short routes in stride. It's based on film, and it changes. In Chip's offense, it's possible that reaching the 4th/5th receiver in your progression means you messed up your pre-snap read."
Fans seem to be split on who they are favoring in the competition, with many taking sides. "It's an interesting part of fandom that many fans think they have to hate one QB to properly support the other. They are both 49ers," says Erickson.
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49ers fans will probably have to wait until preseason to make a fair assessment on who is likely to be the starter come Week 1. "The other thing with the quarterbacks, they're still, they're off limits," said head coach Chip Kelly while talking to the media on Tuesday. "They're not going to get hit in any of our training sessions and there's no quarterback in the NFL or even college that probably gets hit in practice."
Erickson urges fans to focus on preseason as well, saying, "When watching (preseason) games, criteria should be: Who's moving the ball/sustaining drives? Who's scoring points? Who's protecting the ball?"
The 49ers' first exhibition game will be on Sunday, August 14 against the Houston Texans at Levi's Stadium.