After the rookie quarterback's play on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium, the 49ers coach at least has a better idea.
With Kaepernick playing just one series for the second consecutive week, Daniels led San Francisco on a 90-yard, game-winning drive in the fourth quarter of his team's 15-13 victory over the host Kansas City Chiefs. His 14-yard touchdown toss to fellow first-year pro
It was Daniels' NFL debut under center.
"He had a great drive, showed a lot of poise and made plays when it counted," Kaepernick said.
"He ran the team well," added Harbaugh before stating that Daniels is very much in the hunt for the No. 2 job behind Kaepernick: "Yes, he's been there this past week."
Of course, there was one other quarterback under the spotlight on Friday evening in Kansas City.
Alex Smith, the 49ers signal-caller for the first seven seasons of his career before being traded to Kansas City this offseason, completed seven of 16 pass attempts for 62 yards. He was sacked on the first play of the Chiefs’ second drive by cornerback
Smith was running wild in that way that his former backfield mate,
Dawson, who made three field goals on the night, had his ensuing kickoff returned 104 yards by Quinton Demps for the game’s only other touchdown.
In between, Kaepernick, who was mentored by and took over for Smith, completed one of his two pass attempts in his one and only drive. Anxious, Kaepernick said of himself, he slightly overthrew wideout
Kaepernick, Gore and first-string wide receivers
"I take the compliment, but I don't like being on the sideline as a competitor," Kaepernick said.
Reserve 49ers quarterbacks
McCoy was intercepted later in the second quarter by Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith, trying to go to wideout
Tolzien, meanwhile, completed an impressive 21-yard pass to Hall, who was surrounded by three defensive backs at midfield, immediately before the first half’s two-minute warning.
McCoy and Tolzien each completed three passes on the night, finishing a combined 6-for-14 with 65 yards before giving way to Daniels.
The South Florida product's first pass, directed toward fellow first-year pro Chuck Jacobs on a 3rd-and-13 play from the one-yard line, sailed wide of the target and out of bounds.
Daniels more than picked it up during the 49ers penultimate drive of the game. With 8:26 left in the game, Daniels went 6-for-6 for 72 yards on the 14-play, 90-yard drive.
He culminated it, of course, with a 14-yard toss to Jacobs, who finished the night with two grabs for 28 yards overall.
Daniels ended with six completions in nine attempts all told, for 72 yards. He also rushed for 13 yards on four carries.
"I'm just doing what I can," Daniels said on the field afterward, "doing whatever they ask me to do."
He shrugged off a comparison to also-athletic Russell Wilson of the Seahawks before conceding, "Yeah, we have some similarities."
Jenkins caught one pass for 21 yards, but it was negated by a penalty. He was targted twice but didn't record a catch in three quarters of action.
The unsung hero of the game was Dawson, acquired as a free-agent this offseason. He connected from 55 yards out once again in the third quarter. He has converted five attempts through two preseason games.
The 49ers continue the preseason on Aug. 25, when they host Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings.