Last to the microphone this week in advance of the 49ers preseason game in Kansas City against Alex Smith’s Chiefs,
San Francisco’s signal-caller, who took over for Smith midway through the 2012 season, went so far as to compare his relationship with Smith to his own with a current young quarterback. Reserve
“Any chance I have to try to show him something or tell him to look at a defense a little differently, I do,” Kaepernick said. “I told him, ‘If you have any questions, just ask me, don’t be afraid.’ Alex did the same for me.
“Alex really helped me pick up the playbook, understand what we were trying to get done and how we wanted to do it,” added Kaepernick, who has spoken with Smith this offseason. “I wouldn’t be as far along as I am right now without him.”
As for Daniels, the seventh-round draftee last April appeared on the team’s kickoff unit late in last Thursday’s preseason opener but did not take a snap under center. Given his speed and aptitude for playing other positions, including wide receiver and special teamer, he has increased his chances of making the team's Opening Day roster.
“He has the ability to make big plays, to keep plays a live,” Kaepernick said of Daniels. “I’m curious to see what he’s going to do when he gets on the field.”
Jim Harbaugh announced before Wednesday’s practice that he anticipated all four quarterbacks, Davis among them, would play on Friday. The coach did not disclose his plan for how long Kaepernick and the first unit would stay in the game. The front runner for the backup job, McCoy, is likely to get the second reps.
McCoy faces the challenge of learning an entirely new offensive system. He spent last season with the Cleveland Browns, while Tolzien has spent the last two seasons in quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst’s meeting room and Daniels is fresh out of South Florida.
Harbaugh, who has said Kaepernick is savant-like with the mental side of football, was asked about McCoy’s acclimation process.
“From experience, knowing what quarterbacks go through, they improve as they understand where everyone is, what everybody’s assignment is without having to think,” Harbaugh said. “Any player that is in a new system – especially at the quarterback position because there’s more volume – that takes time.
“As (McCoy) understands us better, he’ll be able to think less and play more.”