Bethel-Thompson Ready to Relearn Playbook


How much time had passed since McLeod Bethel-Thompson's last go-around as a 49ers quarterback?

They were still using paper playbooks in 2011.

Bethel-Thompson, whom San Francisco claimed off waivers on Wednesday to be its new No. 3 signal-caller, showed up for his first day of work by 6:30 a.m. on Thursday.

What else did he notice?

"The stadium got bigger. That thing went up quick," said Bethel-Thompson of the nearby Levi's® Stadium a few minutes after being fitted for gold gameday pants and trying on a red B.J. Daniels No. 5 jersey, winding his right arm to test his range of motion.


Like the new ballpark, Bethel-Thompson wasn't a finished product when, after three seasons at Sacramento State, he was brought in to compete in training camp two years ago. He now joins the third-quarterback merry-go-round that has dispatched Daniels and John Skelton in the past month.

"I loved my time here learning from (Jim) Harbaugh and coach (Greg) Roman and coach Geep Chryst the first time," Bethel-Thompson said. "I expect it to be even better this time.

"Now it's a new chapter, and I'm ready to roll."

Bethel-Thompson, who has also made stops with the Miami Dolphins as well in the United Football and Arena Football leagues, spent this offseason with the Minnesota Vikings. He was 33-of-52 for 320 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception this preseason for the Vikes.

"His preseason tape was pretty darn good and he definitely flashed to us during the preseason," Roman said.

First things first: The 25-year-old has to re-learn Roman's offense via the new mobile, iPad playbook.

"You're always trying to get guys caught up to speed, 'Hey this is Hound-2-Y-Ram,' just to reinforce it," Roman said, complimenting Bethel Thompson's release and demeanor. "But yeah, he will get reps."

Asked about "Hound-2-Y-Ram" in particular, Bethel-Thompson told a reporter, "I understand it, but I'm not supposed to tell you guys about it.

"Parts of (the playbook) changed obviously. I'm trying to catch up as fast as I can."


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