Skip to main content

Nolan Announces QB Rotation

Following a mid-morning walk-thru, head coach Mike Nolan announced the rotation for Saturday's game against the Green Bay Packers – basically the same as last week.

Quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan will start for the second week in a row, followed by Alex Smith and then Shaun Hill.

"It's another opportunity to show that you can play, and that you have to be – you have to go out there and be consistent and make the improvements on what happened in the last game and show you're growing each day in practice," said O'Sullivan. "It's another opportunity to go out there and play as well as I can."

The decision to go with O'Sullivan for the second week led to reporters asking if the consensus at this point then is that O'Sullivan gives them the best chance to win this season. Nolan said there's still an ongoing evaluation process taking place, and that the club is not ready to name a starter.

"We are using this time in the preseason practice and in the games to evaluate our people," said Nolan.

The first units are expected to play most of the first half, although Nolan did say he'd let the game dictate the exact plays.

When Smith gets his chance to go in the game, he plans to perform at his highest level regardless of his surrounding cast.

"Focus in and take advantage of the reps I get, and try to get the most out of them," said Smith. "That's all I can do – and do the best I can. I'm going to go out there and focus in, try to take advantage of it - not worry about the group I am in there with or who I'm going against – just worry about my responsibilities, going out there and executing."

On top of fighting for his job, Smith has had some tough emotions on a personal level to work through this week. The fourth-year quarterback will miss Friday's practice for the funeral service for one of his best friends and former roommates, David Edwards.

"Obviously it's been a very hard week for me," said Smith. "For my family, and obviously his family. It'll be good to get down there and see a lot of people – his old friends and family – and deal with it. It's been difficult for everybody."

Smith is expected to fly back from the services Saturday morning.

Wide receivers Arnaz Battle (hamstring), Bryant Johnson (hamstring), and Ashley Lelie (calf) have been ruled out of the game.

Given their absence, Nolan said that veteran wide receiver Isaac Bruce will play in the game. However, his first 49ers preseason action will probably be limited to only a series.

Bruce said that he already feels his timing is down with the 49ers quarterbacks, but that he is looking to his first trip to Candlestick as a member of the 49ers.

"The preseason is still is the preseason, but I'm excited about driving to the game myself and knowing where to park," said Bruce.

Running back Frank Gore was another starter who Nolan said probably would not play the entire half.

S Lewis Bakers has also been ruled out as he continues to recovery from a thigh injury.

G David Baas remains on the PUP list, while RB Michael Robinson is out still after having surgery on his knee.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.