The San Francisco 49ers have added another fresh face to their long list of quarter backs, with Dante Culpepper joining the side.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh announced the signing of the 34-year old quarter back after a three hour practice, after the player passes a medical and training session.
“We’re going to have Dante in for a workout and kick the tires,” Harbaugh said. “I’m looking forward to that.”
Following the loss to the Saints in the first pre-season game, Harbaugh revealed that he isn’t satisfied with his current QB, as both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick were overwhelmed by the strong defensive line of the Saints.
Culpepper was brought into the NFL in 1999 and was the No.11 pick of the draft. The player is however in the wrong end of his thirties, and his career is slowly fading away. The QB’s last franchise in the NFL was with Detroit more than two years ago, where he managed just 8 games in the season. He is a veteran in the NFL, having spent 11 years with the Minnesota Vikings, where he played in three pro bowls.
Alex Smith is happy to be on the squad, after there was a huge question mark about his future at the club after last season’s disappointing 6-10 finish by the franchise. However, luck favored him, as the new coaching staff decided to give him a chance to kick start his thus-far dismal career.
“It was a great day to come up here before we play. The sun’s out and it’s nice and windy. That’s really familiar,” stated the player.
Smith is well aware of training camp competitions as this is his fourth one since he came into NFL as the No.1 draft pick in 2005. Despite losing out to veteran Tim Rattay as a rookie at camp, Smith was handed the starting spot in the following two seasons. In 2008, O’ Sullivan relieved Smith off his starting position, largely due to the new system introduced by offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
In 2009, Smith was again beaten, by Shaun Hill, but the veteran got his starting job back mid-season. He was a regular starter for the 49ers last season. The team then brought in rookie Kaepernick to challenge for the starting job, but the player was unimpressive in his first game. The player just managed 2 out of 7 passes for 10 yards in the pre-season match against the Saints. Harbaugh now has selection dilemmas as he is not sure if Kaepernick would be up to the mark or not.
“Alex is No. 1 on the depth chart right now, and Colin is No. 2. They’re still competing. We’ll determine it on who’s practicing better and who’s playing better,” stated the manager.
Smith seems comfortable with whoever coach Harbaugh chooses as the starter and believes that the better player should take the spot.
“From the start, (Harbaugh) said the best player is going to play,” Kaepernick said. “We’re both out there working hard and competing for that starting spot. Ultimately, it’s going to be up to Coach where the chips fall.”