Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media on Monday afternoon, and among the topics discussed was how the quarterback room is looking.
By Harbaugh’s comments it sounds like more than one QB has been impressing him. “Right now Shea, Dylan, Joe are all getting equal reps and they’re all looking good.”
Spring practices started on Sunday and it isn’t exactly uncommon for players to get an equal amount of reps early on, but it’s an interesting tid bit from Harbaugh.
Harbaugh went on to break down the depth chart and how he views it at the moment.
“Depth chart, Shea’s number one, Dylan’s number two, Joe’s number three,” Harbaugh said. “And there’s no possible way that Shea Patterson will be able to put his feet up in my opinion. He’s got serious competition there with Dylan and Joe right now.”
Obviously Patterson is the number one, he’s earned that. Harbaugh’s comments weren’t meant to create a full-fledged quarterback controversy, but it does show he believes that McCaffrey and Milton may have starting QB level talent, not in the future, but right now. He said Patterson has serious competition right now. At the very least, this competition will serve Patterson well, as it’s good to have peers able to push you and realize your job isn’t 100% secure.
Harbaugh saying Shea can’t put his feet up means that he is going to have to keep on improving and stay sharp on the practice field and in the film room. Every year Harbaugh preaches meritocracy and allows every player on the roster a shot to pass the man above him on the depth chart, and it’s no different when it comes to the quarterback position.
From the perspective of McCaffrey and Milton, they could care less about the amount of in-game experience Patterson has that they don’t, all they can do is go out and practice as hard as they can and make a lasting impression. Neither of them are content sitting another season watching another QB lead the offense. And while that may be the case, it’s healthy for a team to be in a situation where three QB’s on the roster are competing at a high level and making each other better by default.