August 21 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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One of the biggest questions surrounding the 49ers this off-season has been the depth at quarterback behind Jeff Garcia. As the season edges closer, it appears that veteran Cade McNown is headed to the injured reserve. That of course, would leave Tim Rattay and Brandon Doman to fill the second and third spot respectively. But is Rattay a sufficient back up in the NFL?
Truth is, nobody knows. Rattay has received lots of bad press this summer about being inadequate, and itís hard to blame the writers. On the field he hasnít impressed and all the coaches keep saying about him is that he needs more game repetitions. That of course is the real truth, but repetitions with the second and third string players, behind a makeshift offensive line is about as useful to Rattay as taking the knee to end a game.
This Mondayís performance is the perfect example. Despite having a vastly improved game, completing 9/10 passes for 91 yards with no interceptions (compared to his 2 interception performance against the Chiefs) Rattay still didnít look like a capable quarterback.
Under constant pressure his only resolve was to dump passes off to the running backs. The result of which was a very predictable and ineffective offense. Rattay simply didnít look good out there.
This is certainly isnít a cry for a new backup quarterback (though I have to admit the thought of bringing in a veteran with experience in the 49ers system, if and when they are released from a different team is intriguing) I canít really say thatís what this team needs. Itís impossible to evaluate Rattay until he has the time to play with starting team.
Further- Masafumi Kawaguchi is now signed through next Tuesday