McNown Simply Couldn’t Wait
July 21 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Cade McNown wanted to put the past behind him as quickly as possible, and so he reported to the 49ers training camp a couple of days early. McNown will be fighting a tough battle for one of two remaining quarterback spots on the roster, and given that he hasn’t had any mini-camp time with the club, showing up a little early for training camp was a very bright move.
McNown spent the past two days working closely with quarterback’s Coach Ted Tollner learning the terminology and drills that the 49ers use. McNown who has not thrown a pass in 49ers colors before received some praise from Mariucci. Mariucci reported that McNown is “learning quickly” an encouraging sign for those who still believe McNown has what it takes to make it in the NFL.
Incidentally, Ted Tollner, who is new to the 49ers this year too, is adapting very well to the role. Mariucci worked under Tollner at one point, and now that roles are reversed, everything still seems ok. The third quarterbacks coach in as many years had little problems adapting to the 49ers. He has worked closely with former quarterbacks coach, and current offensive coordinator Greg Knapp to insure that the quarterbacks will seem continuity between the three coaches. Last season it was Greg Olson in charge of the quarterbacks.
McNown will battle for a roster spot in training camp. The 49ers have stated that they only want to keep three quarterbacks on the roster this season, unlike over the past few years. However, depending on the development of McNown, and his competitors Tim Ratty and rookie Brandon Doman, I don’t believe it is to far fetched to envision the team once again carrying four quarterbacks.
Further - Gill Byrd, who was added to the defensive backfield coaching staff this week, may not just be a training camp addition. Depending on how much the 49ers like Byrd on their staff, they may keep him around for the regular season too. While current defensive backfield coach Brett Maxie specializes in the safety department, Byrd’s specialty is cornerback, and because of that, the two may make a tremendous paring.