After having seen action in the first preseason game as a member of the special teams unit, rookie quarterback B.J. Daniels finally got the chance to play at the quarterback position in Week 2 of the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs. All Daniels did was lead the offense down on a game-winning touchdown drive capping the drive off by throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Chuck Jacobs.
As the San Francisco 49ers continue with training camp and head into their third preseason game next Sunday night at home against the Minnesota Vikings, it is fair to ask whether or not B.J. Daniels has now vaulted himself into the competition of being the backup quarterback for the 49ers. The answer is a resounding yes as coach Jim Harbaugh on Sunday stated that Daniels would be given more reps at the quarterback position in practice.
Aside from having completed six of nine passes for 72 yards and a touchdown pass against the Chiefs, what Daniels did to merit being given a chance at winning the backup quarterback role was how the offense looked while he was under center. So far in the 49ers first two preseason games with Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien under center, the offense has looked out of sync and out of rhythm. When Daniels came into the game in the fourth quarter, the 49ers offense played at a different tempo and rhythm, one that was closer to that when Colin Kaepernick was on the field.
Now Daniels is far from a polished product at the quarterback position and it is clear that he is in some ways a developmental project to put it lightly. That said, he clearly possesses skills and talents, which McCoy and Tolzien fail to show. One does not need to look further than the touchdown pass Daniels threw as evidence. The throw had such touch and accuracy that it is highly doubtful that McCoy and or Tolzien could have attempted to throw that pass much less completed it.
How much Daniels plays against the Vikings in the third preseason game will tells us a lot about whether or not he has a more than just passing chance at becoming the 49ers backup quarterback. Independent of his playing time against the Vikings, Daniels at the very least has made Harbaugh think about him as the potential backup quarterback because of his play.