49ers going to five-man pitching rotation in Sunday's game

  • New Orleans Saints quarterback Seneca Wallace (10) passes in the second half of an NFL preseason football game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

SANTA CLARA — Coach Jim Harbaugh will give all four of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's backups a chance to clarify the team's murky quarterback situation.

Harbaugh said Friday the plan is for Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien, B.J. Daniels and even newcomer Seneca Wallace to play Sunday against the Vikings. Wallace, 33, signed Thursday, received a crash course on the 49ers' playbook that afternoon and went through his first practice Friday.

"We'll split it up five ways," said Harbaugh, who reaffirmed that McCoy will be the second quarterback to enter the game.

Wallace was released by the Saints on Monday. Harbaugh said it was rare to find a nine-year veteran with athletic skills like Wallace's at this stage of the preseason.

"There's numerous plays in our system that he's done before, whether it's Cleveland or Seattle," Harbaugh said. "So it's just a matter of learning how we call them and getting familiar with the quarterback-center exchange. The timing with the receivers may not be precise and exact. But to get out and play and compete — we feel he can do that."

Offensive consultant Eric Mangini, who was with Cleveland when the Browns traded for Wallace, was in favor of the move.

"(Mangini) felt like he could do a lot of the things that a quarterback that can move could do in our system," Harbaugh said. "Thought it would be worth exploring."

Kaepernick's running ability sets him apart from nearly every other quarterback in the league. Wallace is not at Kaepernick's level, but he's more athletic than McCoy and Tolzien, who have struggled in the preseason. The most exciting backup has been another athletic quarterback, Daniels, who's thrown the 49ers' only touchdown pass of the preseason.

Wallace has rushed 68 times for 293 yards in his career. He also has six catches for 106 yards.

"You look at Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson and there's others that fit that mold — Ryan Tannehill — they're big, fast and throw the ball very effectively," Harbaugh said. "There's a new wave of quarterbacks. I don't think that's any revelation. But teams are studying how to defend these players, and they're finding out that it's a pretty good combination to be athletic and throw the ball as well as these guys do."

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