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Wallace getting a chance to compete for backup QB job

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POSTED August 24, 2013 12:35 a.m.

SANTA CLARA (AP) — Seneca Wallace stepped on the practice field for the first time with the San Francisco 49ers on Friday as the most experienced quarterback on the roster.

Whether the nine-year veteran still has a job with the team in two weeks depends on how quickly and how well he can pick up and fit into a system friendly to his skills.

“I’m real excited to be here and be a part of this,” Wallace said. “When you’re an athletic quarterback, and that’s your background, you just try to utilize your talents the best that you can. The good thing here is that they utilize a quarterback’s talents and they’re trying to win. That’s the biggest thing. If this certain individual does things well, that’s what they’re going to utilize.”

Coach Jim Harbaugh said he expects Wallace, signed by the 49ers on Thursday, to play in Sunday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Harbaugh said all five quarterbacks on the San Francisco roster are likely to see action against the Vikings as the 49ers attempt to sort out their uncertain backup situation behind starter Colin Kaepernick before the regular season begins.

Kaepernick, who has played only San Francisco’s first offensive series in each of the team’s two preseason games, will start again against the Vikings. “We’ll split it up after Kap four ways,” Harbaugh said.

The 49ers are anxious to get a look at their new quarterback. Wallace was released Monday by the New Orleans Saints.

“The fact that you can get an experienced quarterback like Seneca Wallace at this stage, I felt there was no downside to that,” Harbaugh said. “He can do a lot of the things that a quarterback that can move can do in our system. He hit the ground running and he’ll get right out there and start playing.”

The 49ers added Wallace because Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien have struggled so far during the preseason.

McCoy threw an interception in each game, completed just 46 percent of his passes and has a preseason passer rating of 25.3. Tolzien has completed 53 percent of his throws and has a passer rating of 57.0

Seventh-round draft pick B.J. Daniels made his professional preseason debut last week against the Kansas City Chiefs and led the 49ers on the winning touchdown drive late in the game. The rookie completed all six of his passes on the drive, rushed for 13 yards and led San Francisco with 72 yards passing and a 128.0 passer rating on the night.

Those three quarterbacks now will share snaps both in practice and in San Francisco’s final two exhibitions with Wallace, who has 21 career starts with the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns.

“You just got to do what you can,” Wallace said. “It’s just a lot of catching up and grinding. It’s tough at this juncture, what with two games in seven days, but we’ll put a little package together with stuff that I’m comfortable with that I feel like I can go out there and play fast with.”

While compiling a career passer rating of 81.3, Wallace became known for his ability to make things happen with his feet. He has 293 career yards rushing and is comfortable with the read option and Pistol formations that the 49ers have worked into their offense.

Harbaugh made it clear that the 49ers plan to keep “whoever the best player is that gives us the best chance of winning the game as a backup quarterback.” San Francisco will cut down its roster to 53 players after Thursday’s exhibition finale at San Diego.

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