- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – One of the reasons John Skelton is excited to be a San Francisco 49er is his desire to play for Jim Harbaugh.
“There’s no doubt about it, I wanted to play for him,” the quarterback said Wednesday. “He’s been there before. He’s played at this level. I’ve talked to guys who played for him and I’ve heard nothing but good things. … When you get to know him you see what he’s all about – it’s a passion for the game. He’d strap it on again if he could. … I want to learn from him.”
Harbaugh is just as fired up to work with Skelton.
“Good stature in the pocket. Experienced guy.” Harbaugh said of the former Arizona Cardinals starter. “He’s played, won games and been in those battles. Had an excellent workout when he was here a few weeks back. One of the better workouts I’ve seen from a quarterback in one of those type of workout environments. … Big, strong, definitely has arm talent. I’m excited to work with him, and that’s really what it amounts to.”
The 49ers signed Skelton, who was recently cut by Cincinnati, and released rookie B.J. Daniels. The 49ers had planned to re-sign Daniels to the practice squad, but he was claimed Wednesday by Seattle.
Harbaugh indicated the 49ers wanted more overall experience at quarterback. Skelton likely will push Colt McCoy for the No. 2 job behind Colin Kaepernick. Harbaugh wouldn’t talk about the backup competition, but it is clear the 49ers brought Skelton in to see if he can progress in their system. If Skelton quickly catches up, I could see a scenario where he overtakes McCoy fairly soon.
“[We have] three quarterbacks that all have played in games and been in the fire, and now we have three at our disposal,” Harbaugh said. “We have a great starter and two guys now, two guys to back up that have been in those games."
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