The San Francisco 49ers held their first workouts of the off-season this past weekend and what was thought of as two-way competition at QB, might become a three-way fight to the finish. Third stringer J.T. O’Sullivan, signed in the off-season, played in Mike Martz’s offense last season appearing in five games for the Detroit Lions. As Ryan Leaf, sorry, Alex Smith and Shaun Hill learn the new system under Martz; one has to think O’Sullivan has the edge in competing for the starting job with his experience in the Martz system. In response to a questions by The San Francisco Chronicle Martz said O’Sullivan “has an excellent chance” of competing for the starting job and “if Mike Nolan said any one of the three can be your starting quarterback, I’d be happy. … They all have a pretty good grasp of what we’re doing.”
Competition is always a good thing for a team, but if O’Sullivan were to win the starting job it would mean either Smith or Hill are injured or were just ineffective in training camp. Either way it would be a huge setback not only for Smith, his development and ego, but for the Niners as a team as they are trying to find the identity of their team and how they can get back to playing at a playoff level and competing for their sixth Super Bowl ring. With a journeyman like O’Sullivan as you’re starting QB, it does not bode well for Niners as they try to return to respectability.