Against the Niners, did the kid remind us, at times, of the sad-sack quarterback of '98? Of course he did. In addition to throwing the interception, he lost two fumbles, both of which, according to Riley, were the result of blown blocking assignments. "He's had three good months with us," Riley says, "but we'll take it one day at a time."
It's a measure of Riley's intelligence that he sounds like a man waiting for the other shoe to drop. "Basically, Ryan is still a rookie," he warns. "He didn't play last year, and he played half the season before. He's going to have rougher times. People are going to treat him like a rookie quarterback ... so we're going have our moments. But we're strengthened because he's here."
Asked to comment on the suspect arm strength of Harbaugh, who has struggled in the preseason, Riley was smilingly evasive, saying, "Jim can move a football team. He knows how to play, he knows what we want We would go to war with him anytime."
Up the corridor, Harbaugh was chatting with some of his buddies, a trio of Marines from Sacramento. The conversation turned to his Humvee, which has 60,000 miles on it. It's only a matter of time before Harbaugh himself is replaced by a newer model.
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