There were a lot of low points for the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. Then-Head Coach Mike Singletary searching for the elusive rat and getting blown out in week one by the Seattle Seahawks probably occupy the top spots, but hand-delivering the Carolina Panthers the first win of their season is definitely rounding out the top three. It was a game that the 49ers might have won (almost undeservedly) if Alex Smith had been the quarterback from start to finish, but he left the game early on after a breakdown in protection, getting sacked and suffering a shoulder injury.
David Carr came in under center for San Francisco and he ... well ... let's just say he didn't inspire much confidence. He went 5-for-13 for 67 yards and an interception. Following the game, he was leapfrogged on the depth chart by Troy Smith, who didn't play so well himself. The rest of the season was spent with Smith and Smith alternating in some form or another, and the 49ers once again had question marks at the quarterback position.
The offseason came, the lockout is in place, and Carr remains the only quarterback under contract for the 49ers. Troy Smith doesn't factor into the team's plans for the future, but Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has made it absolutely clear that they would be doing everything they could to bring back Alex Smith. The team also traded up in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft to select rookie Colin Kaepernick. Add to all of this the fact that Carr - again, the only quarterback under contract - hasn't been spoken of publicly even once by Harbaugh in the midst of the Smith bromance, and you get ... what exactly, for the former first overall pick?
Not a bad situation at all, apparently. According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, Carr feels as though he'll get his chance to show what he can do. Carr says that Harbaugh made it clear to him that it would be a competition and every guy would have a chance to show his stuff when it all came down to it. That's great for Carr, in his mind, because he's confident in his own abilities.
Still, to the fanbase, he remains an afterthought. As Maiocco notes though, he is probably the kind of guy you want on your team in a backup or third string kind of role. Whether or not Carr actually has a shot or not remains to be seen, but it's hard to see him beating Smith for the job, and definitely impossible to predict exactly how Harbaugh will manage things.