Garcia now a three-time 'beep' champion

Beep. Beep. Beep. Make that 120 beeps for Jeff Garcia on Sunday, and a third consecutive title for the Pro Bowl quarterback in the 49ers' annual endurance 'beep' test to conclude the team's first full-squad minicamp at Niners' headquarters in Santa Clara.

Garcia was the final player left standing - or, at least, running - when the 120th beep sounded in what has become one of the 49ers' traditional rites of spring. Garcia was in that position for the third year in a row after rookie quarterback Brandon Doman finally ran out of gas and pulled up after the 119th beep.

Garcia and Doman lasted longer than the other 90-or-so players who began the test, which has players jogging to and from cones in 20-yard intervals at the pace of a beep that increases in frequency after the initial 20 beeps.

"I think now it's kind of expected from me," said Garcia, who hardly even looked winded after finishing long after many of his teammates had stopped while gasping for air. "I hung in there and the more we ran I felt like I was staying strong.

"It's kind of my own little thing as far as being prepared and making sure I'm prepared and staying on top of things. Because I know there are guys knocking at the door who are going to challenge me and are going to be battling for my position. And in every way I can make myself better - whether that's being mentally sharp, or being physically sharp with my arm or being in good cardio(vascular) condition - that's just the pride I take in myself."

For comparison's sake, the last lineman to fall out - tackle Scott Gragg - did so at beep 73. Several of the last receivers to stop - including 2001 starters Terrell Owens and J.J. Stokes - did so in the high 80s. The final running back to quit - undrafted free-agent Ken Simonton - stopped after the 105th beep.

That left only Garcia and Doman running to the beeps, as the rest of the squad closed in around them to see who would win the test.

"Quarterbacks have fresh legs," Niners coach Steve Mariucci said, smiling. "They don't run around like our other guys."

And to be sure, none of the Niners' other guys can run around quite like Garcia, a 49ers endurance champion if there ever was one. If anything, he knows all the little things about winning such a contest.

"I think it's a mindset," Garcia said. "Obviously, there's cardiovascular things involved. You have to be in pretty decent shape. It's not a full-out sprint. It's a mindset. It's being able to fight through some of the pain you're going to experience later in the test. It's also knowing this test is going to last a little while, and just be prepared to be stronger for the end and not waste it all in the beginning.

"I've also set a standard for myself that I have to match up to every year. I can't stop at 50 or 75. Then it will be like, 'Jeff's not giving out a top effort.' They expected me to be amongst the top. I expect myself to be amongst the top. That's part of my taking control of my opportunities to be a leader, and show that I'm out here busting my tail, too. I'm not going to just go through the motions when it comes to being in shape."

No kidding

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