O'Sullivan: 'It's my job to be ready'

After taking all the practice reps with the first-team offense Thursday morning, J.T. O'Sullivan is officially back in the hunt at quarterback for the 49ers. Or is he? O'Sullivan talked about his situation and the approach he is taking at a position that was expected to be a two-man battle between Alex Smith and Shaun Hill, but now seems to be making room for O'Sullivan again.

Q: Was it rough for you watching through the first days of camp and not being able to get into action during 11-on-11 drills?
O'Sullivan:
I think it's rough watching anytime. I think everybody wants to play, being that everybody in this league is a competitor. So not playing is not what you want. You're just trying to go out there, not playing, and just trying to gain as much information as you can from watching, just playing the play as well as you can.

Q: Do you feel like your back in the competition at quarterback, or do you feel like you were ever really even out of it?
O'Sullivan:
To me, the competition, it doesn't change how I approach any situation from this year to any other year. It's about me getting better, me preparing as hard as I can prepare, me being able to go out there and perform when my opportunity comes.

Q: How has the situation changed for you, though, over the last couple of days?
O'Sullivan:
It hasn't changed.

Q: With all the reps you've gotten the last few days, does it feel like riding a bike, does it feel like your back in rhythm?
O'Sullivan:
You don't ever want to think about it being that familiar. You're going out there competing with every opportunity. Riding a bike isn't the analogy that I would use. It's really about going out there and making the most of every opportunity. It's redundant, but it's so important to be consistently efficient in this league playing this position.

Q: What's it do for you working with the first team?
O'Sullivan:
I'm not going to disrespect the second unit. For me, it's about me going out there and doing my job as well as I can do, playing quarterback as well as I can play. It doesn't change if I'm in the first group or the fifth group, it's about playing my position as well as I can.

Q: Do you view the last day or two as something that has put you back in the mix in the competition to be the starter?
O'Sullivan:
Honestly, the way I'm approaching it, is the only thing I can control, and that hasn't changed at all from any year to any situation. It is about me playing as well as I can play. So whatever someone else is saying … I let the people that make those decisions, make those decisions, and the only thing I worry about is how well I play.

Q: How well did you play today?
O'Sullivan:
You know, I got a ways to go. It's about growing as an offense, and getting more and more comfortable and just getting better and better. We're nowhere near where we want to be.

Q: For someone who has been around the Mike Martz system, are you getting a feel for how much the other guys are learning, how much progress has been made since the start of training camp?
O'Sullivan:
This offense is about trust, about guys being where they're supposed to be and us being able to read and react and put the ball accurately where we can put it. So that's kind of a daily evolution of throwing and trying to prepare where we can get better and better and get comfortable with concepts and what we're seeing and where the ball needs to be.

Q: How good can tight end Vernon Davis be in this offense?
O'Sullivan:
I think everybody has an opportunity to be pretty good in this offense. I don't know how you could be an offensive player in this league and not be excited about an opportunity to come into this offense with the reputation it has. And now everyone's seen it, and sees the detail and the kind of aggression that goes in getting the ball down the field, and just the detail that goes into every single thing, doing things right and seeing it come out to big, big plays. I think the sky's the limit for everybody. And Vernon, obviously, is right at the top of that list.

Q: Can describe what it was like coming into this offense cold last year as compared to coming into it now after having a year of experience in the system?
O'Sullivan:
Last year was just kind of a whirlwind. I kind of put all my trust into (coaches) and just kind of try to absorb as much as I could and really learn from (Jon) Kitna in Detroit. And then this year, having a sense of familiarity with it, you know, just trying to grow from that. Obviously, it's a different experience when everyone around you is learning the offense. But, I mean, it doesn't change how I compete and how I understand the offense. So I'm just trying to go out there and, really, get better and better every day.

Q: You showed some obvious comfort in the system out there today. Do you feel that's one of your biggest advantages out here?
O'Sullivan:
I don't think about that. I don't think it's relevant. It's only about performance for me. It's about preparation and performance. All I can do is prepare to come out and perform as well as I can. So thinking about if I'm more comfortable than anyone else is not an efficient use of what I want to be doing right now in camp. It's about preparing to come out here and play well and then playing well.

Q: You're competing with the other quarterbacks, but do you also give any kind of insight you can to them to help out?
O'Sullivan:
It's about the organization being successful, first and foremost. And that's about us winning games. So I think everyone's pushing each other at every position – whether it be quarterback or any other position – I think we're all trying to help each other play as well as we can play. There's no, like, holding secrets or anything like that.

Q: We're you expecting this time to come when you'd finally get more reps like you have the past few days?
O'Sullivan:
I had no expectations about when my reps would come. I'm strictly about me being ready. If they would have said the first day to jump in there, I would have been ready. If they say a month from now, I'm going to be ready. It's my job to be ready.


Niners Digest Top Stories