A second start for J.T.

After taking all the first-unit practice snaps this week in team drills, J.T. O'Sullivan on Thursday was named the 49ers' starting quarterback for the second consecutive week when San Francisco resumes its preseason schedule Saturday against the Green Bay Packers. Here, O'Sullivan talks about his approach and preparation and how he is settling in as the 49ers' starter.

Q: How much do you think you've grown from all the practice reps you've gotten over the last week?
O'Sullivan:
I think this game will be an opportunity to show if I have. I feel good as far as kind of evolving every day, trying to go out there and play exactly how they want me to play. The next step is to be able to do it consistently.

Q: Do you think you've kind of proven to yourself then how ready you are?
O'Sullivan:
I'm going out there to play well. To prove it to myself … I don't know if that's exactly how I would characterize it. But this is the next opportunity to show that you can play. So I'm approaching it like that, going out there with that approach.

Q: In your mind, how big a step is this – getting a second consecutive start – to drawing you closer to being the permanent starting quarterback for this team?
O'Sullivan:
It's another opportunity to show that you can play. You have to go out there and be consistent and make the improvement on what happened the last time in the game and how you're growing each day in practice. It's another opportunity to go out there and try to play as well as I can.

Q: What about the continuity and stability it gives you at the position?
O'Sullivan:
It's one of those things that when you're in a competition fighting for a spot, whether it be a starting spot or to make the team, you have to go out there and approach it to concentrate on your preparation and your performance. That sort of stuff will take of itself in the every day practice and these preseason games. I don't think that's something that I necessarily concern myself with.

Q: You've always said you take the same approach whether you're the first-team guy on the third-team guy. But do you feel like the first-team guy now? Is it a different kind of thing at all?
O'Sullivan:
I mean, really, it's not a different feeling. Thinking about that question, I feel like if I approached it differently in the past, that would be a real disservice to my former teammates from any other organization. I don't feel like I've ever cheated it in the past and I'm definitely not cheating it now in my preparation. I'm putting everything I have into it, and that's how I'm going to approach it.

Q: How much better can you get now playing with first-team guys all the time?
O'Sullivan:
I think you play the game the exact same way. Answering that question differently is knocking guys that aren't on the first team, and I've not been on the first team for a long time. How much better can I get? I don't really know how to answer that. I'm going to go out there and try to play as well as I can play, whatever the situation may be, whatever team your in – first, second, third – that doesn't change. Answering that question differently is cheating everyone on this team.

Q: Is there fine line between being careful with the ball and playing loose and aggressively?
O'Sullivan:
The way I'm going to approach it is I'm going to play quarterback exactly how they want me to play quarterback. I'm going to make the reads like coach Martz wants me to make. I'm going to turn the ball loose on time. I'm going to trust everyone to do their job and they're going to trust me to do my job. So I don't go into it thinking that I'm going to play this tentative game. I'm going to play the position exactly how they're coaching me to play it.

Q: It's just an exhibition game, but any thoughts about showing Green Bay what they missed by not having you?
O'Sullivan:
No. It's a little unique anytime I play a NFC North team just because I know a lot of the guys personally, but that seems like a long time ago, even if it wasn't. To me, it was a long time ago.

Q: As a Northern California guy, what's it going to be like for you to run out on the field at Candlestick Park?
O'Sullivan:
I'll be able to answer it a lot better after the game. I assume it will be pretty special. I've been there to watch games before with the 49ers and I've played against the 49ers. But I think it will be special to come out and be part of this organization in that stadium that had so many memories growing up.

Q: Though you played in the Martz system last year in Detroit, you certainly didn't get the practice time in it that you are now. How much is all this repetition in the offense helping you to show what your potential is out there?
O'Sullivan:
I think you answered it pretty well right there. It's just an opportunity to show what you can do. You can get the mental reps by sitting back there and not wasting a chance to learn from watching someone else do it. But I don't think there's any argument for actually getting in there and getting the game reps, the practice reps, of actually making the throws and making the decisions. There is a difference. But, I mean, you can't cheat yourself when you don't have the opportunity either. So if I didn't have the opportunity last year, I tried to get as much as I could from watching film.

Q: Do you believe you've been a victim of circumstances with the previous organizations you've been with, where things just haven't worked out for you due to different things such as personnel changes and the like?
O'Sullivan:
I wouldn't characterize it as that, I really wouldn't. To be honest with you, I haven't really sat down and thought about it and evaluated each little situation as far as what happened with each organization. But from the outside looking in, if it didn't work out somewhere, then my attitude was that I just wasn't good enough to make that team. Anything else is an excuse. I don't look at it as a victim of circumstance.

Q: Now that you've been in the saddle for more than a week, how much better do you think you know the demands of being a starting quarterback in this league?
O'Sullivan:
I don't know how much this little time that has passed has improved my understanding of the demands. I think I have a pretty good idea, but I think I would be lying to myself if I knew exactly what was coming as far as the grind of a 16-game starting quarterback in this league. You can understand it from watching someone and seeing how they deal with everything, but until you go through it yourself, I'm not sure you know what's totally going to happen.

Q: You are doing some of things, such as talking to the media as the starter. Does that wear on you at all?
O'Sullivan:
Not really. I mean, I like talking football. I feel bad that sometimes I repeat myself with certain questions, but I try to be honest as I can. This is my life. This is my profession. This is what I do. I enjoy football. Some questions I honestly don't have an answer for. This is part of the job. I understand that. It's in my contract. This is how fans relate to the players. And the fans are why this league is so popular. So answering football questions is not a burden to me by any means. I want to play. This is what quarterbacks do in this league. And I've prepared myself for a long time for an opportunity to play.


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