Hamdan Hopes to Stick and Stay With 49ers

After being cut by the Seahawks on Monday, and acquired by the San Francisco 49ers soon after, 2006 NFL Europe MVP quarterback Gibran Hamdan was back on the practice field, picking up where he left off in Seattle – by throwing strikes and impressing his coaches.

Hamdan’s first practice with the 49ers on Wednesday ended with a laser throw between two defenders to rookie wide receiver Delanie Walker in the back of the end zone. Such pinpoint throws would have been very familiar to Seahawks fans who saw him do this more than once in the team’s August scrimmage.

Coach Mike Nolan liked what he saw. “He was good,” Nolan told SFIllustrated.com. “He’s got a good arm. He does have some height. I thought he did well, as far as his arm goes. Running off (play) cards is different.”

On his plans for Hamdan, Nolan said, “It’s like a tryout. That’s really it. We put him out there today, and he did some of the ‘show’ team, just sit in the pocket and throw the ball, and see how he interacts with the guys and around the guys. We’ll bring guys in every Tuesday during the season and try them out, but we’d love to have this kind of tryout, where you stick him in there and do some things with him, whether it would be a defensive back, linebacker, wide receiver, or whatever. We got to do that today. So, we’ll see.”

The 49ers have question marks after their 1-2 quarterback rotation, with youngster Alex Smith and veteran Trent Dilfer the only real locks.

When asked whether Hamdan would possibly figure into the team’s practice squad, which will be formed Sunday after all NFL teams make their final cuts Saturday, Nolan said, “Could be. He has that eligibility. There’s also some other people that might be interested in him, so he could be a guy that maybe would be on the roster. I’m not looking to keep four quarterbacks. It gives him a chance, too, to see us, and see what we’re all about, which I’m always in favor of.”

After practice, Hamdan reflected on his time in Seattle and talked about his hopes for the future.

On what happened in Seattle, where some observers felt he was out-performing David Greene for the team’s No. 3 job: “I wish I had the answer. I was pleased with the performance I put forward and my opportunities in training camp, I really was. I didn’t get a chance to play in the preseason, which has kind of been my thing while I’ve been there. I went my first four preseason games last year without playing. This year I got four minutes against the Colts. They’re smarter than I am. It’s their organization and they have to make their decisions about what’s best for their organization. I was very happy and I’m comfortable that I can lay my head down at night knowing that I put forth a very good performance in training camp. I wish I would have gotten a little more opportunity in a preseason game just to show what I could do. Especially coming off my year in NFL Europe (where Hamdan was league MVP).”

On what he hopes to accomplish with the 49ers: “I really don’t hope anymore. I’m really thankful that I’m playing football for a living still. Because yesterday I wasn’t. I got to throw a football around today, hang around with a great group of quarterbacks, meet some new coaches. Just one day at a time. I’ve been around this thing too long to start thinking about a number or (goals) or anything like that. Just go out and play if they give you a chance. And if you play, play well.”

On whether he assumes he’ll be on somebody’s practice squad by next week if he doesn’t stick with the 49ers: “Again, after being around, I don’t assume anything. I would think that being the NFL Europe MVP, the second-best football league in the world, I would think somebody would at least give me an opportunity somewhere. And I’m thankful San Francisco already has. You have to stay positive and believe that you’ll get a chance to play.”

On how it felt to wing the football around for the first time with the 49ers on Wednesday: “Yeah, I can wing it. I love playing football, and I think football is football when it comes down to it. Obviously, it’s going to be a big process learning the offense. The three (quarterbacks) here are outstanding guys and I know Trent (Dilfer) from past experiences with Matthew (Hasselbeck). He’s first-class, one of the best guys to learn from in the game, I think. I’ve heard great things of Shaun (Hill) from buddies that have played with him in Minnesota and stuff. And Alex (Smith) is obviously a young guy with a lot of talent, so I’m just fortunate to be around guys like that, and maybe I can learn something.”

On whether he expects to see any playing time Friday: “Up until the Indianapolis Colts game, the second game of this preseason (Aug. 20), I’d gone 12 preseason games without playing (since his rookie season in 2003), for whatever reason. And I don’t have the answer for that. So if they want to throw me in the game, I’m running in and I’m throwing the ball around. But obviously, there has to be a comfort level from their standpoint.”


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