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Blaine Gabbert eager to compete for starting gig

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With Colin Kaepernick getting only mental reps during OTAs, Chip Kelly reiterated there is no timetable to choose a starting quarterback.

A full-fledged QB battle between Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert hasn't even commenced. When it does, Gabbert is ready to win the job.

"The opportunity is in front of me to go out there and have a great season," Gabbert said Tuesday, via the team's official website. "I look at that challenge as one I'm willing to accept. Nothing is ever going to be given to you, especially in the National Football League. You've got to go out there and take it.

"That's my mindset. I'm never going to shy away from competition. You're always competing, whether it's against somebody or against yourself, and I welcome that."

Of course, it's easy to welcome competition when the man you're competing against is still standing on the sidelines, injured. 

Kelly's recently glowing comments about Gabbert's surprising athleticism set the table for the former Jacksonville Jaguars bust to eventually win the starting gig.

For now, Gabbert plans to practice as though he already owns the gig.

"I don't think I have to tread lightly at all," Gabbert said. "Being a quarterback, you have to be a leader and you have to be the vocal guy on the football team. It's about directing this offense. That's the thing that I enjoy. I like being the guy that guys look to for advice or to get them lined up -- just providing a little juice on the field."

The quarterback drama in San Francisco is far from over. Presuming Kap stays on the roster for the full season, we expect both to play at some point.

The Niners' roster is chalk full of holes that suggest another wayward season in The Bay. In the NFL, when uncertainty at quarterback is mixed with losses, more than one signal-caller starts games. So even when Kelly finally names a starter later this summer, the drama won't be over -- it never is.

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