Something has been bothering me about Jim Harbaugh, about the way he released QB Josh Johnson. After he and Trent Baalke cut down to 53 players, the media asked Harbaugh why he kept Tolzien as his third QB and why he let Johnson go. Harbaugh, as is his custom, said he did not want to compare the two QBs because inevitably someone gets diminished. I respect that. But Harbaugh did not see the big picture and now I understand how he blew it.

He didn’t have to compare them. He could have said, “This isn’t about Johnson. He’s a fine quarterback. We kept Scott because he has a strong pocket presence, he sees the whole field, he’s incredibly smart, he has a future.”

Something like that.

Harbaugh could and should have used the occasion to praise Tolzien who is the third QB and craves praise. The other Niners would have heard that and might have thought more of Tolzien. It was in everyone’s interest for Harbaugh to praise Tolzien at that point.

Harbaugh’s error was not what he didn’t say about Johnson. It was what he didn’t say about Tolzien.