The 49ers enter training camp in Santa Clara next Saturday without a locked in starting quarterback.
The team will let Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert go head to head in Chip Kelly's first year as head coach, and the results in camp, as well as the exhibition, will produce a No. 1 signal-caller.
Pro Football Hall of Famer and 49ers legend Jerry Rice on Friday weighed in on the highly anticipated quarterback battle.
"These two guys, they're gonna have to compete in training camp. It should be pretty good because Gabbert, he really has excelled a lot," Rice said at the American Century Golf Tournament, according to NFL.com.
"I had an opportunity to meet him, and you can just tell the confidence," he added. "He feels he has a legitimate chance of being the starter.
Gabbert, 26, went 3-5 as the starter last season, completing 63.1 percent of his passes, while throwing 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions and rushing for 185 yards and a score.
Kaepernick, 28, went 2-6 as the starter last season, completing 59 percent of his passes, and throwing for six touchdowns to five interceptions. He also rushed for 256 yards and a score. Kaepernick underwent surgeries to his left shoulder, right thumb and left knee this offseason, but expects to be “full-go” for camp.
"Then you got Colin Kaepernick, and I don't know if they're gonna be able to, you know, that offense of Chip Kelly because he likes to get over the ball, he likes constant movement and all of that.
"So you need a quarterback that can run, a quarterback that's mobile, a quarterback that can get outside the pocket, extend plays and still have vision downfield and throw the football. It should be pretty competitive, but there's a lot of question marks and it's up to Chip Kelly to somehow put this team together. If he does that, I feel like, you're in the West, we might have a legitimate chance."
Another 49ers great and Hall of Famer, Steve Young, offered his two cents on the competition, saying at the American Century Championship, "Well, Colin's got to reclaim the locker room, reclaim his teammates. And that's about accountability."
Gabbert and Kaepernick were the No. 10 and 36 picks, respectively, in the 2011 NFL Draft. The two will compete in training camp when players report on July 30.