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Niners take a look at Culpepper

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Daunte Culpepper threw passes to tight end Nate Lawrie once again, on a little bigger stage this time than during their stint together last year with the United Football League's Sacramento Mountain Lions.

Culpepper worked out for some 30 minutes Monday in front of the San Francisco 49ers brass -- and Lawrie called it a crisp, impressive session. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman liked what he saw and heard from the veteran quarterback, but was noncommittal about whether San Francisco would sign him.

It will come down to whether the Niners want to carry two or three quarterbacks, Roman said.

"I was catching balls for him during the workout, and he was throwing it around pretty good. He's spinning it well," said Lawrie, who signed a one-year deal with San Francisco on Sunday. "Daunte's got a ton of experience. He's got a lot of success in this league. And the guy can play, he can throw the ball. That's what it all boils down to."

The Niners apparently believe Culpepper can still bring it despite a year in the minors, so they gave him a hard look.

They were at least considering adding Culpepper to their QB mix after coach Jim Harbaugh said Saturday there could be a need for a veteran backup behind projected starter Alex Smith and rookie Colin Kaepernick. Harbaugh's offense was ineffective in a 24-3 exhibition loss at New Orleans on Friday night -- and he is determined to be better come Saturday's home preseason game with the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park.

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Around the league

*Lions cornerback Eric Wright pulled himself out of practice twice with an injured right groin Monday. He joined fellow starting cornerback Chris Houston on the sidelines; he has the same injury.

*Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez tells GQ magazine for a story in its September issue that he was angry when Ryan told reporters he would think about sitting him last December after a poor performance. I wanted to fight him," Sanchez told the magazine. "I was really mad." Sanchesz stayed in the lineup

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