Alex Smith is considered the heavy favorite to open the season as San Francisco’s starting quarterback.
Coach Jim Harbaugh made it clear on Saturday, however, that the decision hasn’t been made.
“We’re evaluating daily and really it’s a mindset of letting the guys compete for it,” Harbaugh said on a conference call Saturday via CSNBayArea.com. “So far, it hasn’t had a chance to be clear-cut yet.”
Hmm. The Associated Press seems to be treating the matter like a breaking news alert and the words do seem intended to convey a message.
With that said, it’s really not so different than what we’ve heard from Harbaugh all along. It’s Smith’s job to lose, but his track record shows that’s rather possible.
The difference here is the timing of the words. Smith struggled badly on Friday night against the Saints. Kaepernick wasn’t any better against backups and third-teamers, although his terrific running ability at least helped move the chains more often.
Harbaugh also said the team may add a veteran to the mix. Again, this isn’t a big surprise considering there are only two rookies behind Smith, and one of them is undrafted.
“I don’t want those guys worried about it. I want them practicing and working and not worrying, and it’ll unfold,” Harbaugh said.
Smith is bound to worry anyway. 49ers fans certainly are worrying too.