Conventional wisdom last offseason said that it was only a matter of time before Colin Kaepernick started games for the San Francisco 49ers.
Kaepernick spent the year on the bench, which probably wasn’t a bad thing for his development. The second round pick admits that the shortened offseason and learning an NFL offense were huge challenges.
“I learned a lot of things and got my eyes opened to the playbook, the length of the season and how complex the schemes are. There were a lot of things to take in,” Kaepernick told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
The Nevada product says he plans on trying to take the starting job from Smith next year and that he believes it will be a “fair fight.” That’s assuming Smith, an impending free agent, is back with the 49ers.
That’s probably a safe assumption. Smith will spend Thursday caddying for coach Jim Harbaugh at Pebble Beach. Smith was unable to play the whole weekend because of a prior engagement, so he’s helping out his coach for a day instead. They carpooled on their way to golfing together on Tuesday, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
“Obviously Alex is as high a priority as anyone on our team,” Harbaugh said after coming off the 18th green.
Yes, Smith will be back. And it probably won’t be a fair fight with Kaepernick, at least initially. Smith has earned some rope to back up his 2011 performance in the 2012 regular season.