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Smith happy for Kaepernick, leaving decision to coach

Injured San Francisco 49ers quarterback Smith walks out onto the playing field prior to game against the Chicago Bears in their NFL football game San Francisco Reuters

Even though 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh opened the door for speculation about his quarterback situation, that doesn’t mean Alex Smith is upset about it.

Harbaugh has stopped short of declaring a starter since Colin Kaepernick’s precocious starting debut Monday, when starter Alex Smith was out with a concussion.

But in his first appearance with the media in a week, Smith said there were no hard feelings.

“In my opinion, if you can’t be happy for your teammate’s success, you’re playing the wrong sport,” Smith said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “Go play tennis or golf or something. It’s ridiculous, I think. That doesn’t belong in team sports, in my opinion.”

Smith has always been able to maintain good locker room relationships amid questions about who was starting, whether it was Tim Rattay or Troy Smith or Shaun HIll. But Smith and Hill were groomsmen in each other’s weddings, evidence that it’s possible to be a mature adult and a competitor at the same time.

As to his health, Smith said he still wasn’t cleared for contact, and again practiced in a black no-contact jersey.

“I feel good. I feel really good,” Smith said. “So I’m kind of expecting things to go well, . . .

“I tried to push it {last week] and went out and practice and I just wasn’t right and the doctors didn’t end up clearing me. I’m not going to get into the symptoms that were going on. Tried to push it earlier in the week and there were still some lingering things.

“Ultimately the decision came down to me and my health and was I OK. And I didn’t feel like it was something to tough through and can’t really tough out something like that. Hopefully, the doctor is going to clear me.”

Asked if he thought the starting job would remain his if he was healthy, Smith replied: “I guess you don’t expect anything. This is the nature of the game. The next guy steps up and plays well. That’s part of the deal in this game. Competition is part of it as well. Don’t know what’s going to happen.”

After what he’s been through in his career to get to this point, the fact he handles uncertainty so well speaks to his character.

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19 Responses to “Smith happy for Kaepernick, leaving decision to coach”
  1. mjbulls45 says: Nov 21, 2012 4:51 PM

    its gonna be a problem

    a team needs 1 voice, 1 face, 1 qb and leader to do it,

    not wavering back and forth

    har and his brother swear they got all the answers but no rings to back it up,

    giants and pitt always have that behind when it counts most.

  2. kleppnasty says: Nov 21, 2012 4:55 PM

    This is why he has so many supporters. He has persevered through terrible coaches, WRs and schemes to finally be successful. And even then, people are calling for him to ride the bench. Rather than be selfish and pout or complain, he remains confident in his ability, listens to his coach, and cheers on his teammates, even the one who may take his job.

  3. enochmh2 says: Nov 21, 2012 4:59 PM

    I told my brother that the 49ers are not able to play from behind,he replied they can;but their qb can’t. So one bad game from you Alex,be prepared to hear the fans call for kaepernick

  4. skinsfaninnebraska says: Nov 21, 2012 5:05 PM

    This is exactly the right thing for him to say. He wouldn’t be the first starter to be displaced permanently after injury by a talented rookie, and he knows it.

    He also knows he’ll most likely be starting somewhere next year, even if it’s not SF.

  5. psilenttype says: Nov 21, 2012 5:19 PM

    Alex is a class act dude, he’s been through it all in San Fran so I would never expect him to say anything but what he said! He knows what he is up against… His fate as starter was in jeopardy when Kaepernick was drafted! He already knew he had 1-2 years left in SF unless he plays exceptionally well

  6. rams1999 says: Nov 21, 2012 5:29 PM

    Alex Smith will not be with SF next season for sure. Poor guy cant catch a break. Jim Harbaugh thinks this is baseball or basketball. Whoever has hot hand was his response. AS needs to get the hell out of SF. No respect. Even though he is limited and is not that good, they should have went with Caepernick to begin with. You dont make a change during season when AS did not get benched at all…..yet. He only got hurt and IS ABLE to come back next week but we’ll see. Glad im not a niner fan with rotating QB’s.

  7. oaktown49er says: Nov 21, 2012 5:29 PM

    Smith is and will always be a class act.

  8. billb49 says: Nov 21, 2012 5:38 PM

    You can say what you want about Alex Smith. People can argue about his strengths and weaknesses until they’re blue in the face. But everyone should know by now that he is one stand-up guy. The guy oozes character.

  9. dontasemebro says: Nov 21, 2012 5:39 PM

    Right on Alex!

  10. 49erstim says: Nov 21, 2012 6:42 PM

    Pay attention kids and learn something about how to handle adversity with dignity and class.

    You can not like his skillset or whatever, but you should at least respect this guy. This is why I’ve always been an Alex Smith guy. Awesome.

  11. justwannawinna says: Nov 21, 2012 7:02 PM

    Well even if Alex doesnt start it wont be long until Colin has a bad game and Jim decides hes going with Smith again. Either way its not a bad postion to be in cuz both Qbs are playing well

  12. ghjjf says: Nov 21, 2012 7:27 PM

    Remember when Andy Reid said “this is a great dilema to be in” concerning having to decide between Kolb and Vick and it turns out that both of them stink. I have a feeling of deja vu…..

  13. sweetzinger says: Nov 21, 2012 7:28 PM

    No one stares adversity in the face like Alex Smith. If he plays Sun, I expect him to throw a gem.

    And Jimbo loves competition at every position. It brings out the best in athletes, or it brings out the worst.

  14. decon49 says: Nov 21, 2012 7:34 PM

    skinsfaninnebraska says:
    Nov 21, 2012 5:05 PM
    This is exactly the right thing for him to say. He wouldn’t be the first starter to be displaced permanently after injury by a talented rookie, and he knows it.

    He also knows he’ll most likely be starting somewhere next year, even if it’s not SF.

    kap is in his second year

  15. niner13 says: Nov 21, 2012 7:52 PM

    Niners are fortunate to have two good qbs and two good guys. Team first for both.

  16. sourdoughsam says: Nov 21, 2012 7:52 PM

    As a 49ers fan, I was ecstatic to see Colin Kaepernick put up the kind of game he did on Monday Night.

    As a fan of high character people, I will always root for Alex Smith.

    Regardless of how it plays out, I feel confident that my Niners will have a good QB under center for the foreseeable future and that Alex Smith will continue to do great things, wherever that may be.

  17. totallyuselessme says: Nov 21, 2012 8:45 PM

    Say what you will about Alex Smith’s play through the years. People’ve been trashing him even though he really hasn’t had the benefit that Kaepernick surely will going forward, but this guy’s had to rifle through six, seven, maybe eight offensive schemes and coaching philosophies, a mediocre run game before Gore got there along with an up-and-down defense before they really ‘arrived’ last year… and you know what? He’s taken it all with more class and dignity than about anybody in the NFL ever could have.

    The reaper might’ve come for Alex Smith’s gig as a starter, because this kid Kaepernick’s got what it takes to be an All-Star, and anybody who watched his lightning speed, cannon arm and startling accuracy at Nevada (where I’m from) can tell you that: this Kaepernick, he’s a freak and he’s a high-character guy as well. But Alex Smith is the kind of guy who’ll still have a career in the NFL regardless, and likely for a solid decade going forward. He’s classy and he plays the game the right way, regardless of the storm going on around him.

    If I was a head coach, this would be a guy I’d want on my team, one hundred percent.

  18. omniscient48 says: Nov 21, 2012 8:50 PM

    I would love to see Alex Smith and Larry Fitzgerald on the same team. Both first class guys.

  19. ernie ernie says: Nov 22, 2012 11:31 AM

    I see Alex as not being able to hold down his turkey dinner today. He saw that performance and understands it was impressive. He has to be concerned. If the kid starts and looks good again, Mr Smith better get used to splinter butt from sitting on the bench.

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