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Donte Whitner says Colin Kaepernick is starting for 49ers

Colin Kaepernick AP

The 49ers’ coaches are claiming that no decision has been made on Sunday’s starting quarterback. But one player has let the cat out of the bag.

San Francisco safety Donte Whitner told Mike Florio on the Dan Patrick Show that Colin Kaepernick is the starter for Sunday’s game against the Saints.

Whitner may not have realized that he was breaking news, but he revealed that — despite what coach Jim Harbaugh and the team are saying officially — the players are under the impression that Kaepernick has supplanted Alex Smith as the 49ers’ starting quarterback.

And that’s as it should be: Kaepernick was outstanding on Monday night against the Bears, and Harbaugh has gone with the quarterback who gives his team the best chance to beat the Saints — and the best chance to keep winning, right up to the Super Bowl.

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48 Responses to “Donte Whitner says Colin Kaepernick is starting for 49ers”
  1. bucrightoff says: Nov 23, 2012 11:57 AM

    Obviously all non-49er fans are rooting for a horrible game from Kaepernick this Sunday. Fuel that controvery baby…

  2. pnut87 says: Nov 23, 2012 11:59 AM

    I like Alex Amith, and I honestly feel like he has more talent than he’s given credit, that’s due the constant changes in coordinators in the system before Harbaugh got there. But unless he turned out to be the next great QB, the switch was inevitable. He had to see that.

  3. charger88 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:04 PM

    This kid can really sling it. Randy Moss was actually complaining about his fingers hurting after a dropped pass the other night. After watching him it should be expected that he is the future. No need to report on it throughout 5 articles.

  4. surferbum01 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:05 PM

    As a 49ers fan I’m ready to see Kaepernick do what we’ve known he could do but only in limited spots through the last two years. His arm strength is possibly on par with any of the top elite arms in the league. His ability to now threaten secondaries down field is frightening for defenses if they can’t get to him. It was inevitable that Smith was going the be dethroned. And it’s likely this was a little earlier than was anticipated but nonetheless it was going to happen. Smith’s ceiling has been reached or nearly reached. Kaep’s is only starting.

  5. lfarrell2012 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:06 PM

    A guy plays one game, albeit it was a great game against a good defense, and it means more than all training camp and every other game they played where the coaches determined Smith was previously better? If you use that criteria Jason Garret or Clint Longley should have taken over the Cowboys.

    Colin appears to have the tools, so we’ll have to see how this plays out- he could be better, he could be worse, or he could be about the same as Smith. Smith clearly didn’t have a frim grip on this hence the Manning courtship. I do think if he takes over and then falters it could be the one thing to derail the 49ers trip to the Super Bowl

  6. fuglyflorio says: Nov 23, 2012 12:08 PM

    I thought you couldn’t lose your job cause of an injury? Liar liar pants on fire.

  7. mrbullgator says: Nov 23, 2012 12:09 PM

    Bad call if Kaepernick is the starter going forward. First it was one game and we all know the defenses have a hard time game planning for someone with no tape on. As he gets more starts there will be more film and there will be growing pains. which could cost the 49ers a trip to the Superbowl which has to be themindset of this team. Smith is the right call and we will see that in a few weeks if they go with this rookie. One good game is all this is.

  8. usmutts says: Nov 23, 2012 12:10 PM

    After watching Alex Smith confidently deal with all the Saints’ blitzing schemes in the playoffs last year, while leading the Niners with his pinpoint passing and running to a spectacular last minute victory, I won’t be particularly unhappy to see someone else taking snaps, no matter who it is.

  9. lawyermalloy says: Nov 23, 2012 12:11 PM

    I think we’re witnessing Jim Harbaugh “over coaching” in trying to fix something that isn’t broken. While I hope it works out for him, this has disaster written all over it!

  10. mburkett1980 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:14 PM

    And this is a prime example of exactly why players like to hide their concussions.

  11. skoobyfl says: Nov 23, 2012 12:16 PM

    Suprise, suprise suprise.

  12. oaktown49er says: Nov 23, 2012 12:17 PM

    It comes down to the deep ball. Kaep can throw it Alex can’t. This will open up the offense and keep Def. honest. I want to see Alex succeed but if Kaep can be better, than go with it. Competition at every spot.

  13. daveitsgood says: Nov 23, 2012 12:17 PM

    I agree with MDS, just look at last year’s playoffs when Kap beat the saints with his arm and legs…wait…what?

  14. steelerben says: Nov 23, 2012 12:18 PM

    While the Bears do have an outstanding defense and the Saints have one of the worst in the history of the league, it might be a little premature to say beating the Bears means beating the Saints for Kaepernick.

    His big weakness is reading a defense.

    Now, it isn’t terribly hard for him to step up to the line and say, Cover-2 or Tampa-2. It is another thing when Spags starts throwing exotic things at him. Even if the Saints lack the fire power on defense that the Bears bring to the table, and I doubt there is anyone that can argue that, they definitely run more looks. If you can confuse the kid into throwing the ball to the wrong spot, audibling to the wrong play, or holding the ball for too long, you can beat him.

  15. jm91rs says: Nov 23, 2012 12:19 PM

    I don’t buy it. This guy doesn’t even report true facts about himself (when he tweeted “who dey” then changed his mind and signed with the 49ers). I don’t believe he knows what’s going on.

  16. mrplow3 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:19 PM

    How many times over the years have we seen a QB teams aren’t familiar with come in and light it up only to come down to earth the next week? Dozens?

    When will people learn? It’s like we are all emotionally driven 16 year old girls with these dramatic reactions from week to week.

  17. FinFan68 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:21 PM

    “And that’s as it should be: Kaepernick was outstanding on Monday night against the Bears…”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Whatever you say, I guess. But, by your logic, Matt Flynn should have started the next game by the Packers (over Rodgers) after he set all those Packer QB records against Detroit.

  18. briank1ne says: Nov 23, 2012 12:21 PM

    Everything happens for a reason and by the laws of karma I can see Colin starting for however long and getting injured…Then the phoenix will rise and take the niners to the promise land. Happily ever after. the end. you heard it here first.

    But on a non-serious note. I think that alex will be the starter again when he isnt injured. and thats why a starting qb hasnt been named yet in SF. also because there is no way harbaugh would release info of a starting qb so defenses would have extra time to prepare for that qb? cmon people. there is mass hysteria going around. Alex will be back when healthy i believe.

  19. csilojohnson says: Nov 23, 2012 12:22 PM

    I disagree. Smith just cant win. Second time he had been questioned this year. This time while being one of the top passers in the league. Colin better be capable of winning the super bowl. There is no turning back now.

  20. bigbluecrew420 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:22 PM

    So I should drop Alex Smith???

  21. holahey123 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:26 PM

    As a 49ers fan, I saw this coming. Harbaugh and his staff know Alex Smith performance had hit his ceiling. Smith is a above average QB because of Harbaugh and the offensive system built around him. For the non-believers of this theory and for the ones thinking Alex Smith is still improving, he is not. Kaepernick has a better pocket presence, can make more accurate throws, has a stronger arm, is more athletic and a better scrambler. The 49ers traded up to select Kaepernick in the second round, we should have known Alex Smith could be disposable. I know it’s just one game, but I like what I see so far from Kaep and I think he will improve.

  22. chattanola says: Nov 23, 2012 12:32 PM

    Jim Harbaugh, an outstanding coach, would be more than happy to misdirect the Saints’ game planning and preparation this week.

    Coaches usually keep things close to the vest in the interest of holding an edge over the opponent so the confusion around who’s starting is to his advantage. Wouldn’t surprise me if he asked Whitner to do some name dropping on the show.

  23. oldcat157 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:36 PM

    Drop Alex? Why was he on your team to begin with……

  24. electstat says: Nov 23, 2012 12:39 PM

    Carr had a good game once too.

  25. djjackson81 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:40 PM

    Hopefully SF make Smith available this off season cause the Cardinals could use him.

  26. warikahill says: Nov 23, 2012 12:52 PM

    im niners fan for life and i think kap give us the best chance to win, but im not proud of my niners this week the lying ,the backstabbing, the deceitfulness. i hope they win this week but i wont be watching the game.i cant cheer on them this week.

  27. jm91rs says: Nov 23, 2012 12:53 PM

    Kaepernick will start and they’ll say it’s because Smith is still hurt. When he struggles Harbaugh will come out and say “we never really wanted anyone but Alex Smith here anyway”. It’s the Peyton Manning thing all over again.

  28. blackfootkiller says: Nov 23, 2012 12:55 PM

    I hope that Harbaugh does this…
    Nothing would be better than to watch the 9’ers spiral into flames when he decides to switch to ‘basically’ a rookie QB 2/3rd’s of the way through the season…
    The 9er’s haven’t been the ‘world beaters’ that everyone had predicted this season…
    Teams get a few game tapes on this kid, and the shine will dull pretty quickly…
    C’mon Jimmy…Show us all how ‘smart’ you are!

  29. kane337 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:57 PM

    New Orleans gonna make that kid look like a scared rook.

  30. direwolf748 says: Nov 23, 2012 1:02 PM

    lol at these people who think he is a rookie.

  31. sonoco says: Nov 23, 2012 1:07 PM

    Harbaugh definitely opened himself up for criticism, but he and his staff resurrected Alex Smith’s career to a point many thought impossible and concurrently progressed Kaepernick from a college pistol QB to a promising NFL QB in about 15 months. They’ve seen them both operate daily in practice. I think they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt at this point.

  32. jikkle49 says: Nov 23, 2012 1:11 PM

    Just like how New Orleans made RGIII look terrified in his first NFL start………..

  33. buffbill99 says: Nov 23, 2012 1:23 PM

    Here comes the turnovers.

  34. wizahdry says: Nov 23, 2012 1:29 PM

    I think its a mistake. Old saying is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Why permanently change to a first year starter mid-season. Niners have done very well with Smith since last year.

    That Niner defense is the type that can win the team a super bowl if the QB doesn’t put them in bad situations. With a first year QB MISTAKES ARE GOING TO HAPPEN. It’s inevitable, happens to them all. Why mess with a successful situation with Smith if it’s not needed?

    If the team truly feels Kaepernick is the future that is fine. Make him the starter at the beginning of next year or even the off season and let the kid have an entire offseason, preseason and reg season to grow into the role. This is asking for problems putting the kid in the middle of a playoff run based on one start. You have a capable, proven veteran that won’t do anything to cost you a title. That’s how the Ravens did it and there is no reason the Niners couldn’t do the same.

  35. thesportgenius says: Nov 23, 2012 1:32 PM

    Kap is the new Bledsoe…

  36. thesportgenius says: Nov 23, 2012 1:40 PM

    meant Smith…

  37. sixjak says: Nov 23, 2012 1:49 PM

    Yes exactly jikkle49. NO had zero answers for RG3. I think NO will struggle against CK7. Ppl think SF just drafted him this year. He’s not a rookie. He’s 1.5 years into the system. He knows it very well. Now it’s just a matter of developing real time muscle memory which only comes from playing. Over 10,000 yds passing and over 4000 yds rushing during his college career ppl. The only player to ever do that.
    I’m sure the dome will be loud and it will be a daunting task in that regard but in the end, football is football.

  38. ajpnsf says: Nov 23, 2012 1:50 PM

    I want the Niners to be the juggernaut they are capable of being. Clearly, that is not going to happen with Alex Smith. I like the guy. A lot. But he’s only so so. We have all watched him overthrow too many long passes to count. Get him in the hole over 10 points and the game is over.

    I would rather risk it on Kaepernick and lose in a massive explosion than go down like a wimpering dog with Smith.

  39. Nevis says: Nov 23, 2012 2:30 PM

    lawyermalloy says:
    Nov 23, 2012 12:11 PM
    I think we’re witnessing Jim Harbaugh “over coaching” in trying to fix something that isn’t broken. While I hope it works out for him, this has disaster written all over it!

    ————————

    I think you greatly underestimate Harbaugh and his coaching staff. He doesn’t make rash decisions, he just makes decisions that not everyone agrees with.

    No reason to doubt Harbaugh until he gives people a reason to — every QB he touches turns to gold.

  40. contraisloosebuthole says: Nov 23, 2012 2:31 PM

    kane337 says: Nov 23, 2012 12:57 PM

    New Orleans gonna make that kid look like a scared rook.
    ______________________________
    New Orleans defense does not scare anyone so you need a reality check. Second I have a bad feeling about this. He had one game. We will see if this kid is the real deal or not though I guess.

  41. steelchampions says: Nov 23, 2012 3:04 PM

    i can’t see why Alex smith is suddenly considered to be out as the starter. if he’s not healthy enough; ok. but he’s been playing great this season and should be the guy. Colin K. did his job as the back up and did it well, but unless Smith’s performance dictates it he should continue being the back up.

  42. shlort says: Nov 23, 2012 3:24 PM

    LOL@ all you fans thinking benching the starting quarterback of a winning team is a great idea.

    Sure, #7 played and was the winning qb the other night, but if anyone thinks for a second that the ‘9ers D wasnt responssible for that win, they are nuts.

    Smith has been pretty good since Harbaugh got the coaching gig in San Fran. He has decent stats and has played well.

    If we all used the logic posted here, the Packers would have traded Rodgers after Matt Flynn scorched the Lions in the season Finale last season.

    Alex Smith has the 49ers where they are. Sitting him in favor of an unproven player would be like what we see some college teams do these days.

  43. db105 says: Nov 23, 2012 4:26 PM

    Nice to have Donte Whitner tip off the Saints as to who is starting.

  44. cuda1234 says: Nov 23, 2012 7:40 PM

    How is this logical? Wasn’t Alex Smith almost perfect in his last full game? Doesn’t that count?

    The “logic” surrounding this kid is almost as illogical as the “logic” applied to Tim Tebow.

  45. jibberator says: Nov 23, 2012 10:33 PM

    Smith had been doing great the past 2 starts…until he got the concussion that is. The fact of the matter is that Colin was completing passes that Smith would not even attempt because his throwing skills aren’t that accurate. He got vernon the ball when under heavy coverage, something smith hasnt done all season.

  46. dgbi says: Nov 24, 2012 2:41 AM

    Remember Kap is the same kid to come in and fumble in the Jets game. Same kid who came in after Alex hit Moss on a 50yd + completion in the Giants game and looked horrible while losing 11yds. He also missed a wide open Davis on the deep route that he supposedly is fantastic at. Lap played well against the Bears, but Alex was better on Monday night against the Cardinals on the road. Alex is far better than most people will acknowledge.

  47. hackphx says: Nov 24, 2012 10:13 AM

    Harbaugh figures 49 ers need30+ points vs NO not a Smith specialty. This could be a week to week custom fit, or it could be both are used. Harbaugh attacks conventional qb thinking &he’s a qb. Competition at every position at all times. No stop for rest.

  48. aces79 says: Nov 25, 2012 1:53 PM

    Alex Smith sucks get rid of him been here for 8 years and done nothing cant win big games give Kap some playing time for experience and will prove that he is better then Smith

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