Much like everyone who enjoys exciting football, former 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith said he’s getting a kick out of watching replacement Colin Kaepernick right now.
“Absolutely, yes,” Smith said of enjoying the Super Bowl run, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “Very much so.”
Of course, that’s not without subtext, as Smith would clearly prefer to be the one playing.
But he said he’s been impressed with the maturity Kaepernick has shown since taking over his old job.
“I think the thing I’ve been impressed with most is, not so much the play-making. I knew that and the guys around here knew that,” Smith said. “I think it’s the lack of young mistakes that’s really jumped out at me.
“Most young guys who come in, yeah, they show flashes and they can play good at times. But they also seem to have those young moments as well, rookie moments, and bone-headed things. He hasn’t done it. Period. He’s played good ball. He’s played patient and smart, playing good football.”
He’s played better than good, which is the reason he replaced Smith. With 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions since taking over, Kaepernick hasn’t had the new-player regression some expected. And while it has to be a bittersweet run for Smith, the 49ers needed to evolve beyond good if they were going to make this push, and Kaepernick has.