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Alex Smith’s impressed with Kaepernick’s maturity

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

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.

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31 Responses to “Alex Smith’s impressed with Kaepernick’s maturity”
  1. johnnyjagfan says: Jan 24, 2013 9:56 AM

    Alex Smith will receive a reward for his behavior during this season. I don’t what it’ll be or if it’ll even be football related, but what a teammate this guys is.

  2. rhone16 says: Jan 24, 2013 10:02 AM

    Through all the adversity Alex Smith has endured in SF, he has always handled himself with class. Kaepernick is the man now, but I hope Smith gets a legit chance elsewhere with a coach that can use him well like Harbaugh did.

  3. nflovercollegefb says: Jan 24, 2013 10:11 AM

    I hope Alex Smith lands in a good situation next year, he’s been a real “Pro” and good teammate his entire career.

  4. mtntrouter says: Jan 24, 2013 10:12 AM

    I don’t know that I’m buying what Smith is selling. I watched the 49ers-Falcons game, and at one point after a 49er score, the camera zoomed in and showed Smith sulking all alone on the bench while the rest of the team celebrated. Given his performance this season before being benched, and Harbaugh’s flirtation with Manning- I do give him all of the credit in the world for not turning into a cancer in the locker room. That being said, I think Smith knows he won’t be with the 49ers next season so he is going the politically correct route and projecting himself as a good teammate. Deep down inside though, he can’t be the least bit happy about how this whole thing transpired. Smith deserved better. Here’s hoping he at least sees some meaningful snaps in the SB as he’s earned that and more.

  5. xxwhodatxx says: Jan 24, 2013 10:15 AM

    I think him sitting a year and really learning the offense has a lot to do with his success now.

  6. 49erstim says: Jan 24, 2013 10:18 AM

    This guy is the consummate professional and teammate. You cannot say enough good things about Alex Smith. Most people (including me) would’ve blown a gasket in similar circumstances. Great job man.

  7. dkrauss93 says: Jan 24, 2013 10:21 AM

    I get that this is a business and you play to win the game, but I feel bad for Smith getting benched. He was playing well but Kaepernick deserved to play after the Bears game. I hope Smith gets a starting job somewhere next year because he deserves it.

  8. nikjmartinez says: Jan 24, 2013 10:30 AM

    Alex will go down as one of my favorite Niners, not necessarily because of his play, but because he is the epitome of class. He has been the ultimate teamate his 7 years in SF, here’s hoping he gets a 3-4 yr deal with 12-14 mil per/yr.

  9. brownspower says: Jan 24, 2013 10:36 AM

    Come to Cleveland Alex. We’ll give the 49ers a good backup QB (we’ve got two) and the #6 pick.

  10. nineroutsider says: Jan 24, 2013 10:42 AM

    Alex Smith played better than “good” the last 2 years, he was outstanding, especially this season. The problem is that Colin has been exceptional and he is only just beginning. Colin may be a top 3 QB next year and some may already consider him one. No one knows where his ceiling is but we know we haven’t seen it yet.

    He didn’t replace Smith because “Smith” is only “good”; he replaced him because he is even better. You pen this article like Smith was only adequate, which isn’t accurate. He was a top passer, made some big throws, and won some big games…on the road. Kap can do more though, much more, which means replacing Alex with Colin was more about Colin’s unlimited potential than it was about Smith’s satisfactory play.

    Nice job though, take Smith’s words, and use them to turn around and hit him over the head with them.

  11. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Jan 24, 2013 10:44 AM

    What? Nobody will pay alex more than he is getting now!
    i like smith and CK, i hope he stays put, he is an injury away from starting again, he has been a great guy about this, but you cant take him away, these reporters and fans. Of the reporters have bought in that thats the way this game should go, tear up a winning team and keep throwing theese good and great player to bad situations!
    leave the 49ers out of your talks of players and coaches that would think about going somewhere else, they havent even won the super bowl and people are tryin to get em jobs elsewhere.

  12. mmsierra says: Jan 24, 2013 10:52 AM

    I hope the 49ers will show as much class by releasing Alex next year
    Let Alex decide where he’s gonna play
    A cameo appearance in the Super Bowl would be really classy…. Just one or two plays

    Go Niners

  13. njraiderfan19 says: Jan 24, 2013 11:02 AM

    Alex, you can play for my team any day. You’ve been a class act through tons of adversity and showed your detractors that you can be a quality player as well as a quality human. I’d be happy to have you come to my team.

  14. shlort says: Jan 24, 2013 11:11 AM

    Alex Smith is getting himself ready to hit the market. He is Marketing his “good team mate” skills right now. He has already proven he can play QB.

    The Niners are going to eventually regret not having Alex in SF, but it is a “win now” league, and Harbaugh thought Kaepernick was their best short term option. Why a short term option? Because Kaepernick will, in all lieklyhood, miss games with injuries and have a realativley short career in the NFL playing in that style of offense. The guy is 6’3″ and 170 pounts. He will get broken eventually.

    I think the Ravens are going to beat up Kaepernick in the SB. Alex smith might get to play in that game. The Ravens hit hard and will be jacked up for this game. I wouldnt want to be the guy with the ball and QB pads on running around out there.

  15. smithopher says: Jan 24, 2013 11:18 AM

    I’ve been an Alex smith fan since he went to help that cause with the missing girl without prompting the media to cover it, just showed up like a normal human being to help out. He seems to me to be a class act and I’d love to have him on my team. Though my team has Sanchez now so I would take a lot if backups from other teams at the moment.

  16. goldrush36 says: Jan 24, 2013 11:22 AM

    Mtntrouter that was Akers not Smith. Atleast knoe who you are talking about before spouting off. And he was sulking because he shanked yet another kick

  17. beavertonsteve says: Jan 24, 2013 11:40 AM

    Alex Smith has finally found something he is better at than Joe Montana.

  18. CKL says: Jan 24, 2013 11:42 AM

    mtntrouter says: Jan 24, 2013 10:12 AM

    I don’t know that I’m buying what Smith is selling. I watched the 49ers-Falcons game, and at one point after a 49er score, the camera zoomed in and showed Smith sulking all alone on the bench while the rest of the team celebrated. Given his performance this season before being benched, and Harbaugh’s flirtation with Manning- I do give him all of the credit in the world for not turning into a cancer in the locker room. That being said, I think Smith knows he won’t be with the 49ers next season so he is going the politically correct route and projecting himself as a good teammate. Deep down inside though, he can’t be the least bit happy about how this whole thing transpired. Smith deserved better. Here’s hoping he at least sees some meaningful snaps in the SB as he’s earned that and more.
    ___________________________________
    Maybe he was thinking about not being the guy and was upset at that moment. Doesn’t mean he isn’t a good teammate. And I’d rather have a guy who would put his own feelings aside for a minute to make sure things were smooth for CK than chide him for possibly sulking one time on the sidelines. I heard him interviewed the other day and he said of course he wants to be in there but being where they are is special.

    As an aside, I heard this morning on one of the sports shows that when Harbaugh and Luck were together at Stanford, Harbaugh asked Luck if he saw anyone who stood out to him at the Manning passing academy. Luck gave him Kaepernick’s name. That’s how Harbaugh became aware of CK to begin with. Pretty cool.

  19. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Jan 24, 2013 11:47 AM

    Actually CKL, they (the GM and harbaugh and roman) found out thru the cali grapevine about him and ault from nevada, they actually got the system fisthand from the creator!

  20. steelerben says: Jan 24, 2013 11:53 AM

    He is looking at a probable ring and a good payday in free agency at the end of the season. Might as well enjoy watching Kaepernick out on the field.

    Let us not all forget that this situation has generated more goodwill for Smith since everyone feels sorry for him than his play ever did. Even at the beginning of the season everyone was talking about how Smith needed to be benched because while he rarely lost you a game he was never going to win you one.

  21. rabidbillsfan says: Jan 24, 2013 12:02 PM

    Alex Smith is a more talented version of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Mybe we can arrange a trade of sorts? Seriously though, Alex Smith has earned my respect. He didn’t just ride that ’9ers D to a Championship game last season, he put his team on his back in the NO game and pulled it out. Kap is the best thing for that team right now, but that doesn’t mean Alex can’t be the missing piece elsewhere. He deserves a shot, and I bet his presence alone in a locker room, ecspecially from what I have seen of him, will benefit almost any team. When he was playing, you could make the case he was a Top-10 QB this season. He’s also a little more subtle than his draft counterpart Rodgers. We get it, man, you were passed over by 21 teams and sat behind a legend for 3 seasons, but if you really need to find motivation in everything, what happens when your playing days are over? I’ll take Favre’s late Career Prima-Donna antics over Rodgers sour grapes any day of the week.

  22. codysmybrody says: Jan 24, 2013 12:10 PM

    @mtntrouter, You are probably the only one who saw anything like that. I think you actually made that up. That is ridiculous. Should Alex have a bit of bitterness? Of course. Wouldn’t we all? It’s human nature and you have to fight the natural instinct to root against your opponent which is what makes QB competitions so great. You get to see a guy rise above the personal feelings that he is the guy for the better of the team. Alex has done that and for you to fabricate something about him sulking while teammates were celebrating is not Niner! Alex didn’t choose to be drafted #1. He also didn’t choose to be thrown to the wolves on a BAD team. When it was time to re-up, he took a huge cut to stay so he could prove he wasn’t a bust. He was done that and then some. Don’t disrespect pretending to have seen something that didn’t happen. That’s weak sauce!

  23. tightend82 says: Jan 24, 2013 12:14 PM

    There is no denying how spectacular Kaepernick has been since taking over for the Concussed Smith…..that being said, and given that the 49′ers are heading to the Big Game, how about a word for how Alex Smith has handled all of this.
    By all of this, I must refer back to the number one draft choice, the number of Coaches, and Offensive Coordinators, and changing faces among the Team over time. This guy has handled himself in such a professional manner that it is hard to believe in this day and age of self serving athletes. I commend Alex Smith, and in the end, hope that the AZ. Cards do the right thing, and bring him over to address their serious QB issues. I know he would be a good fit, and that Larry Fitzgerald would be thrilled….hats off to Alex, and thanks for the effort and class that you have demonstrated over your time in San Francisco…..

  24. goldrush36 says: Jan 24, 2013 12:16 PM

    Where do you idiots come up with this crap. 6’3″ 170lbs? Yeah as a freshman in high school maybe. Kaepernick is 6’5″ and is about 230 lbs.

  25. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 24, 2013 12:23 PM

    Did Alex say that before or after the Inkstained Idiot decided that ridiculous “pose” was worth patenting? Give me a break.

  26. pleasefirecam says: Jan 24, 2013 12:33 PM

    Has everyone forgot how crappy Kaepernick looked against the Rams and Seahawks? This kid will be confused against a veteran savy defense like the Ravens. And if he does decide to take off running? Man, he’s not as fast as RGIII and we all know what happened to him.

  27. goldrush4949 says: Jan 24, 2013 12:42 PM

    As the biggest Alex Smith fan among the 49er Faithful, this run has been bittersweet.

  28. csilojohnson says: Jan 24, 2013 12:46 PM

    The niners better release him next year. CK has been exceptional, but to say he has not made rookie mistakes is not true. I can think of atleast one game if not two that were lost because of his rookie mistakes.

  29. noring4youstill says: Jan 24, 2013 1:21 PM

    Yeah like trademarking a phrase.

  30. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 24, 2013 8:22 PM

    Kaepernick “Special K” looks more mature than many veteran QBs. When he throws an INT, he moves on and gets over it quickly. No getting down or pouting.

    Also appears to compete like his coach with a lot of intensity.

  31. sixjak says: Jan 25, 2013 3:56 PM

    He’s from San Diego. He’s learned well how to stay classy.

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