Jim Harbaugh: Alex Smith coaches Colin Kaepernick more than I do


If Alex Smith feels any bitterness over losing his position as the 49ers’ starting quarterback to Colin Kaepernick, he’s not showing it.

In fact, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said today that Smith is the person who has done more than anyone to prepare Kaepernick to play, and that Smith still continues to practice every week as if he were going to play, even though his only playing time since losing his job to Kaepernick two months ago was a few garbage time snaps in Week 17.

“He’s prepared and been involved in the game planning, in preparations, he’s prepared himself as the starter each week,” Harbaugh said of Smith. “That’s what he’s done, that’s what we expect of him and that’s what he has delivered. Another person really to credit in Colin’s success because Alex has really helped coach Colin and has been right there by his side. Sitting there in meetings every single day. He coaches Colin now more than I do, and that speaks high of the kind of person and teammate that Alex Smith is.”

Through a difficult couple of months, Smith has shown himself to be a good teammate. Next season he’ll be a good teammate on some other team.

54 responses to “Jim Harbaugh: Alex Smith coaches Colin Kaepernick more than I do

  1. Alex is a class act and going to make a great QB for his next team. Sounds like a professional and great leader. Best of luck to him!

  2. Good for Alex. I’ve always been a fan of his, despite my distaste for the 9ers. He really got jobbed big time most of his career out there.

    At least he has some millions to soothe his ego.

  3. The 49ers are pretty much a laughable team across the board and they’ll still beat the Rats.

  4. Not many players have what it takes to coach but I have no doubt that if Alex chooses to go into coaching when his playing days are over he will do a damn fine Job. He has seen it all and persevered.. he has the intelligence to do it as well. Really have to wonder where this team would be right now if Camp Alex hadn’t happened.. all on his dime as an unsigned free agent no less. Can’t ever question his character or work ethic. If Kaep wasn’t a phenom in the making Alex would be retiring as the 49ers starting QB. Wish him the best

  5. I’ve always thought that Alex Smith would make a great coach. He’s and extremely cerebral kind of QB. In fact he personally lead the Offense in daily practices during the lockout and taught them Harbaugh’s offense to the rest of his team mates before he was allowed to sign.

    It’s just as a QB he’s not that instinctive and doesn’t just cut loose (with the exception of last year’s Saint’s playoff game where he had no choice). I’ve always imagined him taking a snap under center and seeing a white board of X’s and O’s like a coach draws it up. And when things break down and don’t go the way he expects it to go, he kind of freezes up. In his earlier years he’d make a stupid play like throw an interception but now he just dumps the ball off, throws it a way or takes a sack. The safe thing to do but he doesn’t make explosive plays.

    I’m not sure if he’s fiery enough to be a head coach but he’d make a good QB coach and Offensive Coordinator one day.

  6. I think Harbaugh realizes that Smith has sort of gotten hosed this year and is trying to do his best to talk Smith’s strength as a good teammate up.

    I’d like the Vikes to get Smith to push Ponder next year but they seem against giving him anything that resembles competition. Ah well.

    What would be kind of awesome in a way is if Kaepernick went down injured early and Smith led the team to victory. Nothing against Colin I just think it’d make for good TV.

  7. I do not like Jim, but he’s a great HC and his saying stuff like this makes me respect his coaching even more. He didn’t have to say this but his giving public credit to Smith like this is the kind of thing that makes players want to play for a coach.

  8. I loved Alex Smith, then hated him, then loved him again. If you want to see one of the greatest videos of all time, and it happens to be about Alex Smith, search “sportsfan”. It puts his entire career into perspective… nobody should have to go through what he went through.

  9. It’s amazing that the same voices mocking Alex Smith for the past few years are now all clambering for him to go to their teams.

  10. Alex Smith would be such a good fit for the Vikings. We dont have any deep threats, we have guys who work well in the short passing game which is great for alex, and his mobility would be huge. Unfortunately, we apparently are sticking with Christian Ponder. Yay.

  11. Great to see comments from fans of other teams showing Alex a little love. He got beat up pretty hard, especially by 9er fans, for many, many years. He will make some team happy and won’t turn out to be a Feeley/Kolb providing that he goes to a place that knows how to best utilize his skills.

    Any team that has a great defense and a horrible offense, could use Alex. Alex would be an instant improvement for the Jets or Cards for example. He is very efficient and those teams would benefit greatly from him running their offenses.

  12. Good or Alex, but he’s a little overpaid to be a QB coach. If I was KC, I’d be drafting a non-QB at #1 overall, then talking to SF about Smith and/or Seattle about Matt Flynn.

  13. Kansas City or Cleveland…. Good thing this guy has some coaching skills cause he may be doing that sooner than we all expected

  14. Didnt make explosive plays? Uhh, you mighta goofed there. He singlehandedly beat the saints, then had help to do it again for the game winner.
    he has the league drooling, i have no worries other than the team he goes to may not be good enough to get him here again!

  15. Hey Ben rapemoreberger your team didn’t even make the playoffs so if the niners are laughable and you think even less of the ravens what does that make the steelers?

  16. Would love to see the Niners get a big lead Sunday then put Alex in one last time as a Niner. I would sure stand up and cheer.

  17. Smith ” Colin be careful, if you get injured, I will out duel you and win the job back, just don’t get hurt or you will be screwed over and thrown under the bus by Harbaugh.”

  18. Kind’ve adding to what throw46 said above, if the 49ers win, I’m not sure there’s ever been a backup QB who’s had as much to do with a team winning it all.

  19. jh500 says:Jan 28, 2013 7:56 PM

    thats the least Smith could do after stealing millions from the 49ers and sucking for most of the time he was there.
    It’s not like he’s ever held out or begged for more $$$ or demanded a trade. If they didn’t want him they could have dumped him anytime they wanted. Don’t make it sound like he high-jacked the 49ers or tied up any of their major cap space. After seeing how he’s handled his career ups and downs (pretty much all downs really) and especially the mid-season QB change, they should be glad to have a guy with such character (and they are!).

  20. He may not be a manning or brady but hes worlds better than kolb, lindley, or skelton. Would love to see smith in az next year but trading smith in the same division would be a mistake for harbaugh. Could also see smith being succesfull in minnesota

  21. See the thing about this situation is that Alex Smith was playing out of his mind when he was benched. He wasnt playing bad by any stretch of the imagination. He had completed 25 out of his last 27 passes.

    To not only buy into his head coach’s team concept, but to help elevate the play of Colin Kaepernick is truly amazing. The 49ers are probably in the Superbowl because of it.

    Both of these teams in the Superbowl is good for the NFL. Fundamentally sound, physical teams who embrace the team concept. It’s not old school football. It’s True School football.

  22. Alex is a good trouper because he knows unlike media experts that he didnt lose his job due to injury. It was because the guy the 49ers traded up to get, and couldnt wait to get in games, showed every day in practice the things that Harbrough was looking for that Alex didnt have. Good luck in San Diego and thanks for a good 2011.

  23. I’ve never been a fan of Alex Smith the player, but I’ve always been a fan of him off the field. He is a good teammate with character and he’s a great leader. He will make a good coach someday.

  24. Smith has been classy his entire career. I hope his patience finally pays off and he gets a team around him that can compete. I myself believe he is more than a system QB, but he has to prove it his next chance he gets, but he has dont all things right and deserves that chance to be a starting QB for a team again.

  25. Alex actually took a paycut to stay on board. So enough with the stealing the millions nonsense.

  26. Sorry, but Kaepernick doesn’t check down and dump it off nearly enough for that to be the case. Not buying it Harbaugh

  27. “I don’t know Colin, I’d probably try and throw across my body as often as possible.”

  28. Remember people, this guy was considered on the level of Jamarcus Russell only a few years ago. Just because he looked good behind the best defense and best o-line in the nfl doesn’t mean he will look good on your team.

  29. As a niners fan, I will always root for Alex. No matter what team he goes to. I’m a football fan first. I will always root for my niners. But to see Alex suceed anywhere will be great. He’s the underdog of all underdogs. #phoenix

  30. Young folks take notice of Alex Smith and Jon Kitna, these are 2 of the most High character people we have in the sports community and lead by example and dignity which is really in short supply these days! Of coarse both are paid very well for what they do but they do not forget where they have come from. Great Job Gentlemen!

  31. If SF will pay him the guarantee they would be wise to keep him. His approach to this whole thing has been 1st class and letting him go may mess the team karma.

  32. Why would the niners let him go? Colin is still getting his rookie signing pay. Keep giving Smith 5 million to back up Colin till Colin’s pay increases (after all a running QB could be hurt on any play and you need a good back up). Then see if Smith will stay a back up for less for a few more years with the offer of a future QB coach job with a pathway to HC when Harbaugh either retires or falters.

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