Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/8/12

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 14: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers throws the ball against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at Candlestick Park on December 14, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Though he has been benched and was considered a bust in the past, the San Francisco 49ers are confident that Alex Smith is their guy at quarterback.

“We’re all in lockstep as an organization that Alex Smith is our guy. It’s well-documented. You saw the way he played this year,” coach Jim Harbaugh said on Comcast Bay Area Tuesday. “(He is a) tremendous leader on our football team.”

“There’s Alex and there are other guys, too, that are high priorities. We want our guys. There are guys who play like 49ers, and what they do is they play their hearts out for our team. So Alex and others, (it’s) going to be a high-priority to get those guys signed.”

Harbaugh has backed Alex Smith since the moment he was hired by the 49ers. Even before the quarterback was signed to a new contract Harbaugh was telling him he would be the team’s signal caller. In November, Harbaugh called him elite. A month later, he said the former No. 1 overall pick was the team’s long-term answer. Many people believe the confidence Harbaugh has shown in Smith led to the young quarterback’s career year.

I give Smith credit for playing well (and playing extremely well against the Saints in the playoffs), but I believe he overachieved and was supported by a stellar defense. If either one drops off, the 49ers won’t look as good.

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