Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/22/12
49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday that no decision has been made regarding the team's starting quarterback for Sunday's game at the New Orleans Saints. "We're hopeful that Alex (Smith) gets cleared tomorrow, physically," said Roman, responding to conflicting media reports. "We're confident in both quarterbacks to be on the field. "We're always going to make way all the information as we have it and make the best decision for the team at the time. But we have ultimate confidence in either." A 49ers quarterback controversy began after backup Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 32-7 victory over the Chicago Bears on Monday night. He was filling in for Alex Smith, who suffered concussion a week earlier. Following the game, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was asked who would be his starter against the Saints and he replied that he would go with "the hot hand." Since then, Kaepernick has been taking the first-team snaps in practice and Roman said Smith has yet to be cleared for contact by neurologists. SI.com reported that Kaepernick had been told he would start while ESPN.com refuted that report. "(Smith) has been practicing," Roman said. "He's not cleared for contact, but yeah he's been practicing, looking sharp. "Both quarterbacks are looking sharp. There's maybe a couple plays today we'd like to have an extra couple reps at, but coach (Harbaugh) wanted to get everybody back home for Thanksgiving." So far Harbaugh has been praised and criticized by fans and media for starting the controversy and thinking about benching Smith, even if he is cleared to play. Smith was in the middle of perhaps his best season, No. 3 in the league with a 104.1 passer rating, No. 1 with 70 percent completion percentage. He is in the midst of a $24 million contract over three years. And Kaepernick, who is in his second year with the 49ers since being drafted from Nevada, is still getting attention for his 16-of-23 performance for 243 yards and two touchdowns against the Bears. Whether it's Smith or Kaepernick, Roman isn't taking the Saints for granted -- even if it is a team the 49ers beat in the NFC Divisional Playoffs last January. "When you look at the Saints defense, as multiple as they are, it's very important that we get the proper attention paid to their personnel, their schemes, everything throughout the week," Roman said. "Very multiple as we know, (Saints defensive coordinator) Steve Spagnuolo, who was most recently with the Rams, has a very multiple system on defense. "There's a lot of unique blitzes, different looks you see. It's not a cookie-cutter defense by any margin.”
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