Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/21/12
Although Emmitt Smith was eliminated from the weekly television competition on Tuesday night, 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh is making sure the National Football League is still taking part in "Dancing with the Stars." Under the glare of local and national media attention at the team headquarters Wednesday, Harbaugh displayed a nifty 49ers Quick Step as he danced around the subject of the day -- the quarterback controversy involving Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick -- which he dismissed with a flourish by declaring, "We don't have a quarterback controversy." Harbaugh insists that is the name of the tune to which his team will dance, despite the fact he will not name which quarterback will start this Sunday in New Orleans. This issue became Topic A news, apparently not to be confused with controversy, when Kaepernick, the second-year quarterback from Nevada-Reno, started against the Chicago Bears Monday Night while the eighth-year veteran Smith sat out because of a concussion. Kaepernick played great in his first start and the 49ers demolished what was considered a very good Bears defense, 32-7. Kaepernick's arsenal included several completions that were thrown farther than Smith might attempt with any regularity. Smith returned to limited practice last Thursday but was unable to play in the game because he did not pass the prerequisite impact test. Apparently he has not yet taken, or passed, the test still. He is cleared to take part in non-contact practice sessions, but doesn't have the green light to play in a game. "I think it's a matter of time before he is," Harbaugh said. "He's going to practice again today. … Pretty confident that it'll play out and he's going to be cleared, and that's talking to the doctors and talking to Alex. But I can't definitively say." So even if Harbaugh does have a preference, the lack of medical clearance for Smith affords the coach the opportunity not to take part in the widespread discussions concerning Smith vs. Kaepernick. "I know everybody took the opportunity after the big win the other night to talk non-stop about the quarterback situation and very little about the great victory, both offensively and defensively, special teams," Harbaugh said in a single breath. "And the way we view it right now is we have two quarterbacks who we are confident in and who work for us and we believe in. "To me, it's the opposite of a controversy, where controversy is argument between opposing points of view. This is a decision that will be made from a team aspect, coming from the same direction." That seems to be a good direction, based on the performance of both players. Before the concussion, Smith completed 25 of his last 27 passes for 304 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Overall, Smith is having one of his best seasons. He is third in the league with a 104.1 passer rating, first in the league with a 70 percent completions percentage and his 7.98 yards per throw is third in the NFL. So is it possible that Kaepernick can overtake that in only one game, albeit an impressive prime time show in which he completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns? The fact that Harbaugh will not, or cannot, announce Sunday's starter only feeds the, ah, frenzy, not to be confused with controversy. "This is not one of those situations where you have the aging starting quarterback and everybody is clamoring for the young, backup quarterback," Harbaugh said. "Or the struggling guy and they want the next guy. Or the young guy is in there struggling, and people are clamoring for the popular backup. We have two really good guys." Running back Frank Gore echoed what every player said: "It's up to the coaches." Smith and Kaepernick have gotten along and they help each other with the game plan every week, or at least they have so far. Although Smith certainly wants to retain his job, he will not say anything negative about Kaepernick. . "In my opinion, if you can't be happy for your teammate's success, you're playing the wrong sport -- go play tennis or golf or something," Smith said. "That's ridiculous, I think. That doesn't belong in team sports, in my opinion." This quarterback situation isn't totally new to a franchise that once had future Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Steve Young on the same depth chart at the same time. However, neither of these quarterbacks has attained star status yet, so Harbaugh is able to say things that never could have been considered for Montana and Young. Such as using both quarterbacks interchangeably, swapping places game to game, series to series. If George Seifert ever tried that with Montana and Young there might have been a mugging somewhere between the huddle and the sideline. "I think it's a unique situation, yeah, to have two really good players," Harbaugh said. "Could we? Yes, we could." Harbaugh certainly has that luxury at this point because the 49ers are 7-2-1 and have the second seed in the NFC playoffs. "We'll let it play out," Harbaugh said about his quarterback situation. "I wouldn't expect an announcement today or any timeline on that. We'll get that to you."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Enes Kanter wants to become American citizen

Report: O.J. Simpson's parole hearing set for July

Baseball may soon enter an era of two-way players

Kyrie Irving: Cavs were served ‘slice of humble pie’

Report: NFL teams question Darrelle Revis’ commitment to the game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zaza Pachulia partially blames Gregg Popovich for his family receiving death threats

Sens coach Guy Boucher: We know Pens 'are the better team'

IndyCar drivers Dixon, Franchitti robbed at gunpoint in Taco Bell drive-thru

Fans in new Raiders Vegas stadium will be able to place bets on mobile devices?

Luke Walton not stressing LaVar Ball, cites his dad's 'big personality'

Ex-motorcycle champion Nicky Hayden dies after collision in Italy

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA power players continue to speak against Trump

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker