Jim Harbaugh said in his press conference something he wanted to say for a while, “Finally I can put my guy in.” He said he’s going with the hot hand, but what ever happened to the guy who got his head knocked?
Alex Smith has only gone a year and a half of quarterbacking one of the most successful teams in the NFL. Let’s start with Colin Kaepernick - he had a very good night against a Chicago Bear team that wasn’t into it, and quite frankly isn’t that good to begin with let alone, without Jay Cutler.
So to completely disregard his injured starter, who was 6-2 when he went down was a true indicator that Smith’s days are numbered in San Francisco. However, if Harbaugh could have kept the stiffy in his pants long enough, maybe he could have had a better situation than a controversy.
"Thought Colin did an outstanding job," Harbaugh said during his post game news conference. "Thought he did a great job. Poise in the pocket, throwing with accuracy, did a nice job running the game plan. Everything he did was just exemplary."
Then Harbaugh was asked if Kaepernick was the starting quarterback?
"We'll see," Harbaugh said. "Usually tend to go with the guy who's got the hot hand, and we've got two quarterbacks that have got a hot hand."
Why say “going with the hot hand?” Smith is injured and not cleared for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints; Kaepernick is going to have to keep up with a real offense, and a defense that likes to blitz.
If Kaepernick struggles, then you can turn to your starter the following week, knowing you have a good backup quarterback, but there is this guy named Smith who has run your ship. Doesn’t he even get a week of respect?
Harbaugh also sent the message that Smith isn’t really a good quarterback, he’s pulling the strings and Smith is just a mirage. He also turned Smith’s value into virtually nothing by jumping on the Kaepernick ship, a 2nd or 3rd round pick to some quarterback needy team in the offseason.
Teams now know Smith will be available; he makes too much money to be a backup. So in the heat of the moment, a situation that could have been easily avoided, now is one that is unavoidable.