Jim Harbaugh announced today he is sticking with Kaepernick as the starter in Sunday’s game against Miami. And he should. What kind of message would it send to the team and its fans to start Smith after one lousy game? It would be a huge mistake. Alex Smith is a great quarterback who has had something unfortunate happen to him. He is handling it well, despite the fact that “it sucks”. Quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Tony Romo got their chance to start and keep the starting position because a starting quarterback got injured.
Many critics feel that a starting quarterback should not lose their job due to injury. If you get injured, you recover and return to your job. But what if the back-up quarterback is winning? And doing so explosively? How is it fair to a back-up that was given a chance and is performing well to have to take a backseat again? It is a tough situation for a team and both quarterbacks to be in.
Aside from yesterday’s debacle in St. Louis, Colin Kaepernick is making a name for himself in San Francisco. Yesterday’s mistakes were due to inexperience and have happened to every quarterback in the game. In all honesty, putting Alex Smith in yesterday’s game most likely wouldn’t have made a difference; after all, he was the man behind the center in the tie against St. Louis just three weeks ago.
Everyone can understand Smith’s frustration, but fair or not, the NFL is a business and the coaches and general managers are going to do what they need to do for their team to keep an eye on the big prize, the Lombardi trophy. For the immediate future, Kaepernick seems to be the “hot hand” that Harbaugh feels can win the games and keep the 49ers on the road to New Orleans in Februrary.