According to ESPN, Alex Smith himself was the source of the news that Colin Kaepernick will get reps with the first team leading up to the New Orleans Saints game and therefore Smith himself was the source of the reasonable inference that Colin Kaepernick will get that start, his second in a row. Which makes me wonder. Jim Harbaugh never divulges team secrets to the media. If Smith was the source, he sure divulged. How will this make Harbaugh feel? Does this indicate that, despite maintaining a smiley face, Smith is getting alienated. Stay tuned to As the Quarterbacks Turn. To read an ESPN article about Smith divulging, click here.

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  1. Jumbo Shrimp

    I think Alex was hurt. It’s the day before thanksgiving so the timing is ironic, could be called cruel. Screw Harbaugh. He’s ruthless, he made the right decision, and it’s good for the team… but he’s less than human when it comes to EQ. I had a boss like that. Off-the-charts good at his job, but a total failure at treating people the right way. If his players start to think he is using and abusing them, his mystique might be tarnished for good. On the other hand, if they perceive this as a necessary move because everybody knew Alex couldn’t do it, then this might just build the legend to an all-new zenith.

    Who knows? What a day!!!

    November 21st, 2012 10:58 pm

  2. Mark M

    Smith sounds WAY TOO ACCOMMODATING for getting demoted after winning all these games. Could it be he understands the team wins despite him too many times? Or is he just always going to be this timid, even when it comes to losing his job? This type of meek attitude has always reflected in his play.

    November 21st, 2012 11:12 pm

  3. htwaits

    If Alex Smith initially divulged anything it was probably to his Mother. His comments to Dilfer were most likely what actually took place before today’s practice. I doubt very much that Trotter’s scoop came from any original source. The part about the change of starters having nothing to do with the status of Smith’s concussion sounds like Trotter’s embellishment to me.

    November 22nd, 2012 12:09 am

  4. htwaits

    Being designated the probable starter, for this week’s game, is not the same as being crowned as the new franchise quarterback, especially since the 49ers haven’t had such a quarterback since Steve Young had his brain damaged for the last time.

    Of course that doesn’t stop Trotter from smirking that the switch is permanent and he got the scoop. It’s a little premature.

    November 22nd, 2012 12:17 am

  5. htwaits

    As for Harbaugh, is it possible that Alex called his boss and ask if he could give Dilfer the correct information? Does that sound like a Smith kind of thing?

    November 22nd, 2012 12:19 am

  6. RYD

    First Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mrs Cohn Zohn and family

    The Bay Area sports media should be thankful to the Niners for giving them such a great story. A QB controversy is far more interesting than who will the Giants resign. This one is nowhere near Young v Montana but still quite fun to follow.

    Keep up the great work your blog is a very enjoyable read

    November 22nd, 2012 7:18 am

  7. Dennis

    Just because Kaepernick get’s most of the reps doesn’t mean he starts. Last week Smith got most of the reps and Kaepernick started. My guess is that Kaepernick will start in NO, but I wouldn’t give him the starters job just yet. At least not until I hear it from Harbaugh.

    Now, some advice. If you want to get rid of Smith, and it sure seams like you do, you should be singing his praises to the heavens. Don’t think for one minute Harbaugh would ever do what you suggest. If it seems like you like Smith Harbaugh will most certainly go with Kaepernick.

    November 22nd, 2012 8:26 am

  8. CohnZohn

    Dennis, Do you think I have that much influence over Harbaugh? You flatter me. Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 22nd, 2012 8:40 am

  9. Neal

    He is usually very tight, does not say much, anyway AS is a good guy, but just a average QB, misleading stats. Time for a change.

    November 22nd, 2012 8:51 am

  10. Stan

    Now your confusing me..Grant said that SI broke the story. You say he told ESPN.
    Which is it?

    November 22nd, 2012 9:25 am

  11. CohnZohn

    Stan, it was both.

    November 22nd, 2012 9:46 am

  12. htwaits

    Stan and Lowell,

    It’s not clear to say it was both unless you add that Trotter’s tweet implied that Kaepernick had replaced Smith as the 49er quarterback and was the first. Then Dilfer contacted Smith to get his comments. Smith told Dilfer that Kaepernick would be getting the first team snaps this week.

    The sequence is relevant, but it seems Lowell is using his filter on this story.

    November 22nd, 2012 10:31 am

  13. htwaits

    So far we don’t know that Alex Smith talked to anyone but Dilfer, and we don’t know that Alex did that without Harbaugh’s permission. Mostly we don’t know.

    November 22nd, 2012 10:34 am

  14. Dennis

    Lowell, let’s find out if you do. Start writing about how great Smith is and lets see what happens.

    November 22nd, 2012 10:52 am

  15. Dennis

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving! I give thanks for you and your incredible gift of writing and keeping it always interesting. You make my life richer by having this blog. I do enjoy it so thank you.

    November 22nd, 2012 10:57 am

  16. htwaits

    Is this a more rational report?


    November 22nd, 2012 11:15 am

  17. lameduck

    Funny! Last Thanksgiving it was Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh and the 9ers were crushed.

    Smith is hurt. He had a potential life altering injury. Potential brain damage. And, he came back to play.

    What I like about Smith is that he get’s knocked down and keeps getting back up. He’ll be back somewhere sometime and he will do well.

    He doesn’t turn the ball over which is especially important when playing a high powered offense. I’ll take the short dump and a great punt over an interception any day. Andy Lee is a weapon.

    If it’s CK’s time while Smth mends, that is great. Let Alex enjoy Thanksgiving and get better if anyone can from a concussion. I believe he’s had them before so it won’t get any better for him as get’s older. Let CK play, take some hits, gain some experience.

    Let’s hope Seattle loses and the 9ers win so a real decision isn’t forced. A healthy CK is probably better than a dinged up Smith. Let Smith get back to 100% and we’ll see where we are.

    November 22nd, 2012 11:50 am

  18. lameduck

    Happy Thanksgiving! I’m waiting to head over to the In-Laws for a huge ado. I’ll be watching the football game. Although having a glass of wine before visiting would be tradition, it still seems a bit early. For some reason I’m thinking Bloody Mary’s… And I’ve just been reminded that we have to leave to get there early becuase we are bringing appetizers.

    I’m still amazed at the Forsett play.

    November 22nd, 2012 11:54 am

  19. DB

    Last year Harbaugh released Braylon Edwards for talking to the press. Let’s see if he’s consistent and releases his back-up quarterback.

    Any bets? Anybody believe in Kaepernick enough to put the season on him?

    November 22nd, 2012 12:05 pm

  20. htwaits


    You may have forgotten that Braylon Edwards couldn’t play. Seattle tried him too, with the same result. He couldn’t play.

    November 22nd, 2012 2:00 pm

  21. mbabco

    Hubbub is a great word. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives this as its possible origins: “Perh. f. Ir.: cf. Ir. ababú! used in battle cries, Gael. ub! ub! ubub! expr. aversion or contempt, ubh ubh! expr. disgust or amazement.”

    The Arcade Dictionary of Word Origins, by John Ayto, has the following: Hubbub is an irish contribution to English. It comes from Irish Gaelic hooboobbes, which appears to be related to the Old Irish battle-cry abú. This was a derivative of buide ‘victory (a relative of which across the Irish sea formed the basis of the name Boudicca or Boadicea, the Ancient Briton’s version of Victoria). English acquired the word (and the now disused longer form hubbuboo) in the mid 16th century, and originally used it for the “war-cry of a savage tribe’; the modern sense ‘noisy turmoil’ developed in the 17th century.

    November 22nd, 2012 2:28 pm

  22. Dr. Feelgood

    The next game is huge.

    What happens if Colin puts up a “Stinker” vs the Saints?
    So say they stick with him at 7-3&1, with two brutal road games at NE and Seattle.
    They could easily be 10-5&1. 2.5 games worse than last year.
    Another road game at St.L, where the going is always difficult, and a misstep or bad break puts them at 9-6&1.
    In this scenario, assuming they stick with Colin throughout, one would have to surmise that the team is “breaking Colin in”, getting him fully groomed and ready for the real Super Bowl chase, NEXT YEAR.
    I hope I’m wrong on this and Colin becomes “Joe Montana”- to Alex Smiths “Steve DeBerg”

    Big difference is that Alex plays QB like DeBerg could only dream about. Alex does not lose games. He is ultra-careful- maddeningly so to fans dreaming of Manning and Brady, but his record speaks for itself, 19-5&1 as starter in the Harbaugh era. He gives the ball away with almost the frequency of “free money day” at banks.

    Colin has started a grand total of one game. Not a very definitive sample size. To reach the promised land he will need to play at Bears-game performance level through the remainder of the schedule. If he can handle the Saints in NO, then the Pats in Foxboro, he surely belongs.

    It’s obvious JH knows exactly what he’s doing, so either 1.) Colin is truly ready to go and is quantitatively better that Alex, 2.) JH does not believe in Alex to take them to the next level and figures he can’t do any worse with Colin, or, 3.) Alex’s concussion issue is greater than reported.

    What happens in NO will speak volumes about the post-season chances of success for the team.

    November 22nd, 2012 11:15 pm

  23. mark decker

    Lowell…YES…and he also gave jim trotter the story a month ago( after the giants game) about how the coaching staff is losing confidence in him(local media spun the article to imply alex losing confidence in himself) but that was not the story…..they were desperate to move the ball/score in the redzone and so roman and chryst kept sending kaep in there…hence harbaugh after saying”the plan” was not great…..he wasnt saying the game plan…he was implying the coaching staff that kept sending kaep in….anyway….surely alex ( trotter from san diego) gave trotter that story and surely he called trotter here or responded to a text from trotter…its alex’s way…..

    November 23rd, 2012 10:16 am

  24. mbabco

    Friday, still no definitive word on the starter from the only people who count (hint: 49er coaches). I think it’s more likely that Harbaugh is behind the whole brouhaha (another great word). I loved Peter King’s take today:

    “Colin Kaepernick the heir. Tough place to make a second career start — the Superdome, with a nutty crowd making him go silent snap count much of the time on offense. But Jim Harbaugh has a quarterback itch he needs to scratch. And Alex Smith gets the shaft. That’s life in Jim Harbaugh’s NFL.”

    November 23rd, 2012 11:03 am

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