Jim Harbaugh said he will announce his starting QB for the Rams game on Wednesday. Do you think he is handling this QB situation, controversy, whatever you want to call it, the right way?

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  1. Dan

    My impression from yesterday was that he had made a decision, but wanted to speak to the players first. If that is the case, it would seem to be the correct way to handle the situation.

    November 27th, 2012 9:07 am

  2. RZ

    I think there is no right way to handle it. Give Harbaugh a break.

    November 27th, 2012 9:10 am

  3. lameduck

    If his motivation is keep the team spirit then I’d say yes. He keeps stressing that both QB’s are team players. As long as he sticks to that purpose and having the team win, I can buy into his process.

    If uncertainty gives the team an advantage over its opponent, then by all means use it.

    If all the players can remain committed and united to the team then the 9ers will be stronger.

    If for some reason JH falters in his communication and loses the team trust/confidence then we’ll be looking at another Clint Longley/Staubach situation – OK maybe not that bad.

    November 27th, 2012 9:14 am

  4. ChaunceyMN

    I’m hopeful that behind the scenes, Harbaugh has spoken to them together, and if effect said “Nice job Kap while Alex was hurt, esp in the Saints game, where it was excellent to be able to give Alex an extra week to recover. Alex is our guy. Keep learning, keep working hard kid, be ready to go in …” Kap is signed another 2 seasons. You ride Alex at least through that. No down side to that. Where are we if we tick off Alex, he leaves in the spring, and then Kap gets hurt? If the scenario is any other than what I’ve described above, then no, he obviously wont have handled it right.

    November 27th, 2012 9:19 am

  5. Jason Ford

    Alex Smith is Delusional if he thinks he going to start again. I Believe in Coach’s Choice,If it wasnt for JH and staff there would be no alex smith.GO NINERS!!!! Welcome the NEW starting Quarterback Captainnnnnnnnnnn Kaepernick

    November 27th, 2012 9:34 am

  6. Stan

    Whats interesting is..this is HIS way of handling it best. He’s a different kind of guy. I think in his mind he’s being loyal to Smith..while his other half pulls to go with CK, IF he thinks CK gives him a better chance to win this week. Alex ..he knows what he can do.
    With the local media attempting to break down his world,Jim fights back.
    As long as he wins,he can do anything he wants..and he knows it.

    November 27th, 2012 9:39 am

  7. Alex

    As long as Kaepernick becomes the full, 100% starter moving forward, I think he will have handled it well.

    That being said, Alex Smith is still a human being, and an unknown percentage of the locker room ardently supports him. (Joe Staley comes to mind).

    Personally, I don’t know how he could handle it without seriously hurting someone’s feelings, or dividing the locker room in some way. The media is categorizing this as a win/win situation but it’s really win & lose no matter the choice.

    Pick Alex and it’s win in terms of locker room, and people’s feelings, but lose in terms of fielding the best team possible.

    Pick Colin and it’s win in terms of fielding the best team possible, but lose in that some people will be very upset, not just Alex Smith.

    And he has to make a choice.

    Personally, I would pick Colin. Attitudes come and go, players come and go, and if Colin is the elite QB we all want him to be, he’ll outlast anyone on this roster who thinks it’s a bad decision.

    November 27th, 2012 9:40 am

  8. SFFranciscan

    He has botched this situation badly–unless of course he gets to the Super Bowl this year. The irony is that he doesn’t even need to win it, but if Harbaugh and Kaepernick flame out early, especially if Kaepernick buckles under January pressure (a very different thing from playing at home against Jason Campbell in November), then the situation could get very ugly fast.

    Frank Gore, Justin Smith, Carlos Rodgers, David Aikers, even Randy Moss are all key players who need to win now. If a green QB falls flat under the playoff spotlight, so much for THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM. Harbaugh is a gambler, no question, but the pressure he has put Kaepernick under, given Smith’s performance against the Saints last year, is enormous. Too many people are assuming the kid is bullet proof. A bit premature, I’d argue. January games are all that really matter. Just ask Montana and Young….

    November 27th, 2012 9:41 am

  9. Dennis

    I think he is doing the right thing. In my view, Smith wasn’t cleared to play last week until late in the week. If Kaepernick wasn’t as good the previous week Smith would have started. But there was no need to start Smith and risk anything.

    I don’t think the offense was that great against the Saints. They put up 4 points less than the Saints offense playing against an inferior defense.

    I think they go with Smith this week and see how he does against the Rams. If Smiths throws up a bunch of 3 and outs like the last time I go to Kaepernick once and for all.

    Having said that, if Harbaugh goes with Kaepernick this week than I will change my opinion on how he handled the transition. I won’t be that impressed.

    November 27th, 2012 9:47 am

  10. Ben

    I don’t remember who said it on Chron Live last night, but it rang true: Harbaugh has taken a 2-day story and turned it into a 10 day+ story, and then he sits there and decries the media for harping on it. Clearly Kaepernick is the direction he’s taking… if he’d just had the tough conversation with Smith on day 1 and announced the new starter, it would’ve died down… for the time being.

    November 27th, 2012 10:07 am

  11. Alex Smith

    I’ve given all I have to the San Francisco 49ers organization and their fans. We’ve had our ups and downs. I’ve really been blessed to be a part of the 49ers for the past 8 years.

    I’ve had a great run and the 49ers brass has really built a winning organization. From the owners, to the GM and the coaching staff they have built a solid, winning formula. Harbaugh and Baalke drafted their style of QB when they traded up to select Kaepernick. I’ve done my job to get the 49ers where they need to be as Kap developed.

    This is now Kaepernick’s team and Harbaugh and Roman will get the best out of the kid as he grows. He has all the tools to be a star in the NFL. Don’t think for one second that he won’t lead the 49ers to the Superbowl. With that being said, “Good Luck to Kaepernick and our 49ers and I will be here helping him become the best.” – #11, Alex Smith

    November 27th, 2012 10:20 am

  12. Tommy CostaRica

    Barring an injury to Kap, Smith will never start again for the Niners. I’m Stannin’ here, but you might remember that I posted here at the season’s start that Harbaugh was going to replace Smith with Kap so fast it will make your head spin.
    It is the essence of Harbaugh to develop his own QB and one he’s drafted with the skills that he wants. It is a Bill Walsh mirror image. Steve DeBerg was good too. What they said about DeBerg is true for Smith also, they’re both just good enough to lose. Jason Ford is correct when he said that without Harbaugh there would be no Smith.

    Harbaugh knows he has a good backup in Smith; that is if Smith can behave and wear a headset, baseball cap and carry a clipboard instead of pouting on the sidelines with his helmet on like he refuses to sit. I’m sure Harbaugh doesn’t feel bad making the change and he’ll still let Smith caddy for him in the Pro Am.

    November 27th, 2012 10:42 am

  13. Jack Hammer

    Externally the process seems a bit herky jerky, but I think he is doing a good job internally.

    November 27th, 2012 10:50 am

  14. SFFranciscan

    The point is I don’t think players see this decision the way fans and sportswriters do. Brent Jones was quite good on the subject on KNBR yesterday: Harbaugh has insulted Smith, who is having a Pro Bowl year, and that insult will mean Alex is gone after this season. The fans who forget how well he played in the last two years, especially against New Orleans under the pressure of the playoffs, will always see only the Alex Smith who struggled with Nolan and Singletary (who of course made everything worse…). But it’s important to remember that the 31 other teams in the league passed on Kaerpernick in the draft just a year and a half ago, some of them twice. To assume now that he’s an elite talent on par with Rodgers, Brady, the Mannings, Brees, is a bit of a stretch. He may be, and if so, Harbaugh will look like a genius. But if he isn’t, even if he’s only good and not great, then things will get interesting and very awkward.

    Harbaugh and Kaerpernick have to win this year, with this team (imagine what Frank Gore and Justin Smith are thinking as they prepare for probably their last best shot at a title) or there will be major fallout and blame all around.

    Harbaugh clearly loves to gamble. And after watching the league for forty-five years, I can’t remember a bigger gamble towards the end of a season. So roll of the dice will be fascinating to watch.

    Bottom line: Alex Smith got the shaft and he won’t forget it. If he somehow finds his way to Arizona and Larry Fitzgerald–remember, he’s only three years younger than Kaepernick–that will be a grudge match worth watching for many years.

    November 27th, 2012 10:59 am

  15. Bob In Portland

    I’m more concerned with who’ll be used to replace Hunter. If I were designing the offense I’d like to see LaMichael James, especially in the second and third quarters, to screw with the minds of opposing D coordinators. And when the game is wrapped up put in Dixon and Jacobs to brutalize what’s left of the opposition.

    November 27th, 2012 11:04 am

  16. wilson

    What happens if you go with your “starter” Smith and he wins? Or when Colin loses his first one?

    I’ve always ascribed to the notion that if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterback. I find this pretty peculiar behavior for a Super Bowl contender at this point in the season.

    November 27th, 2012 11:30 am

  17. Dr. Feelgood

    The decision is already made, there is no doubt who is the starter.
    What other way can he handle it? He can just come right out and declare Colin the starter, damn the torpedoes, and Alex too.
    If in his mind, he see’s Colin as the superior vehicle to drive him to victory, shouldn’t he start him? Should he use Alex because we feel sorry for him (and like many others, I do, believe me. I wish nothing but the best for Alex, and who knows, he may start again this year).
    But ultimately, JH is judged by wins and losses, so he’ll use the players he thinks gives him the best chance to win. Other coaches may not do that; they are ultimately known as “losers”. Does Jed York feel remorse after a Niner win because certain players didn’t start? Is JH really going to start Alex if he feels Colin is The Guy?
    It’s kind of a raw deal for Alex, yes. But look at it this way. Who do you want the starter to be next year, Alex or Colin? Why?
    Colin was drafted to eventually take over as starter. JH thinks he’s ready. Why wait?
    In a town that booed Alex Smith unmercifully, he is now getting the love that he deserves. It’s a tribute to him that the fan base is so sensitive to his treatment. Whatever happens, Alex is going to land on his feet.
    JH senses the good vibe surrounding Alex and respects Alex and the fans and wants to move forward with the least amount of rocking the boat atop some heavy seas.

    November 27th, 2012 11:47 am

  18. Steve

    You can’t please everybody all the time… He’s the head coach, so whatever he does will be done, without any consideration for the media or the fans. Many a time I had to make decisions that worked for some of my staff and negatively affected others, had to discipline some while praising others. All of these actions took place behind closed doors after much consideration and deliberation with my boss and peers. That’s what is happening with Harbaugh and the coaching staff. They know who gives them the best chance to win and how any decision will impact the team, especially who will be affected the most. I trust Harbaugh. A more important issue is, now that Hunter and Williams are lost for the year, will James and Jenkins be activated and participate?

    November 27th, 2012 12:11 pm

  19. The Seth

    I think he’s handled it well, I also think he’s genuinely torn between who to start. If he starts Smith, then I think he’s giving him one to two games to see how he plays after seeing firsthand what will happen if he loses the starting spot. If he starts Kaep, then he’s thinking long term and moving onto the future.

    November 27th, 2012 12:43 pm

  20. Johnc

    Harbaugh’s announcing his starter Wednesday is a good move. He is being respectful to both Quarterbacks by ending the drama. Best players play..period. That goes for all other professional sports.

    November 27th, 2012 12:57 pm

  21. Tiburon Dave

    I think this coach is genuinely conflicted…he was a quarterback who got smacked around quite a bit by his head coach and fan base…that weighs heavily on him…

    He resurrected alex smith from the scrap heap…made him his caddy for heaven’s sakes…and now he’s faced with putting him on the scrap heap again…

    As Dennis says, the offense didn’t play great in New Orleans, but the added dimension of his mobility makes Colin a more dynamic choice…

    Much has been made of his rocket arm but we did pretty well around here with Montana, Young, Garcia, and none of them would ever be confused with Elway…

    The running back injury situation may dictate this decision anyway…Frank is too old…they don’t like Jacobs…they may go with Colin just cause he can run…

    There is no good way to handle this…

    November 27th, 2012 2:11 pm

  22. jason

    Ray Ratto said it best on last night’s Chronicle Live show….Harbaugh took a 3 day story and made it a 2 week story.

    Everyone knows Kapernick is now the starting QB so why make it so twisted and convoluted. Just say it as so and be done with it.

    November 27th, 2012 2:12 pm

  23. Jumbo Shrimp

    Tough to know without knowing if it has to do with the locker room, and of course, being in the locker room.

    November 27th, 2012 2:23 pm

  24. Streetglide

    I admire Smith and wish him well. But anyone who downgrades Colin is nuts. As far as other teams passing on him, “other” teams are not on the same level as the Niners. Who cares with Jacksonville, Carolina, Chicago and may etcetera do? Everyone thought we were nuts to draft Aldon Smith, right?
    I said at the beginning of the season that if Smith got hurt he would be gone. He got hurt. Harbaugh can finally put his choice in the QB slot and no longer must play nice with another era’s choice at the most important position in sports…

    November 27th, 2012 2:35 pm

  25. PhD

    CK7 is the only choice.

    November 27th, 2012 3:05 pm

  26. Steve

    @SFFranciscan: How many teams passed on Aaron Rodgers? Arian Foster was undrafted. Ryan Leaf was drafted ahead of Peyton Manning. San Diego let Drew Brees go in favor of Phillip Rivers. Bad decisions and oversights in the NFL number in the thousands. Your logic about teams passing on Kaep in the draft is seriously flawed.

    November 27th, 2012 3:27 pm

  27. Dennis

    I seem to recall that Walsh didn’t do such a great job with the transition from Montana to Young. I think that went on for about half of the season, with Walsh benching Montana because he was tired and Young going in there and stinking the place out. Finally Walsh had to settle on Montana, won the Superbowl and retired.

    November 27th, 2012 3:50 pm

  28. jason


    Ryan Leaf was not drafted ahead of Peyton. Many felt he should have been, but he wasn’t.

    November 27th, 2012 8:33 pm

  29. Hacksaw

    Lowell, I would love to someday see an article by you looking back on Alex Smith’s career and reflecting on how so many people seem to have a distorted view of it by seeing it through the prism of him being selected number 1 in the 2005 draft. For some that has meant he has unquestionable talent and has underperformed due to bad teams and bad coaches. For others it has meant he is a huge bust and will never live up to that high draft pick. I believe it would have been so much easier for everyone to judge him fairly if he had been a third or fourth round selection.

    November 27th, 2012 8:56 pm

  30. Albert Park

    Whether Alex Smith becomes #1 again or not, I wish I had some of his money.

    November 27th, 2012 11:20 pm

  31. Eric Janssen

    Oh what a wonderful headache to have.

    November 28th, 2012 7:00 am

  32. Nancy R

    I feel honored that Alex Smith replied with such humility and generosity to these candid discussions about QB on the Cohn Zohn.

    November 29th, 2012 8:23 pm

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