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Here’s what I don’t get. Most of you love Jim Harbaugh, the coach. You keep telling me that and you keep telling me not to harp on his social inadequacies — no one cares about the media yadda yadda, etc. You tell me he wins and that’s all that matters and he’s a great coach. OK, so this great coach just made an unprecedented QB change. Now a bunch of you are defending Alex Smith and treating Harbaugh like he violated a saint. Well, you can’t have it both ways. If Harbaugh is so great you must trust he knows what he’s doing. Maybe this QB shuffle — so unexpected, etc. — is part of his greatness.

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18 Comments

  1. tkh

    I think you hit on the conundrum some of us fans have. You know that Harbaugh has proven himself as a coach and a talent evaluator. Yet, you empathize with Alex Smith because he represents the notion that if you work hard, are loyal and do a good job good things will happen. We don’t necessarily feel sorry for Smith it is just that overcoming adversity is a powerful theme in our society. So there is the problem: Your brain tells you that the coach would not make the decision without serious contemplation yet your heart roots for the underdog overcoming adversity… Now Smith hasn’t always been the underdog overcoming adversity but at this moment he is. We just have a sense of fairplay that we believe is embodied in sports but in reality this is a business and fairplay isn’t really a factor… So we are torn between our sense of fair play, our faith in a proven coach, and our desire to win a Super Bowl. I learned this at a much younger age when Willie Mays was traded,, hahaha.

    November 30th, 2012 10:06 am

  2. Larry Rowe

    I can not help but to believe that the drama from the readers is being fed from the media. I was not excited to see CK7 until the saints game.

    Now I am excited to see him. But part of me wonders is this a Matt Cassel thing. A Cam Newton thing or a Mike Vick thing. Were you are new and good for a few games or even a season. Then the wheels fall off.

    I do believe that CK7 will deliver the goods. I am excited to see were this goes. I do believe we could beat NYG with him in the playoffs. What do you think Chon?

    November 30th, 2012 10:12 am

  3. Streetglide

    The same people whizzing on this affair are the same folks who hated Smith for years. It’s crazy. If I was Alex I’d be extremely grateful to Harbaugh for saving his career. And the simple fact is that Smith’s stats are skewed and I don’t think he can beat the upper-level teams. Yeah, I know about New Orleans last year but that was a team effort and it should not have been so difficult.
    .
    I wish him well and I don’t respect piling on; no class. So you’all play nice now…

    November 30th, 2012 10:16 am

  4. Mark M

    I’m stunned by all the bitterness over this. Personally, I’m ecstatic of course, though I’m a Smith “hater”, always an insulting term as it was never personal. Just another stupid label by people whom can’t think of something rational to argue over and just resort to insults. But I did hate the way his limitations diminished the offense and how long we had to sit around and watch this farce develop knowing we would always fall short with a game manager QB like him.

    But I guess, for some people, Harbaugh is the ultimate Smith Hater now. That’s a rather interesting development since he created Smith 2.0, the good game manager. If Harbaugh can take the risk of making this move late in the season, what does that say about his opinion of Alex and his limitations. I see it as an admission that he can’t win the SB with timid Alex out there.

    But where does that put you Alex lovers on the question of Alex Smith when your chief Alex proponent, his own coach and creator, turns his back on him? I imagine that must be frustrating.

    November 30th, 2012 11:18 am

  5. Giants Fan

    Personally I wonder about your social inadequacies…why you characterize Harbaughs dealings with the media as such and why you choose to denigrate Alex Smith as you do…clearly its not impartial.

    I’m a big time Smith supporter and while I don’t think Harbaugh transitioned very smoothly, I think ultimately he did the right thing. Don’t get me wrong, I think Smith would have taken them the SB, but that’s another story…

    Bottom line, Carlos Rogers is right…it’s a business and the bottom line is winning…

    November 30th, 2012 11:19 am

  6. Clint

    Smith has sort of taken the Zito role (if you will) over the course of his tenure. With the playoff win and solid play, he’s been good. A terrible start to his career and the stepped up play in very critical times. The scenario for Harbaugh may not have been as successful without a willing Smith. I doubt the niners would have gone 14-4 last year with Kaep at the helm all year, or worse, some other NFL reject available on the FA market. Where does that put Harbaugh if the niners went 9-7 with Kaep and lost in the playoffs or a worse record and missed the playoffs.

    Harbaugh obviously knows this and sees it and I think his inability to handle this change in a definitive manner speaks to Harbaugh’s loyalty to Smith. This was, to me, a very difficult decision for Harbaugh because I believe he truly appreciates what Smith has done for the team and for Harbaugh if you think about it. However, Harbaugh also sees the wonderful talent Kaepernick is and that at some point this needed to happen. If Harbaugh wasn’t appreciative of Smith and willing to ride Smith until the wheels fell off (which they did with the concussion) I think Harbaugh would have been much more definitive. My guess is he would have continued on this season with Smith if he wasn’t concussed and gone ahead with the switch in the next off season. The opening presented itself and Kaepernick delivered.

    The unfortunate part for Alex is, that I think he feels like he has unfinished business, not winning a super bowl when he undoubtedly feels like this is the time. I don’t disagree with Harbaugh in this and I think that in his own clumsy way, he has already showed Smith enough respect here.

    I am an Alex Smith fan, and looking at the bright side, this last year and a half will go a long way in free agency for him. There are possibilities for him now, where there weren’t in the off season. I for one, hope Alex finds a new team and more success. He’s a stand up guy who is clearly talented, just not as talented as Kaep which is what Harbaugh sees now as the best option to win.

    And the Rams will get destroyed this weekend with Kaep moving the offense up and down the field in that same electric manner he did against the Bears.

    November 30th, 2012 11:26 am

  7. 5decadefan

    One factor that nobody is talking about is that Greg Roman will probably be a HC for another team next year. And he will probably take some of the current 49er coaching staff with him. This means that Harbaugh will have to rebuild the staff and that the 49ers have just this year to win the SB with the players and coaching staff that they have now. Harbaugh could have waited until next year and thrown the job open to competition. Kaeperick could have “won” the job then but, IMO, the 49ers stand a better chance this year. Harbaugh simply doesn’t want to say any of this to the writers, public, and fans. Nor can he say that the team is better with Kaepernick because Kaepernick is” more dynamic.” A dynamic QB makes the whole team and coaches dynamic. A dynamic QB changes the beliefs and actions of all around him, even the fans. The team with Kaepernick at QB, at this point, has the best chance of beating the Giants, Falcons, Houston, etc, and winning the SB. Harbaugh is simply trying to win the SB this year, for everyone, without hurting the feelings of Smith and his supporters too badly.

    November 30th, 2012 11:33 am

  8. Michael

    I think Carlos Rogers, a respected veteran and leader in the 49ers Locker room, said it best:

    “Alex has had a lot of chances that some other players, some other coaches, some other quarterbacks would never get. Just being in Washington where they talked about how bad Alex was – and I don’t know, I was on the outside looking in – he’s still here. They still stuck with Alex. A lot of people never would have got them chances. They talking about how bad you are, how bad you been playing or how bad the team is – being that he was a top pick – they usually get rid of those players. They usually get rid of those quarterbacks. And this organization, this team has stuck with Alex throughout thick and thin.

    November 30th, 2012 11:44 am

  9. Stan

    C’mon Lowell,everybody is talking about Meyers lies. And people are saying that very word.

    November 30th, 2012 12:15 pm

  10. Ray P.

    I keep hearing about how badly Harbaugh handled the situation but nobody, and I mean nobody, has offered a better way to handle it!! One QB goes down and his replacement plays better. There are no easy alternatives and someone is going to be upset regardless. At least Harbaugh was willing to take the heat. The easiest alternative would have been to reinstall Alex and wait for him to screw up.

    November 30th, 2012 12:33 pm

  11. Dr. Feelgood

    Is JH GREAT? Interesting question.
    GREAT! How is that defined? By record? Super Bowls? Super Bowl wins? Because talking heads on TV say so? Where does GOOD end and GREAT start?

    A poll would likely define JH as, at minimum, a GOOD head coach. Supporting evidence can include the teams sudden turn-around record since his arrival, the acknowledged locker room unity, support of the team from management and fan base, etc.

    Who are GREAT coaches of our era? Lombardi? Shula? Landry? Johnson? Parcells? Walsh? Belichick? If they’re not considered GREAT, who are?
    They’re the standard bearers because of ULTIMATE SUCCESS, REPEATED SUCCESS and IMPACT ON AN ERA.

    Greatness can be earned, and then allowed to dissolve. Consider Shanahan, who won two straight SB’s and followed that up with 14 years of so-so. GREAT?
    How about Levi who took his team to four consecutive Super Bowls? GREAT?
    Greatness can arrive like a wrapped gift under a Christmas tree. Seifert Inherited a GREAT team that won him a Super Bowl. GREAT?

    However, JH is just getting started. Does he have the DNA to become GREAT? Remember when Walsh would cut key players in the off-season every year? Those were solid, contributing players and some were Super Bowl winners. He had the strength of his convictions to turn a deaf ear to the background noise and trust his judgment.

    JH will live and die by the results of the decisions he makes. To become GREAT, his only chance is by having the strength to trust those decisions. In that way, he learned from Walsh.

    By the standards of “Ultimate, Repeated Success and Impact”, Harbaugh is not GREAT. Yet.
    However, if the team had made it to the Super Bowl, he would be well on his way. After the NFC title loss, it was clear that the team could benefit from a more complete offense, a euphemism for better quarterbacking. JH is doing what obviously needs to be done to correct the most defining need keeping the team from becoming GREAT. His bedside manner is his own, He should be allowed that.

    November 30th, 2012 12:40 pm

  12. Brandon Conway

    I see no conflict in 1) feeling that Harbaugh handled the situation at best awkwardly, 2) Smith did nothing to lose his job, and 3) it may be the correct decision for the team.

    Whether or not it ends up being the correct decision only time will tell.

    Again, this decision is far more about the positives Kaepernick displayed than any negatives Smith displayed.

    November 30th, 2012 12:54 pm

  13. Dan

    In past years, I’ve given Smith the benefit of doubt. I have no idea why a play doesnt work – someone ran the wrong route, missed a block – theres a lot that can go wrong, but the QB is always the focal point. Last season, the offense seemed to put things all together. This year has been frustrating to watch the offense under Smith. There were several times he passed on what the defense gave him and it looked like he wanted to make a big play so he could get rid of the game mananger label. Those plays didnt work for him. Smith seems to be thinking to much, instead of just playing the game. CK7 just wants to play – and brings a swagger to the team. Hope it lasts once the league gets several game films on him.

    November 30th, 2012 1:31 pm

  14. PhD

    I love how everyone focuses on the New Orleans game last season in the playoffs which was by far Alex Smith’s best game ever and then develop amnesia when it comes to his 1 of 13 third down conversions in the NFC Championship game the following week. And wasn’t the one conversion due to a penalty?

    November 30th, 2012 1:31 pm

  15. loneraider78

    I’ve never waivered on my position. I do like Harbaugh, I wish he were coaching the Raiders, but I think he made the wrong decision at this time. Smith had won 21 of his last 26 starts, sorry if I’m failing to see the problem there.

    This is only the beginning, wait until they get dumped in the divisional round by a hungry team with a more experienced QB. The sky will fall on JH. Or maybe CK takes them the distance and JH becomes a folk hero. With that defense anything is possible, which is probably one big reason he felt comfortable making the change. However, I think scenario A is more likely.

    How are you feeling about CK’s impact on Vernon now? Not one catch last game, which didn’t help my fantasy team BTW.

    November 30th, 2012 2:52 pm

  16. Michael S.

    3 words. New York Giants.

    JH knows that if the Giants are playing at their best, the Niners won’t beat them with Alex. With his deep strike and running ability, CK7 can. Doesn’t mean he will, but the ability is there.

    November 30th, 2012 3:53 pm

  17. dharte

    @PhD

    So those two long touchdown passes to Vernon Davis (Manning had no such plays), should they have been thrown on a 3rd down to really count?

    He had his team up by 14. The back-up kick returner lost the game. Since everyone around here seems to want to be clear about weaknesses.

    At this point Kaepernick and Harbaugh have their shot. If they win, the move is genius; if they lose and miss the Super Bowl and the kid buckles under pressure, Harbaugh will get roasted.

    Let’s his bet.

    November 30th, 2012 6:57 pm

  18. lameduck

    Lots of deep thoughts … I’m wondering what Smith’s goals were to start the season. Did he already meet them? Does he have work to do to meet them? Is it still possible?

    November 30th, 2012 7:43 pm

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