If Alex Smith didn’t suffer a concussion, would he still be the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers? I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m giving a resounding yes to that question, because that’s the only reason why he’s not the starting anymore. His win/loss record over the past two regular seasons is 19-5. He lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship, losing to eventual Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants. It was a game that he didn’t lose, the 49ers special teams lost that game. He’s fifth in quarterback rating, behind Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Robert Griffin III. Here are a few names he’s ahead of: Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, Drew Brees, and Eli Manning. If any one of those quarterbacks suffered a concussion and Colin Kaepernick were their backup, none of those guys would be in the same position that Smith currently finds himself in. They would be starting again as soon they’re cleared to play. Smith only had one really bad game this season, throwing 3 interceptions against the Giants, but they are the defending Super Bowl Champions.
I’m not knocking Colin Kaepernick. He’s shown that he’s capable of earning the title of starter, but it’s still too early to tell if he can keep that position, let alone lead the team past where Smith had them last year, to the Super Bowl. He does have qualities that Smith lacks, like the ability to throw an accurate deep ball and the ability to run. So far, Kaepernick has played the Chicago Bears, who were just lifeless without Jay Cutler and completely unprepared, and the New Orleans Saints, who have one of the worst defenses the league. Although Kaepernick played well against the Saints, he did show signs of inexperience, getting flagged for a couple of delay of game penalties, and panicked from a bad snap and threw an interception. Even though the 49ers put up 31 points against the Saints, it has to be pointed out the 14 of those points came from the defense, so really the offense only put up 17 points, 10 fewer the average the Saints’ D gives up. Teams will now focus their defensive game plans entirely on Kaepernick now. Smith has proven himself against several defensive schemes. Kaepernick hasn’t.
If you want to remain a starter: don’t get hurt. That’s basically what this move has created, the potential for paranoia around the locker room that no job is safe if you get hurt. This could also lead to potential danger. I don’t wish any ill will to Kaepernick, but if he gets a concussion, one would think that he would do whatever it takes to hide it from the team doctors and coaches, because he knows what happens if you get hurt and your backup plays up to par if not better than you during the time your injured. This is a dangerous precedent that Jim Harbaugh has created. It’s like what Alex Smith said recently: ‘‘I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion.’’ That’s pretty much exactly what happened. It’s too late to turn back to Smith now. The damage has been done. Now it’s Super Bowl or bust for the 49ers.
Do you agree? Sound off in the comments!