Alex Smith watched from the sidelines on Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers defeated the New Orleans Saints on the road in one of the NFL’s toughest environments. It was only Colin Kaepernick’s second career NFL start, and he turned it into his second straight victory over a quality opponent after playing lights out in a win over the Chicago Bears last Monday.
You would think that Kaepernick’s quarterback rating of 111.9 over the past two weeks would be enough to keep his job, but Vernon Davis doesn’t necessarily agree. After praising Kaepernick last week and saying he felt like the “handcuffs” were taken off of him during the win over the Bears, Davis now says he believes Smith will return to the starting lineup once he’s fully healthy.
“It’s difficult, but I think Alex is still the man,” Davis told reporters on Sunday according to Around the League. “In my heart I strongly believe that and you’ll know next week. I’m sure Harbaugh will make a nice decision who he wants to go with but right now we have two outstanding playmakers.
“I’m sure Alex is still our guy.”
Some say it makes no sense to bench Kaepernick given the way he has been playing, but Smith was playing equally well prior to his concussion. The Niners have run the ball effectively all season and have arguably the best defense in the NFL. The system they have in place is designed for a quarterback to succeed, so I’m not sure there is much of a difference between Kaepernick and Smith at the moment.
As for Davis, we have no way of knowing which quarterback he truly wants to see under center. What we do know is he gushed about Kaepernick after his season-high eight catches against Chicago but was held without a catch against the Saints. Perhaps that’s why he already misses his old buddy.
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