Jim Harbaugh is going with the hot hand over the steady hand.
Harbaugh today said that Colin Kaepernick would make his third straight start - against the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday. Asked if that meant that Kaepernick was the starter for the rest of the season, Harbaugh said, "No, I wouldn't assume anything. I know you probably will, but I'd assume nothing."
Asked if the 49ers should expect some bumps in the road with Kaepernick, who made his first start two weeks, ago, Harbaugh said the coaching staff tries to prepare for every scenario. "As a coach, as a team, we don't fear any momentum or any circumstance or any man."
"Colin, we believe, has the hot hand," Harbaugh said. "We're going with Colin."
Harbaugh informed the team of his decision following the morning walk-through. Kaepernick spoke with reporters afterward but the man he has displaced as the starting quarterback, Alex Smith, was not available. "Alex is a class act all the way," Harbaugh said. "He'll prepare as if he's the starter."
Harbaugh has heaped praise on Smith for the last year and a half, going so far as to call him "elite" and worthy of the Pro Bowl last season. "All these decisions are difficult," he said today, "and you think through them as best you can."
The players mostly parroted Harbaugh in saying that the team is in an excellent situation, one in which they have two quarterbacks who can deliver wins. Smith had guided the 49ers to a 6-2 record - and to within the precipice of the Super Bowl last year - until suffering a concussion Nov. 11.
Said Michael Crabtree: "We have relationships with both of the quarterbacks. We're going to make plays whoever the starter is."
Frank Gore, meanwhile, vowed that the decision would not disrupt the positive chemistry in the locker room. "We're cool," he said. "If it's Alex, we're going to be behind Alex. If it's Kap, we're going to be behind Kap."
Gore, who entered the league in 2005 with Smith, acknowledged that the decision was tough for the former No. 1 draft pick. "But coach (Harbaugh) makes a decision, and that's what we have to go with."
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Matthew Barrows
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at email@example.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.