Alex Smith: 'It sucks, I don't know what else to say'

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Alex Smith: 'It sucks, I don't know what else to say'

SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Alex Smith spoke Thursday to the media for the first time since he received word from 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh that Colin Kaepernick is the team's starting quarterback.

"I mean, it sucks," Smith said. "I don't know what else to say."

Did Jim tell the two of you together?
"Yes."

Were you prepared for it?
"Yeah. I mean, for sure. I knew based off of the last couple weeks, the way things had gone, didn't know what was going to happen but I knew it was a possibility."

Is there anything you can say as far as stating your case?
"Well, I mean, I don't think talk is the place to do it. You state your case with your play, and I felt I did that. I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion."

Do you think this scenario would've played out two years ago, just given the attention concussions have gotten?
"I don't know. Ultimately, the doctors and me had to make that decision. I think it's a good thing that more and more is coming out about it (concussions). I don't think that's a bad thing."

You don't regret telling them you had the symptoms?
"No, I'm not looking back on that -- no, no."

Do you think this will have a stifling effect on other players coming forward?
"I don't know. It's a good question. I'm not sure. I mean, that's kind of the deal with all injuries. The thing with the concussions and the brain, I think we're going to be finding out a lot more in the years to come."

You've been through so many ups and downs in your career, how does this compare to some of the other bad moments?
"Yeah, those are all in the past. For this one, you're in it right now. This is such a great team, such a great group of guys in this locker room. There's something special going on. Yeah, it's a tough pill to swallow, for sure."

Is there any resentment to coach for making that decision?
"No resentment. No, I don't get make those decisions. That's what he gets paid to do. He's the head coach. I play football. That's what I'm going to continue to do. Continue to get ready and make the most of my next opportunity."

Are you believer in the adage that you don't lose your starting job through an injury?
"That's not something I really think about. This game is about opportunities and making the most of them, for each and every one of us and as a team, as a whole. No."

Do you think you'll be given another opportunity this year?
"I have no ideal. All I can do is just prepare and be ready."

Does it make it easier or more difficult to think that the last full game you played, you were NFC Offensive Player of the Week?
"Yeah, it's tough. That's why I said you kind of state your case with your play, and I felt like I'd done that. So in that sense, it is tough."

In the past, there have been other coaches who've said, 'There's a better quarterback for the job.' The fact that's Harbaugh, and you respect his quarterback evaluation so much, does it sting even more because he's saying, 'There's another quarterback we think is better'?
"I don't know about that. It stings the most because I really feel like there's something special going on here. You sacrifice and you invest so much time. Like I said, I really feel like I hadn't done anything but get a concussion to really to facilitate this. I feel like I was playing good football."

Some people want to see you angry on the sideline. Obviously, the cameras are on your the whole time?
"Like I said, you're in the middle of it right now. Just found out a couple of days ago. So, I mean, it sucks, to be honest."

Did you get an explanation about this?
"Oh, yeah. We sat down in there and talked. It wasn't just a one-sentence thing. For sure. He explained where he was coming from and felt like it was a difficult situation but he wanted to go in this direction."

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.