Alex Smith on Kaepernick's success: 'It's good for the team'

Alex Smith on Kaepernick's success: 'It's good for the team'
November 21, 2012, 9:43 pm
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Here's what Alex Smith had to say when he met with the media on Wednesday:"What have you been told about being cleared?
"Still in the process. I've been cleared to go back out and practice. I'll be out there in the (black) jersey and just start the process again and continue it."How do you feel?
"I feel good. I'm kind of expecting things to go well, but still got steps to go through."A week ago you said you felt good then, too.
"Yeah, I felt good. Just didn't work out. Didn't get cleared. But I'm feeling better, definitely feeling better."Did you experience symptoms over the weekend?
"I tried to push it and go out and practice, yeah, I just wasn't right, so the doctors didn't end up clearing me."Was it a headache?
"I'm not going to get into the symptoms that were going on. Just tried to push it early in the week and there were still some lingering things."Is the final hurdle the contact practice?
"Yeah, no big deal was made of that. The big thing for me as a quarterback is kind of, yeah, you got to get out there had have a little contact with the helmet on, and get banged around a little bit, but it's not a huge thing. "And it never came to that last week, correct?
"No, I never did that."RELATED: Harbaugh in no hurry to decide 49ers' starting QB
Jim Harbaugh said it could be a week-to-week decision. How do you view that?
"Any time the next guy steps up and plays well, it's a good thing for the team. Let's not get this wrong. If this were any other position, it's a great thing. Now, does it complicate things for me and Colin? Yeah. The quarterback position gets a lot of attention. A lot is going to be written and talked about. There's only one ball. Only one guy is going to be under center. It's part of the deal. This is a good thing for this team. This is a good problem. Those are the decisions for Coach. That's his position. We just play football."Do you feel like you're competing with him for the job right now?
"No, I feel like I'm trying to get healthy and get back out there and prove I can play. And part of that is getting cleared. That's where I'm at right now."You're having the best season of your career. Would you expect when you're healthy you should get the starting job back?
"You don't expect anything. This is the nature of the game. The next guy steps up and plays well. That's part of the deal in this game. Competition is part of it, as well. So don't know what's going to happen."RELATED: Harbaugh's three options at QB
Were you surprised your coach left the door open?
"No, once again, that's his call. Colin played great. He stepped up and played really well on a big stage against a good defense. It comes with the territory."You said it complicates things between you and Colin. What conversations have you had?
"Just all this stuff. He and I have talked quite a few times since then. In my opinion, if you can't be happy for your teammate's success, you're playing the wrong sport. Go play tennis or golf or something. That's ridiculous, I think. It doesn't belong in team sports, in my opinion. Like I said, it's the quarterback position. It's going to get a lot of attention. We're going to get talked about. But it's important that it doesn't come in here (the locker room)."He's a high draft pick. Did you think something like this could happen?
"Well, he's a good player. Yeah, I knew what he potentially was capable of. He's shown it on the practice field. He's shown it when he got his opportunities. That's always the case, high draft pick or not. Ultimately the decision came down to me and my healthy and whether I was OK. And didn't feel like it was something I could tough through. You can't tough through something like that and ultimately the doctors didn't clear me."How important is it for a quarterback to know going into the game he's going to be the starter and dividing the practice reps during the week?
"The reps are obviously important through the week. I don't think you live and die by them, by any means. But, yeah, it's a part of the deal. We've always done a good job here splitting reps up throughout the week, as far as starter and backup goes. We'll see how it goes this week."Can you reflect on that game against the Saints in January and how much this game means for both teams?
"Yeah, no question, they're a hot team, been playing really well the last few weeks, on a roll. They get a little chance at revenge, get us back in their place. I think everybody that watched that game remembers it. And certainly us that took part in it. I know that. It was a physical game, it was back and forth, some talking going on out there on the field. So I'm sure it's in the back of their heads. I'm sure they remember it and the chance to get us on their turf."I'm sure this game has been circled for a long time?
"Yeah, I knew when the schedule came out it was something I looked at, when we were playing them, and down there at their place. So I'm sure it was the same for them."The way 2010 ended with you starting one week and Troy Smith the next Do you look back at how you handled yourself during that stretch? Is it similar to what you might face now?
"Yeah, I've been in a few of these, you know? And they're all different. YI think the great thing is obviously the character of this locker room. We've got great character in the quarterback room, too. Chance to really kind of be different and set a great example for the team, us. It's not easy, it can be complicated, but this is a good problem for the 49ers. It's a good problem for us as a team. It's not a bad thing. There's only one ball, though. That's what makes it tough, so we'll see how it goes."Were there aspects of Colin's performance that you thought were especially good?
"I think just going out there and, for me, on a big stage, good defense that really has kind of really over-powered some offenses the weeks prior, just going out there and attacking was the biggest thing for a young quarterback. To get out there and to get timid or not to be aggressive. For him to get out there and really cut it loose, it was a good thing to see.