Belichick: Harbaugh doing what he feels best for 49ers

Belichick: Harbaugh doing what he feels best for 49ers
December 12, 2012, 11:00 am
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Bill Belichick: "He played the position. He knows as much about that position as anybody." (AP)


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SANTA CLARA -- Coach Bill Belichick made the switch from veteran Drew Bledsoe to youngster Tom Brady in 2001, and the New England Patriots won a Super Bowl that season.

Belichick in a conference call Wednesday with Bay Area reporters said nobody is more qualified than 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to make the call of going with Colin Kaepernick over veteran Alex Smith.

Kaepernick will make his fifth NFL start on Sunday night when the 49ers play the New England Patriots (10-3).

"I think Coach Harbaugh is an outstanding coach and I think his record, his performance speaks for itself," Belichick said. "So I'm sure whatever decision he makes is what he thinks is best for the football team.

"Certainly has the experience, the track record, to go with it. He played the position. He knows as much about that position as anybody. I'm sure he's doing what's best for his team. That's what any coach would do -- do what's best for the team."

Kaepernick is completing 67.4 percent of his passes with a passer rating of 97.4. He also has gained 351 yards rushing with five touchdowns.

"He's an explosive player, he can make big plays," Belichick said of Kaepernick. "The offensive system they run with him in there has the element of the option, the pistol offense, that type of thing. It's another thing to prepare for."

Belichick said the Patriots will be prepared to face Kaepernick and Smith on Sunday.

"You have to prepare for everybody," Belichick said. "One play and the second guy could be in there after the first play of the game. We all know that. You have to prepare for everything. Alex is a great quarterback, too. The 49ers have won a lot of games with whichever quarterback they had in there. They're a solid football team. And we have to be able to defend both of them."