Harbaugh in no hurry to decide 49ers' starting QB

November 21, 2012, 9:22 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh said Wednesday it's in the 49ers' best interest to not make any snap decision on which quarterback will be taking snaps under center Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.He plans to keep the Saints, and everybody else guessing.
Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick?Harbaugh said there is no wrong answer for the 49ers, who at 7-2-1 are currently in line to be the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs."We'll let it play out. I wouldn't expect an announcement today or any timeline on that. We'll get that to you."Smith, who sat out Monday's game after experiencing concussion symptoms, has been cleared to return to limited practice. And Harbaugh said he expects Smith to be available to play Sunday."I think it's a matter of time before he is," Harbaugh said. "He's going to practice again today."Pretty confident that it'll play out and he's going to be cleared, and that's talking to the doctors and talking to Alex. But I can't definitively say."Maiocco: Harbaugh's three options at quarterback
Smith was cleared last week for practices, but he was downgraded over the weekend after he said he pushed it too hard during practices.Kaepernick played well enough to stir up a 49ers quarterback debate. Harbaugh left the door wide open for a controversy following Kaepernick's strong performance in the 49ers' 32-7 victory over the Chicago Bears on Monday night."I know everybody took the opportunity after the big win the other night to talk non-stop about the quarterback situation and very little about the great victory, both offensively and defensively, special teams," Harbaugh said. "And the way we view it right now is we have two quarterbacks who we are confident in and who work for us and we believe in. To me, it's the opposite of a controversy, where controversy is argument between opposing points of view. This is a decision that will be made from a team aspect, coming from the same direction."Most of the people who really want to know and really care, don't really care whether we win or lose, to be honest with you. I don't know know if it's in our best interest to make a snap decision on that. We'll get all the factors weighed out and we'll come to the best decision for our team."Smith, an eight-year pro, is having his best NFL season. He ranks third in the NFL with a 104.1 passer rating. He is first in the NFL with a 70.0 completion percentage. And his 7.98 yards per attempt is third in the league."This is not one of those situations where you have the aging starting quarterback and everybody is clamoring for the young, backup quarterback," Harbaugh said. "Or the struggling guy and they want the next guy. Of the young guy is in there struggling, and people are clamoring for the popular backup. We have to really good guys."Harbaugh said it's not out of the question that the 49ers could go week-to-week with their decisions on which player starts -- or even which player goes on the field from series to series."I think it's a unique situation, yeah, to have two really good players," Harbaugh said. "Could we? Yes, we could."