Smith 'gobbles' up play time, Kaepernick stays sidelined

October 30, 2012, 3:43 pm
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The 49ers' offense got in a rhythm Monday night. In a 24-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers scored more points on the Cardinals than any team this season.And backup quarterback Colin Kaeperick remained on the sideline for the entire game. This came one game after Kaepernick played just one snap in a 13-6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.Before that, Kaepernick played 16 snaps against the New York Giants, 19 against the Buffalo Bills and 11 at the New York Jets.Quarterback Alex Smith's success early in Monday's game likely kept Kaepernick on the sideline. Smith completed 18 of 19 pass attempts for 232 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The 49ers converted half of their third-down opportunities (6 of 12).In his previous two games, Smith completed a combined 33 of 53 attempts for 340 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. Coach Jim Harbaugh pushed back when the characterization was made that Smith's past two games "weren't his best.""First of all, not his best? In whose opinion? Your opinion," Harbaugh said. "I feel like Alex has been doing a great job."When asked if Smith's performance served to help his confidence, Harbaugh answered, "I don't think there was ever a question there."On any speculation that Smith's confidence had weakened, Harbaugh said, "I think it's just a lot of gobble, gobble, turkey. Just gobble, gobble, turkey, funk jive, turkey, gobblers. . . That paints a pretty good picture. He's a very confident guy."Afterward, Smith was asked if it helped that he did not have to occasionally yield for Kaepernick, who typically runs spread option plays as a run-pass threat."I don't think it helps my rhythm and I don't think it (Kaepernick's entrance into the game) hurts it," Smith said. "I said this all along, when Kaep is out there, he's had a lot of success when he goes out there and I think that's fine."It's great to have for the whole offense. He goes out there and makes positive plays. It's fun to run back out there on first down. It's not fun and it's easy to look back and say, 'Oh, we shouldn't have done that,' but when you run back out there and it's third down it's a little different. It's a fine line. Certainly, there is something still there, it's just trying not to be predictable."Harbaugh weighed in on the topic of whether Kaepernick not playing had anything to do with Smith's performance."No, no," he said. "More gobble, gobble."
Here's the complete breakdown of play time (and percentage of play time) for the 49ers on offense, defense and special teams:Offense
Includes plays nullified by penalty
54 (100 percent) -- LT Joe Staley, RG Alex Boone, RT Anthony Davis, LG Mike Iupati, C Jonathan Goodwin, QB Alex Smith, TE Vernon Davis
35 (65) -- TE Delanie Walker
33 (61) -- RB Frank Gore
30 (56) -- FB Bruce Miller, WR Michael Crabtree
24 (44) -- WR Mario Manningham
20 (37) -- WR Randy Moss
19 (35) -- RB Kendall Hunter
16 (30) -- WR Kyle Williams
7 (13) -- WR Ted Ginn
2 (4) -- TE Garrett CelekDefense
Includes plays nullified by penalty
68 (100) -- FS Dashon Goldson, CB Tarell Brown, CB Carlos Rogers, SS Donte Whitner
62 (91) -- OLB Ahmad Brooks
58 (85) -- OLB Aldon Smith
57 (84) -- DT Justin Smith
55 (81) -- LB Patrick Willis
54 (79) -- DT Ray McDonald, CB Chris Culliver
53 (78)-- LB NaVorro Bowman
30 (44) -- CB Perrish Cox
20 (29) -- NT Isaac Sopoaga
15 (22) -- DT Ricky Jean Francois
13 (19) -- OLB Clark Haggans
4 (6) -- DT Will Tukuafu
1 (1) -- S C.J. SpillmanSpecial teams
22 (92) -- Demarcus Dobbs
19 (79) -- Bruce Miller
18 (75) -- C.J. Spillman, Tramaine Brock, Anthony Dixon, Tavares Gooden, Larry Grant
14 (58) -- Darcel McBath
9 (38) -- Ted Ginn, Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox, Brian Jennings, Andy Lee, David Akers
7 (29) -- Will Tukuafu
6 (25) -- Delanie Walker, Dashon Goldson, NaVorro Bowman, Ricky Jean Francois
4 (17) -- Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Leonard Davis
2 (8) -- Tarell Brown, Ahmad Brooks, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, Ray McDonald
1 (4) -- Randy Moss, Kendall Hunter, Garrett Celek, Daniel Kilgore