Three and Out: It's 'personal' with Smith; locking up Iupati
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SANTA CLARA -- Alex Smith is still a good friend, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh declared on Monday.
Trusted agent? Well, that's no longer the case.
The 49ers travel to Kansas City to face Alex Smith's new team on Friday. Smith is expected to start and play the early portion of the game for the Kansas City Chiefs against the 49ers' first defense.
It might not be that big of a deal because the exhibition has no bearing in the standings. But there might be a different vibe Friday than what surrounds most exhibition games.
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"It’s personal with Alex," Harbaugh said. "It probably is different in that way. And, (I) feel like there's a great friendship there and a lot of history. He's a unique person -- very good, in all ways, a good friend.
"(He's) no longer on our team. Not a trusted agent anymore. I know the competitor he is and he wants to win and we do as well. . . But, yeah I think it will be, it feels different right now. Long and good memories of the time when we were teammates, a personal friendship. Then we wish him the best. A long and healthy and successful career."
Smith, whom the 49ers traded to the Chiefs in the offseason, had similar thoughts when he spoke on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
"It's different," Smith said. "Yeah, of course, it is different. I was there eight years. These are a lot of my good friends. Yeah, (it's) definitely different.
"But the weird thing is that it is a still a preseason game. If it were a regular-season game I think we'd have a little more to talk about. This still isn't the main focus. There's still a little bigger picture. We're in training camp mode, our eyes (are) still on Jacksonville on opening day. This is another step and us working towards that. It's a little different, facing the old team. So it's a first for me."