Replacing Smith with Kapernik: How Bold Coaching was That? (1 Viewer)

Swimmer

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SF Harbaugh clearly gets what SP has said for years as a head coach in the NFL. "To win the SB, you have to make bold moves."

Alex Smith takes them to 13-3 last year and one game short of the SB. SF was leading their division and Smith had a pretty decent QB rating. Harbaugh decides to replace Smith permanently with the young Kapernik and rides him through the playoffs into the SB.

Can you imagine the backlash if Kapernik had made young QB mistakes that cost them a playoff game this year?

Despite the rivalry, Do think Harbaugh's move to Kapernik was savvy?
 

insidejob

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I thought it was kinda crappy that Smith lost his job to injury, but whatever...screw the niners.
 

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Alex Smith was not that big of a key factor to them last year. They relied heavily on field goals last season. Akers broke Rice's point record just constantly kicking FG's. Look at the number of games they won by scoring a touchdown and kicking 3-4 field goals. That defense was an absolute monster too, they only allowed I think 3 total rushing touchdowns all year long. People were ready to crown Alex Smith last year, but go back and look at those games. In the NFC Championship you seen the real Alex when he couldn't complete 50% of his passes and the 3rd down conversions were their Achilles heel in that game.

At this point Kaepernick is the better QB, there is no question about it anymore. Harbaugh knew it. He proved it with the big games too in the Superdome, in Foxboro, and in the playoffs he won in the Georgia Dome after being down by 17-0.
 

gavinj

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I actually just think he benched his 2a in favor of his 2b. I don't know how risky or bold that is.
 

bornnraisedwhodat

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SF Harbaugh clearly gets what SP has said for years as a head coach in the NFL. "To win the SB, you have to make bold moves."

Alex Smith takes them to 13-3 last year and one game short of the SB. SF was leading their division and Smith had a pretty decent QB rating. Harbaugh decides to replace Smith permanently with the young Kapernik and rides him through the playoffs into the SB.

Can you imagine the backlash if Kapernik had made young QB mistakes that cost them a playoff game this year?

Despite the rivalry, Do think Harbaugh's move to Kapernik was savvy?
Even better, Smith actually lead the league in QB rating and completion percentage. He was having his best year as a starter, and he gets benched.

It goes back to what Drew Brees said Flutie told him when he first got to San Diego, "Never let another quarterback get on the field"

And thats what happened. Harbaugh saw what Kap could do in that Bears game, he litterally added to the playbook. As good a season Smith was having, he still limited what that offense can do.

My biggest question was, what will Kap do when they take away his running ability. That question was answered with the Falcons game. Most people point to his win over GB as his most impressive performance, but as a QB, in my opinion it was the win over the Falcons. The Falcons succeed at taking away his running ability. But after some adjustment, the disciplined reads he made was outstanding. He beat them with his arm and their running game, utilizing the pistol read option to it's full capabilites. I honestly dont know how you defense that thing. Atlanta did everything you are supposed to do, they kept him in the pocket and played zone coverage, but then Vernon Davis, Moss, and Davis ate those zones for lunch and Gore cruised through those gaping holes.

Ask any defensive coordinator who they would rather face on Sunday, Smith or Kap and guarantee you all of them will say Kap.

It was a bold move from a public relations perspective, but from a football perspective, it was a no-brainer.
 

SaintsJunkie

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Alex isn't very good, stats don't tell the story, he was replaced for a reason, next year he will be with another team, and he will suck, you can bring up my post if i'm wrong, but I won't be.
 

sportsaint

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Even better, Smith actually lead the league in QB rating and completion percentage. He was having his best year as a starter, and he gets benched.

It goes back to what Drew Brees said Flutie told him when he first got to San Diego, "Never let another quarterback get on the field"

And thats what happened. Harbaugh saw what Kap could do in that Bears game, he litterally added to the playbook. As good a season Smith was having, he still limited what that offense can do.

My biggest question was, what will Kap do when they take away his running ability. That question was answered with the Falcons game. Most people point to his win over GB as his most impressive performance, but as a QB, in my opinion it was the win over the Falcons. The Falcons succeed at taking away his running ability. But after some adjustment, the disciplined reads he made was outstanding. He beat them with his arm and their running game, utilizing the pistol read option to it's full capabilites. I honestly dont know how you defense that thing. Atlanta did everything you are supposed to do, they kept him in the pocket and played zone coverage, but then Vernon Davis, Moss, and Davis ate those zones for lunch and Gore cruised through those gaping holes.

Ask any defensive coordinator who they would rather face on Sunday, Smith or Kap and guarantee you all of them will say Kap.

It was a bold move from a public relations perspective, but from a football perspective, it was a no-brainer.
Did you mean to say Smith at the end of your comment? I'm confused.
 

jmood88

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I don't know what was so bold about it. Smith got hurt and Kaepernick played better. Now, if Kaepernick started off playing horribly and Harbaugh stuck with him, then I would understand describing the move as "bold" but the 49ers have been trying to get rid of Smth for awhile and the injury gave them an excuse to make the switch. People seem to have forgotten how hard they tried to get Manning, the fact that Kaepernick was picked to eventually become the starter and that Harbaugh was switching between them during games. There was nothing bold about it, it was common sense.
 

dapperdan

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My biggest question was, what will Kap do when they take away his running ability. That question was answered with the Falcons game. Most people point to his win over GB as his most impressive performance, but as a QB, in my opinion it was the win over the Falcons. The Falcons succeed at taking away his running ability. But after some adjustment, the disciplined reads he made was outstanding. He beat them with his arm and their running game, utilizing the pistol read option to it's full capabilites. I honestly dont know how you defense that thing. Atlanta did everything you are supposed to do, they kept him in the pocket and played zone coverage, but then Vernon Davis, Moss, and Davis ate those zones for lunch and Gore cruised through those gaping holes.

Ask any defensive coordinator who they would rather face on Sunday, Smith or Kap and guarantee you all of them will say Kap.

It was a bold move from a public relations perspective, but from a football perspective, it was a no-brainer.
I agree with everything that you wrote, except the very end. Nearly all the coaches in the league, imo, would have waited until the off-season and the OTAs to increase the emphasis on the Pistol as Harbaugh has done and install Kaepernick as the starting QB. I really cannot think of another coach in the league that would have switched QBs in midstream as Harbaugh had done, given that the playoffs were on the line at the time as well as the expectations in the 49ers organization that this was a Super Bowl team. The expectations were extremely high for the team at the time of the change. It was a huge risk that Harbaugh took, imo, and it worked.

I see a lot of pooh-poohing of Alex Smith as a QB on this board. Frankly, this pooh-poohing is borne from ignorance of not watching the 49ers on a regular basis. Smith's 104.7 QB rating was no fluke. The guy is a very good, maybe not great, but very good NFL QB at this point in his career. If he goes to, say, the Arizona Cardinals next season, he will make them a much better team. I wouldn't be surprised to see three NFC West teams make the playoffs next season if Alex joins the Cardinals, which is what I suspect will occur.

The argument on this board, and elsewhere in the NFL, is that Harbaugh has "coached-up" Alex Smith. To an extent this is true. However, what I believe to be much more true is that Alex Smith was also significantly coached-down by Mike Nolan and then Mike Singletary earlier in his career. Mike Nolan nearly ruined the kid, and then Singletary came in and there was absolutely no respect from the assistant coaches around the league for Singletary when he went looking for an Offensive Coordinator. Singletary chose Jimmy Raye as OC, who's most creative moment came when he designed a run play over the B-Gap instead of the A-Gap. Raye was replaced early in his second year by an in-over-his-head Mike Johnson as OC, who has since moved on to UCLA and failed to distinguish himself at the college level. At the end of the day, I think it's fair to say that Smith was "under-coached" earlier in his career at least as much as he was "coached-up" by Harbaugh.
 

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I agree with everything that you wrote, except the very end. Nearly all the coaches in the league, imo, would have waited until the off-season and the OTAs to increase the emphasis on the Pistol as Harbaugh has done and install Kaepernick as the starting QB. I really cannot think of another coach in the league that would have switched QBs in midstream as Harbaugh had done, given that the playoffs were on the line at the time as well as the expectations in the 49ers organization that this was a Super Bowl team. The expectations were extremely high for the team at the time of the change. It was a huge risk that Harbaugh took, imo, and it worked.

I see a lot of pooh-poohing of Alex Smith as a QB on this board. Frankly, this pooh-poohing is borne from ignorance of not watching the 49ers on a regular basis. Smith's 104.7 QB rating was no fluke. The guy is a very good, maybe not great, but very good NFL QB at this point in his career. If he goes to, say, the Arizona Cardinals next season, he will make them a much better team. I wouldn't be surprised to see three NFC West teams make the playoffs next season if Alex joins the Cardinals, which is what I suspect will occur.


If he's so good and so very great, he wouldn't have got benched. Take away that amazing defense, and he is 8-8 at best or worse like the Niners were before Harbaugh even came there. At this point Kaepernick is the better QB, and the man in that town. Alex Smith was a game manager. he did just enough to win the game, and Harbaugh limited him to the point he wasn't making big game changing turnovers like he did in the years before. With Kaepernick he don't have that problem, that kid is light years better than Smith. I watched enough of the Niners games to know this. After that beat down the Giants gave them, it was time to bench Alex. He played very poorly in that game, and that was just it. Look at the points they were scoring before and after. With Smith they relied very heavily on field goals to win games. With Kaepernick they were scoring touchdowns.


Watch him go to Arizona and be the same old Alex we know from his past. The Cardinals are not making the playoffs. The Rams will make it before them. Everyone constantly doubts that Rams team but they are 1-0-1 against the Niners, and I'd actually take them over the Seahawks. They have tons of draft picks for the next few years thanks to Synder in Washington blowing them on RGIII, and Jeff Fisher no longer has a crazy owner like Bud Adams shoving Vince Young down his throat. The Cardinals are going to continue to be the bottom feeder in that division since they fired Whisenhunt, watch that defense regress big time now that he is out the picture.
 

dapperdan

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If he's so good and so very great, he wouldn't have got benched. Take away that amazing defense, and he is 8-8 at best or worse like the Niners were before Harbaugh even came there. At this point Kaepernick is the better QB, and the man in that town. Alex Smith was a game manager. he did just enough to win the game, and Harbaugh limited him to the point he wasn't making big game changing turnovers like he did in the years before. With Kaepernick he don't have that problem, that kid is light years better than Smith. I watched enough of the Niners games to know this. After that beat down the Giants gave them, it was time to bench Alex. He played very poorly in that game, and that was just it. Look at the points they were scoring before and after. With Smith they relied very heavily on field goals to win games. With Kaepernick they were scoring touchdowns.


Watch him go to Arizona and be the same old Alex we know from his past. The Cardinals are not making the playoffs. The Rams will make it before them. Everyone constantly doubts that Rams team but they are 1-0-1 against the Niners, and I'd actually take them over the Seahawks. They have tons of draft picks for the next few years thanks to Synder in Washington blowing them on RGIII, and Jeff Fisher no longer has a crazy owner like Bud Adams shoving Vince Young down his throat. The Cardinals are going to continue to be the bottom feeder in that division since they fired Whisenhunt, watch that defense regress big time now that he is out the picture.
Well, first off, let's be accurate in our quoting...I said that at this point in Smith's career he is a very good QB. He had a 90+ Quarterback Rating last year and ended this year at 104.7. Those are very good ratings. True, Smith has his flaws, but at the end of the day he's a quality NFL QB at this point in his career.

What is the "same old Alex?" that you've know from your past. Would that be the Alex Smith that beat the Saints in last year's playoffs? Not to hit a nerve because I can already hear the litany of excuses for last years playoff game, and many of those excuses have a great deal of validity, but at the end of the day, Alex came up with some huge plays. The throws to Vernon Davis were spot-on, perfect throws, to win the game. He was a very good QB. You can argue whether Alex Smith or Drew Brees was a better QB that day, but that's exactly the point: the very fact that the argument can be made shows the class of QBs that Alex Smith can play against and win against at this point in his career.

I'm not disagreeing at all that Kaepernick is the better QB. This isn't an Alex Smith vs Colin Kaepernick comparison. I've loved watching Kaepernick since the moment he became the QB on the team, he's an electrifying QB.

But you're right that last year's NFC Championship game versus the Giants was probably the turning point. The 49ers offense wasn't very good at all. It wasn't just Alex, they really didn't have any healthy WRs in that game, but Alex wasn't very good.

But the question that I'm looking at is, for example, does Alex Smith make the Cardinals a much better team next year. I would say, without question, yes. Would Alex Smith be a significant upgrade over Mark Sanchez, again, my answer is unquestionably, yes. There are a lot of teams in the NFL where Alex Smith would upgrade the position.

And yes, the Rams are looking very good going forward. I am well aware of the Rams success against the 49ers, since I watch every 49er game versus just looking at the stat-line at the end of weekend. The Rams are building a very formidable team. Potentially a great DL. But the Cardinals are potentially a very good team as well, they've got a lot of under-utilized talent at WR that a reasonably decent QB could use. But the logic that the Cardinals are going to continue to be bottom-feeders since they fired Whisenhunt, imo, is misplaced logic. They hired Bruce Arians, who, imo, is a much better head-coach than Whisenhunt. Arians is a QB-centric coach, and gives the Cardinals a better chance to win than Whisenhunt.
 

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Smith will likely get his release and go be mediocre on a team in need of bringing its QB play up to mediocre...
 

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I thought it was pretty bold, while at the same time it was wrong to bench A Smith. I realize Kaep has made the decision look great to this point, but I think it catches up to the Niners this week. This is very similar to the Brady/Bledsoe thing in NE.
 

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I want to see what Kap can do next year. He was dropped into a very good team that was already winning games and playing very good football at a high level - due in part to Alex Smith. I think he only started 6 games (correct me if I'm wrong) this season. There was not much tape on him so made defensive planning difficult for other teams. Is he good? Probably - but I guarantee you that if you had started him on the Chiefs, Browns or Cardinals at game 10, he would not have been the stellar qb the media make him out to be.
 

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SF Harbaugh clearly gets what SP has said for years as a head coach in the NFL. "To win the SB, you have to make bold moves."

Alex Smith takes them to 13-3 last year and one game short of the SB. SF was leading their division and Smith had a pretty decent QB rating. Harbaugh decides to replace Smith permanently with the young Kapernik and rides him through the playoffs into the SB.

Can you imagine the backlash if Kapernik had made young QB mistakes that cost them a playoff game this year?

Despite the rivalry, Do think Harbaugh's move to Kapernik was savvy?
Clearly something that Haslett never had the guts to do. I can't stand 49ers or Harbaugh but it was the right move. Smith lacks leadership and heart.
 
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I Din't realize that Smith had the highest QB rating in the league when got injured for a few games. Knowing that now, I think the move was extremely bold and brilliant. Harbaugh is quite impressive.
 

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