As Colin Kapernick was dissecting the Chicago Bears defense a few days ago, we were witnessing the birth of the next great quarterback controversy in the NFL. San Francisco is no stranger to seeing the torch passed form one starter to another more than capable one and while some are trying to clam the fire started, other are fanning the flames.
One man doing that is 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, who after the win on Monday said he’d go with the ‘hot hand’ under center the next week. It appeared at the time that Kaepernick was that guy, and as we dig deeper through this week that stance is looking more and more like one that the 49ers will take on Sunday against the Saints.
Harbaugh had a meeting early Wednesday with Kaepernick and Alex Smith, and informed the duo that Kaepernick will be getting the first team reps in practice this week. This suggests that the apprentice will now become the master, but Smith told Trent Dilfer of ESPN that the starting job is still up for grabs.
But be that as it may, Harbaugh stated that the decision to give Kaepernick the first team reps has nothing at all to do with Smith’s health and is purely based on Kaepernick’s performance against the Bears and against the Rams a week ago.
BREAKING: Jim Harbaugh has informed Alex Smith that Colin Kaepernick will start Sunday, per source. Said decision not based on health.
— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) November 22, 2012
If the 49ers really want to have Kaepernick as their quarterback of the future, then he’ll need work like what’s ahead on Sunday. The Saints aren’t a good secondary, but they’re a brain teaser defense. They don’t shut you down or lock you up, but they move and blitz a lot causing tons of potential confusion if you’re not ready for it.
Kaepernick beat the best secondary in the league on Monday and did so in vicious fashion. But one fine game does not an elite quarterback make. It’s still going to be some time before we regard Kaepernick as one of the most solid options in the game, but with news that he could be getting yet another start on Sunday that time may be sooner than we think.