Alex Smith:Training Camp Perseverance

With Niner fans yearning for new blood at the QB position, turning the position over Colin Kaepernick appeared quite reasonable.  Excited by his phenomenal NCAA career at Nevada, and non-committal to a potential Alex Smith return, we assumed with little doubt that the job was Kaepernick’s to lose.  However, Alex Smith, who was trusted by the new coaching staff, but not us fans was immediately handed the starting job following the end of the NFL Lockout.  This led us to believe that Harbaugh was not about to welcome another training camp QB battle. However, He was slightly behind after missing the first initial six practices of training camp because the new labor rules for free agents delayed when they started their workouts.

Smith preformed well throughout his first week of practice under Harbaugh’s new offensive system.  However, he had issues converting his practice performance into game time consistency.  This inconsistency brought back bad memories of recent years and forced Harbaugh to allow a QB competition.

In an effort to tone down the anticipated QB competition, Harbaugh decided to announce to reporters that every position on the Niner’s roster were in an open competition.  Veteran players such as Vernon Davis saw right through the smoke screen and decided to give his input regarding to Kaeprnick “He’s a good player. He has a lot of potential, a very good future. I don’t think there’s too much competition at the moment.”  This comment by Vernon was not intended to shoot down the morale of Kaepernick, but instead to raise the moral in Smith.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we saw that both QB’s have not produced efficiently throughout the preseason games, yet Smith would consistently have great practices and Kaeprnick continued to share time with the first string offense. “If you were going by today, yesterday, there’s some separation there, and Alex has done a fine job,” coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday night after practice. “But Kaep is doing a phenomenal job. He is going to be one heck of a talent and one heck of a player.”  These mixed messages did come with a surprise with Harbaugh later acknowledging that Smith has in-fact widened the lead at the QB position.  The video below will reveal the beginning point of separation in the competition.

At conclusion the conclusion of the training camp position battles, Smith with little shock towards the end of the competition, came out victorious.  While raising the confidence between him and his teammates through strong practices, he did little to improve the hope of the 2011 season after performing sub-par in preseason games.     Readers, you will find out in my next blog if going with Smith over the rookie Kaeprnick was the right decision to make.  I’ll give you  little hint, it was!

If you are interested in seeing Kaepernick Highlights from Nevada, then watch the video below:


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