Jim Harbaugh

Harbaugh announces Kaepernick will start, plows ground thoroughly

Jim Harbaugh started today’s press conference by getting a certain news item out of the way.

“Yes, Colin Kaepernick. (It) will be our plan to start Colin, and prepare him to make that start this week against the Rams,” he said.

Then the San Francisco 49ers head coach was asked what led to this decision to start Kaepernick over Alex Smith.

“The rationale is you’ve got two quarterbacks that we feel great about as the starting quarterback. Both have earned it. Both deserve it,” Harbaugh said. “By virtue of the last three games and what tips the scales, Colin we believe has the hot hand and we’ll go with Colin. And we’ll go with Alex. They’re both our guys.”

The assembled media then asked question after question, trying to glean any interesting quotes about the quarterback situation. Harbaugh wasn’t biting. He responded to a question from a certain Press Democrat blogger by saying, “Your words are dangling, and in your mind fair.”

To the rest of the QB queries, Harbaugh responded with some form of this:

“Anything is a possibility. I would assume nothing or rule out anything. Or we would want our opponent to rule anything out. I think, again, we’ve plowed that ground about as thoroughly as it can be plowed.”

Harbaugh said some sort of variation on ground being plowed thoroughly three different times, and told everyone to “assume nothing” about the future of the quarterback position for the 49ers just as frequently.

And so ends (we think) a pretty funny situation, this whole QB controversy. Harbaugh’s method of delaying the announcement, then batting away questions like Tarell Brown tipped that fourth down pass to Joe Morgan on Sunday after making the announcement has been fascinating in its own strange, stilted way. And naming Kaepernick the starter now is about as surprising as when Anderson Cooper came out of the closet.

The only thing that isn’t amusing is something ESPN’s Mike Sando brought up, how this will affect how players report (or don’t report) concussion symptoms:

In this case, however, the move also meant sending an unfortunate message regarding concussion disclosure. Had Smith not reported the blurred vision he suffered against St. Louis in Week 10, there’s a chance he might have remained in the lineup, preventing Kaepernick from seizing the starting job. Even if Smith could not have kept playing, any player watching from the outside can see the potential short-term costs associated with concussion disclosure.

The events of the past three weeks could end Smith’s career as a starting quarterback in the NFL. They could cost him millions of dollars. Smith seems to have his priorities in order. He made the right decision regarding concussion disclosure and probably would act the same way again in the interests of his growing family. He’s banked millions already. But what about the less-established player seeking to keep his job for a shot at earning financial security for his family? The message to him is clear.

Sando brings up an interesting point, but Harbaugh’s job is to coach the team and win championships. If he feels starting Kaepernick now gives his team the best chance to reach the mountaintop, taking a stance on concussion treatment doesn’t really fit into the equation. And after all this talk about who has the “hot hand” since the Monday night game against the Bears, now we know. Or do we?

Harbaugh is a fan of players who show versatility…

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11 comments
Stan
Stan

SLam,reggie,and all your other names.

Slam
Slam

Why ideed, is Stan the only person pointing these things out ?

Stan
Stan

So what idiot decided that the televised presscons will be for the audience a "guess what the question was?"..as no reporters are miked. Its Harbaugh's maniacal facial contortions..then he answers questions not heard,to unknown people. Why am I the only one to point these things out?..people are sure sheep to "how its always been done" think.

Eric
Eric

"People have only seen Kaepernick in the wildcat. 2 other guys that had great first couple games, until teams figured them out: Kevin Kolb and Matt Flynn". Niners w more losses than last year, and no Super Bowl. Potential does not equal performance.

3rdNking
3rdNking

Plowing ground, lol Sounds like kicking tires That worked for 2 titles Go Niners!!!!

Slam
Slam

Jim Harbaugh is outrageously unafraid of anything. He's starting Kaepernick; a REALLY controversial potentially disastrous move. But he doesn't care. He's a GREAT coach.

paperback writer
paperback writer

Between this announcement and the one that says KNBR won last months radio ratings, I'm wondering what will happen next - the sun coming up somewhere in the world tomorrow morning? LOL

JayT
JayT

“Your words are dangling, and in your mind fair.” - That's pretty hilarious. Harbaugh has some real gems for those jive turkeys I tell you.

Stan
Stan

Because he's smarter. Give up while your behind slam.

paperback writer
paperback writer

Nah; I just think his ADHD does this to avoid boredom. Lets see how he does if a hot hand goes cold - will he be as successful as Bruce Bochy was at this? LOL Really, that's the standard, World Champs, if last years' 2 steps away is determined not to be enough, he has us expecting AT LEAST a Super Bowl appearance - rooting for it......but.........

Slam
Slam

during his playing days, he got jerked in and out of the starting lineup; didn't kill him