San Francisco 49ers fans got another close glimpse of why their team made the right move in switching from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick as the full-time starter midway through last season. While Kaep got very little action in throwing just two passes — one inaccurately — Friday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith was absolutely smothered by a Niners defense that allowed zero touchdowns in the outing.
“It was different, definitely different,” Smith said, via USA TODAY Sports. “Those are guys I played a long time with and know very well. There was a lot of talking out there, back and forth from a lot of guys.” Added Coach Jim Harbaugh: “It felt a lot like going against my brother. It was different. It was personal, in the best kind of way. I wish him great success and health. We’ll be following him.”
Even without Michael Crabtree for most of the year and with run yards presumably making up a large portion of his offensive output, I would still bet on Kaepernick’s passing totals comparing well to Smith’s in 2013. One’s a decent talent and smart decision-maker, while the other is an elite arm with perhaps the league’s best wheels. All reports say he’s a student of the game.
It was surely obvious San Fran made the right call during the playoffs last year, and this preseason contest hardly set up as some sort of referendum from the outset. Kaepernick didn’t light the world on fire that night either, missing Chad Hall wide-open in the end zone. But the level of talent on the eye-ball test gives any given Sunday gives a massive edge to Kaepernick over Smith.