Game Day 11 – The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?

Here we sit, the 49ers 1.5 games up on Seattle, a recent pounding of the Bears in their rear-view mirror, and an apparent first round bye if they keep up the strong play. The offense is clicking along, the defense has been getting tons of pressure (Aldon Smith leads the league with 14 sacks), and the special teams (minus a couple fake punts) has been getting better. All these great feelings however have taken a back seat to a seemingly self-made quandary which has the airwaves burning, and the bloggosphere absolutely incendiary. The quandary of course is the instant QB controversy that sprung up out of the concussion to Alex Smith in the Ram game, and  the subsequent dismantling of the supposedly impregnable Chicago defense by Colin Kaepernick.

The stupid thing to me is this could have been averted by Jim Harbaugh.  All he had to say was Smith is getting one more day off to make sure he’s good to go down the stretch. Cappy gets the NO start, and things go back to normal. But Harbaugh seems to be the one holding the gas can at this point. He has baited the fans by calling them drooling idiots who don’t care if they win or lose, called the press liars, and left it to his starting SS Donte Whitner to say Cappy was starting. Which Harbaugh then denied. Alex Smith’s status is still unclear at this point, although it seems that he’s good to go. That his health even matters is up for debate. Cappy played a great game, but it was one game. OK, 1.6 if you include the 2.5 quarters of the Ram game. Even still, based on that, you usually don’t make a quarterback switch based on a handful of quarters.

The point being, there was a whole shitload of unneeded thrash around the team this week. Now if this was Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys, I’d certainly understand the impetus to get one’s team in the news by any means. But for all intents and purposes, this is the buttoned-down San Francisco Forty Niners.  The classy team finding its way back to relevancy and the top of the football pyramid. Not a grandstanding hottdogging look-at-us kind of team. Harbaugh is really alienating everyone who is a fan of the team, and has made a chilly press relationship even more cold with his recent statements. For no other reason than apparently to leave the Saints in the dark regarding who starts.

So, I don’t get it. I also don’t expect the Saints to be pushovers as some think, due to their poorly ranked defense. They show a bunch of different looks, disguise blitzes,  and have been playing better in recent weeks, and are always tough at home. Besides, the Niners are the agents of a lot of their recent problems. The Niners beat the Saints in the playoffs last year in one of the best games in NFL history, Gregg Williams was fired for his singling up on VD in crunch time in the playoffs, Williams was then suspended indefinitely for statements he made (knowingly taped) prior to that playoff game, and the whole Bounty-gate deal.

So, there’s certainly enough on NO’s plate to want to knock the Niners off. Who knows? Maybe this is Harbaugh’s way of getting the pressure off the players. Then again, what do I know. I’m a drooling idiot.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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601 Responses to Game Day 11 – The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?

  1. Del Mar Dennis says:

    Alex Smith’s career as a starting QB for the 49ers is over. Done. Fini. He’s kaput. He’s dead.

  2. Chico says:

    Williams – knee (not good)
    Hunter – ankle
    Walker – hip
    Ginn – wrist
    Davis – broken finger but played through it

    This win didn’t come without consequences.. Hopefully Coach finds the right weapons to plug in there.. It’s football after all.

  3. robbiedeluca says:


  4. twinfan1 says:

    To address Fear’s issue,well, one of them- Smith has handled this with class, as he does want to play in this league again. But I think he doesn’t realize that there’s not a coach, GM, or any other decision maker who would lose respect for him if he ripped Harbaugh a new asshole., It has not escaped me that Jimbo could be the most disliked coach in football; Pro or college. He’s a fine coach but a “brilliant” asshole..

    • Chico says:

      My fellow Cal fans HATE him with a passion (other than a few that root for the Niners), but they do respect him as a coach. Shit, we called him ‘hairball’ for years until he took the Niners job.

  5. twinfan1 says:

    OK, I’ve been lol-ed to sleep. Nighty.

  6. snarkk says:

    Looks like Alex has been Wally Pipped, barring injury. Unless Kap craters the next few games, there’s no way the Niners pick up Alex’ next year deal that is something tlike $8M and s $10M cap hit, per radio reports/ Looks like it will be Kap and Tolzien #1 and #2 into 2013…

  7. rtfirefly says:

    Alex would be a fool to go the Jets. KC, even Jacksonville.
    Alex will be a stud as a player/coach.

  8. Flavor says:

    You blew it tonight Twin. Your cover is blown. I’ve been a huge Alex fan since JH came aboard because I knew he would coach him up. And he did. And don’t talk about the QB Rating since Jimmy Whoever left. That was just a couple of games against shitty teams. JH coached this guy up. And he’s said so in articles written about this that i’ve posted and you mocked (for some unknown reason since AS was the one quoted).
    Anyway, I love AS (since JH came aboard)
    I blew it with my call that this switch would fail. I was wrong.
    And I’m ok with that because only a d-bag would blather away about a call and keep going with it……..
    So Twin, by all means, keep going with it…………..

    • twinfan1 says:

      He improved even under Raye. More so after Raye left- 7 games, 90+ rtating, 11 TD 3 INT. Alex has been supportive of all his coaches and spoke well of all of them ( with notable exception of Nolan). He’s even being nice now, amazingly.
      Whether the switch worked is not known yet. Chuck doesn’t censor his site, you can call me a douche bag, douche nozzle.

  9. unca_chuck says:

    Well, if the Niners have anything to do with it, it won’t be AZ.

    And the beauty part of all this is, if Xappy doesn’t make it all the way this year, we’ll never know what they would have done had Alex been there.


    But it won’t stop the banter . .

    If Alex took the low road and threw this team under the bus, I don’t think anyone in the football world would begrudge him a goddamn thing. Frankly, he’s got to do something more that just shrug it off. Whipping boy isn’t a good look in your starter. He’ll get a starting job next year. The Jets would be a disaster. Worse than Miami. KC? Who knows? Cassel hasn’t shown much, and I don’t know much about them. AZ would probably the best spot for him. They have a decent team that he could help. Shit, how bout them Raiders? Palmer turns the ball over way too much. Smith could help.


  10. unca_chuck says:

    Complain or no, it’ll be good to have Smith backing up. I wasn’t sold on this move as well. At least not til next season, but hey, Harbaugh makes the call, and it’s a pretty ballsy move to make at this point is the season.

  11. rtfirefly says:

    Miami has a good rookie QB, finally, who just needs a couple years and a better team..
    Alex would start tomorrow on KC. Well, next year – Peyton’s taken control of the division this year.

  12. snarkk says:

    A stat that the Niner radio guys gave was interesting. Kap has completed 10 passes of 20+ yards in the 2+ games he’s played. Alex has 22 such passes in his 9 games. That is a stat that the Niner coaches are really looking at, for sure. The big hit, the big pass, the big threat — that is a real thing that can’t be overlooked…

  13. 12th man says:

    Harbaugh is at it again, refuses to say who starts at QB next week.

  14. snarkk says:

    Niner special teams are noticeably worse this year than last. Blocked field goal late via bad blocking, Ginn muffed punt, Andy Lee not as sharp, Akers out of sorts, etc. If Kyle Williams is out (and I’m guessing he’s got a ligament issue, he wasn’t really hit hard at all, could be an ACL), who takes over the punts — LaMichael gets some starts along with Jenkins coming in to take over #4 WR?…

  15. twinfan1 says:

    We’ll see how it goes as the season progresses- no one with a brain thinks Alex wouldn’t cut Jimbo’s nuts off with a Ron Popeil butter knife if he could get a way with it..
    As far as where Alex may land, I just reported the web rumors, he could easily still be here, the Kapper still has a ways to go. He could still be a tall Troy Smith. or, well, a tall some other bust that Room B went ape shit over,

  16. snarkk says:

    One thing I really like about Kap that will get even better with more experience is that he really extends the plays. Alex will throw a ball away, whereas Kap will extend and string the play out to the very end, to the sideline where he will make a throw to somebody to make a play. His escapability is excellent, very tough to sack him…

  17. unca_chuck says:

    Please, Twin. Keep your hopes up for Cappy to fail.

    I think Harbaugh is a little more adept at picking/developing QBs than Singletary was.

    But yeah, go with that.

    • twinfan1 says:

      Thinking he won’t be the guy is not the same as hoping he won’t, asshole.What I *hope* is that we go into the postseason with the guy who gives us the best chance. I don’t think that will turn out to be Colin. With all the crap that Smith has gotten even with his sucess since early 2010, getting all snitty because Coiln gets a little shit is fucking funny .

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Harbaugh is really on some kind of media high or some shit.

    I think it’s pretty safe to say Kappy is starting vs the Rams.

  19. unca_chuck says:

    Yeahh, Snarkk, I didn’t like losing Costanzo. Didn’t see the ripple effect it would have tho.

    • snarkk says:

      Yep, I think that was a big mistake by the coaching staff. Could it have been that much of a money issue? They’re just not nearly as sharp on special teams this year…

  20. snarkk says:

    Looking forward to the next five games, to me i t looks like the worst the Niners can do is go 2-5 (Miami and Cards at the Stick) and the best, realistically, is 4-5 (probably a loss at Pats or at Seattle), yielding a 12 win season. Falcons have Saints @ home, Panters away, Giants at home, Lions away, and Tampa at home. I think they could lose 2, maybe 3 of those games. Whatever happens, I’m thinking that Atlanta will lose their first PO game at home, like they usually do. Niners still have a good shot at a totally home and home set of 2 playoff games…

  21. unca_chuck says:

    12th, any team in the AFC West could use Smith. Denver for backup reasons . . .

  22. unca_chuck says:

    I think you mean 2-3 and 4-1 Snarkk, but yeah, Atl seems to be lucking their way to a lot of close wins. A team like Chicago that has skated through a fairly easy schedule. I’m not sold on either of them.

    Twin, can you acknowledge Cappy throws a better deep ball than Smith? That Cappy has the ability to make some throws that Alex can’t?

    • unca_chuck says:

      I ask because you ALWAYS counter with smarts, ball control, or check-downs.

      Frankly, the 16 play, 9+ minute drive sold me that Cappy can do ball control as well. Esp in that environment.

      • twinfan1 says:

        I’ve posted several times that he throws a better deep ball. But I think if you had video of several Smith games you’d see him make every other throw that you claim only Colin can make.Listen, you give me shit about my support for Smith biut basicaly I’m the Lone Ranger on the blogs. It’s like being a gay Democrat in Alabama.If/when Colin gets into the playoffs and performs well even if he does fall short of what they made the switch for, I’ll rethink my position- but giving me shit because I think they should go with 20-6-1 guy doesn’t cut it.

  23. snarkk says:

    Niners were 6 out of 13 in 3rd down conversions today. Not superb, but pretty decent. Especially that one long drive in the 2nd half where I think Kap had 3 conversions of 3rd downs to move downfield and get that eventual field goal…

    • 12th man says:

      too many penalties today.

    • Grumpy Guy says:

      6 of 13 compares favorably to AS at his best this year.

      I really look forward to seeing what he can do as he develops.

      I still think Alex is better than he has been given credit for – there is no need to tear him down to build up Kappy. But Kappy clearly has an intriguing ceiling as a quarterback. It’s goign to be an interesting few years ahead.

  24. rtfirefly says:

    Chuck, you were ripping me for wanting another QB but Alex. For a very long time. Now you’re suddenly on Kappy’s side.
    What side are you going you to be on when Kappy has a crappy game?
    Must be nice to run a blog, but why don’t you invite V and Spitty here to share your newfound mistrust of Alex.

  25. unca_chuck says:

    I was all for Cappy next year. I didn’t think he”d be this good this soon.

    I didn’t ban Spiitty for disagreeing with me. Same with V. They were annoying fuckheads who wouldn’t stop their inane shit over and over and over. I gave them rope. They hung themselves.

    • rtfirefly says:

      Is it possible to invite them to say, “I told you so”, and then ban the *****?
      Just asking.

    • twinfan1 says:

      None of these guys have ever liked Smith. They’re not as stupd as the V’s so there wasn’t much choice but to “grudgingly” give him some respect but if they’d actually won the Super Bowl last year- it would because a dinking Game Manager won it and they’d still be “Where’s Kappy?” The dude had one of the best playoff games ever by a QB, then puts them in front (even without his best “stuff”) with two deep balls to VD- and he’s a fucking bum again.
      There’s no question that Harbaugh knows quarterbacks but I really think he’s made the switch as an ego thing- and knowing that it’s already a playoff team, going with Kap is really zero risk, when I think about it more. The posters here bear that out- however it goes, no one will fault Jimbo or Colin. Kap gets some no pressure game action because good ole Alex can bail them out. If Kap really does turn out to be the real deal, the Jimbo legend grows. If Colin fails- the legend still grows, he covered his ass with Smith- that 20-6-1 bum.

  26. snarkk says:

    Harbaugh to the media, hence the fans, still playing coy with the QB situation, which is pretty ridiculous. What’s the point? Just give it up and say Kap is now the starter, and Alex is still depended on to be a solid QB, only now in backup role. I don’t see what the problem is in saying that. The teams knows what’s what, so why not just confirm in public, and move on, and give Kap some public confidence building? Harbaugh is pretty clueless when it comes to media relations, IMO. He’s almost as bad as Sing, and that’s pretty bad…

    • 12th man says:

      He can get away with it while we are winning, if we start losing this press corp will eat him alive. It’s almost like he is trying to outdo Bellicheat with the press.

  27. zumiee says:

    Harbaugh kind of has to pretend like he’s agonizing over the QB situation, when it’s clear he’s more excited about Kap now. As a former QB himself, he knows the routine.
    The vast majority of Niner fans are more excited about Kap now, and rightly so. He’s an exciting player. Whether he’s ready yet, we’ll see in the long run.
    I say roll the dice with Kap. You pretty much know what Alex Smith is capable of, and it might not be enough. Kap might give the Niners the extra something to get over the hump.

  28. zumiee says:

    “Harbaugh is really alienating everyone who is a fan of the team”
    I pretty much disagree with that. Fans just care about winning. The Niners were not looking like a Super Bowl contender in the middle of the season; but then they are again in these two latest games, with Kap starting. And the fans are getting revved up again.

  29. twinfan1 says:

    I love what Jimbo has done until now, the smartest being retaining Smith when the blog potatoes were certain that “Harby” would cast him aside immediately.
    Here’s a couple posts I made on the Flap about this. If nothing else it should set off Fear’s “Smith Alarm” and get the usual suspects in their usual state of abusive indignation:

    “Colin plays differently than Alex, which does not mean better.Obviously Harbaugh has chosen Kap, whether it is the right decision is not known yet. They were going to the postseason with Smith- it’s there where Kap will have to prove he was the right choice. Despite ridiculous denials from Room B, it’s been made clear that the move was made because Coilin was the guy to take us farther than Alex. He should get a chance to prove it this year.Can he return punts, too?”

    “As to why Alex wore his helmet, I’m sure there’s someone with that dime store degree who can clue us in. Maybe they can also tell us why Harbaugh is still being a dickhead about this- calling fans droolers and saying we don’t care if they win or lose, being hostile to a press who have treated him like deity. He’s always been socially inept but never off the rails as he’s been since Alex went down.I’ll use my penny store degree- frankly, he demonsrtrates some classic bipolar symptoms-unpredictable mood swings,excessive happiness,with the Kap move it would be making grand and unattainable plans- im short, he’s nuts.”

  30. Irish Kevin says:

    Well, I see the Kape crusader band wagon is in over drive and turbo charged ready to go. As far as Alex goes, well he is not the one who lost the playoff game last year, unless he is the one muffed the KO return. No the real question is has Harbaugh been calling conservative plays because of Alex? Or was JH forced to use the pass more due to teams going to try and stop the run. I think it was a little of both. Alex HAS thrown some nice passes. What needs to happen here is Alex gets the starting job back. JHneeds to call passing plays the same he did for Kape. And then grade Alex. JH always, yes always went conservative with calling plays for Alex, especially if the Niners were ahead. I am not willing to say Alex Cannot do the job till the play calling mirrors the two QB’s. Neither Alex nor Colin have won a Super Bowl!! Steve Young had not won a SB when he took over for Joe M. I can only imagine what happened in Dennis’s house when that happened. So IMO, Alex gets his job back. Go from there.

    • twinfan1 says:

      Well, sometimes if you give a guy enough tries, he’ll get that Super Bowl- Peyton got one in 11 tries and he was terrible in the one postseason he did go all the way:
      4 games 3 TD 7 Interceptions 70.5 rating. Those knocking Alex for the title game against NY ( while not his best, he had 2 TD, 0 INT 97.6 rating 6 rushes for 42 yards) are stealing air from more deserving citizens. *He* took us to the promised land, A scrub punt returner snatched it away…

  31. Irish Kevin says:

    And the other thing going on with this blogg, the criticism of everything that went on in this game. One more time!! THE CHICAGO GAME WENT PERFECTLY!!!! That game is a once in a season game. get over it, mistakes, miscues get use to that shit you fucking morons. Criticising every mistake is just plain stupid!!

  32. twinfan1 says:

    BTW- Smith’s helmet is “wired”. He was wearing so he could hear the play calls.

  33. unca_chuck says:

    All I’m saying is most everyone loved Nolan when he came here. Most everyone liked Singletary when he came here. They all came in and put their stamp on the team. Nolan by getting rid of malcontents,ushering out the Donohue/Erickson disaster, and getting rid of a lot of shitty players. Sing by putting a tough face on the team, and having a no-nonsense attitude where it came to his players. They both went off the deep end in their dalliances with the press by year 3.

    Harbaugh is sitting pretty now. But shit can turn awful fast in this game. If the QB sitch implodes and the team goes south (not likely) then the press will eat him alive.

  34. twinfan1 says:

    Well, VD now says Alex should be the QB. And you can bet others feel the same way. Players are human beings-they know Colin has performed well but many have been here with Smith through some shit times and they know he and they came out of it to become a top team under his leadership. They’re pros and will support any choice publicly, but they know damn well that Smith was already leading them back to the playoffs and performing at a top level.Jimbo has put enormous pressure on Colin- this is hardly a change from an ineffective, unpopular QB.One poor outing and there will be big time grumbling in the locker room.

  35. FastFreddyFiveFingers says:

    What happened to your butt-buddy, Alex Smith? He’ll never win a Super Bowl as a starter, and his days as a starter in the NFL are numbered. You were wrong about Alex Smith. HAHAHAHAHAAH

  36. unca_chuck says:

    Idiots on parade.

    Anyhow, a new thread is up.

    I’m thinking roll with Cappy, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Harbaugh bring Alex back. That is, if Hairball is really being truthful when he said that he Started Cappy because he wanted Alex to be fully over his concussion.

    Of course this is all part of “As the Stomach Turns”

  37. unca_chuck says:

    Someone get me to 600?

    Nevermind. . .

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