Reporting Dennis O’Donnell
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SANTA CLARA (CBS 5) — After being sidelined with a concussion earlier in the season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is handling an uncomfortable situation well, saying he is ready to back up Colin Kaepernick in the Super Bowl.
He knows the same thing that happened to him could happen to Kaepernick and he’s got to be ready.
“For me, my job is to prepare and be ready to go for one,” Smith told reporters. “And then two, anything else I can do – if it’s helping Colin or helping anyone else on the offense of this team, that’s my job. I’m going to put everything I have into it, that hasn’t changed.”
Smith suffered a concussion in Week 10 against St. Louis and by the time he was healthy, coach Jim Harbaugh had given the starting quarterback job to Colin Kaepernick. Smith stood on the sideline and watched the more dynamic Kaepernick take the 49ers a step further than Smith did last season.
Had he not been injured, Smith might be the quarterback poised to bring San Francisco its sixth Super Bowl title.
“It’s the nature of sports,” Smith said. “He got an opportunity, stepped up and made the most of it. That’s the deal. That’s how I got my start in college. It was no different. The guy in front of me got hurt. That’s how I got my first start. It’s just the nature of team sports.”
Smith has maintained professionalism throughout the 49ers’ surge, which continued last Sunday with a 28-24 win over Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game.
Smith said he saw Kaepernick’s playmaking ability in practice and the preseason, but is “shocked” by the second-year pro’s consistency during his handful of starts during the regular season and the playoffs.
“He’s played really well, really consistent,” Smith explained, “hasn’t done anything a lot of young quarterbacks do – which is lose the game for their team, turn the ball over, can’t operate at the line of scrimmage. Things like that.”
Kaepernick ran for a quarterback playoff-record 181 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 263 yards in the playoff win over Green Bay. He then picked apart Atlanta for 233 yards on 21-of-26 passing in the NFC title game.
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