By Clark Judge, CBS Sports Senior Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS Sports) — The NFL lockout is good for no one. Players don’t benefit from it, the league doesn’t benefit from it and a public eager to watch Chad Ochocinco at something besides MLS tryouts and bullriding doesn’t benefit from it. Nevertheless, it’s here, and it’s here to stay as long as the courts block an injunction to lift it.

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There are plenty of clubs hurt by the lockout, and not because they can’t cash checks but because they can’t move or acquire players. Naturally, you’d include any team with a first-year coach or quarterback concerns – like the San Francisco 49ers, which is why I include them when I think about teams that have been hit hardest.

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Having Jim Harbaugh as the 49ers’ new head coach is intriguing; having a new head coach and no quarterback in place is not. San Francisco drafted Colin Kaepernick in the second round and considered taking him somewhere in the first, but let’s be honest, people: He is not ready to play now, and he may not be ready a year from now. He needs to sit and learn, but school is out indefinitely. There’s a lot of talk about Alex Smith returning to the 49ers, but, for the life of me, I can’t see why. I’d think six years would convince him and the 49ers that a change is necessary for each.

Besides, the club made it clear that Kaepernick is its quarterback for the future, so Smith would be keeping the position warm until coaches were convinced Kaepernick was ready. I don’t know when that is. All I know is that a new coaching staff has no bona-fide starting quarterback and can’t groom its second-round draft pick. The 49ers have a rich history of quarterbacks, with Albert, Tittle, Brodie, Montana and Young its best and brightest, but there’s no one of consequence since Jeff Garcia left following the 2003 season. That needs to change, and change is good — except when you can’t make it. The 49ers can’t. Not now they can’t.

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