What do you do when you fall behind the depth chart because the other quarterback is doing better then you? Alex Smith lost his starting job to Colin Kaepernick, who will start for the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 47. Hard feelings? Maybe deep down, because believe it or not, Smith is rooting for the man who took his starting job.
Alex Smith was having a good season (6-2 record, 13 touchdowns to 5 interceptions) until he got knocked out in the 24-24 tie with the St Louis Rams. Since then, Colin Kaepernick took over the job, starting with an impressive game and win at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears. Alex Smith was healthy and ready to play, but Jim Harbaugh, which many say was just waiting for the chance to bench Smith, decided he’s sticking with Kaepernick till the end of the season. It paid off.
Is Smith angry? He has admitted in the past that he does feel a tad bittersweet about the whole thing, but mostly, he’s rooting for his team to win the Super Bowl, and Colin Kaepernick to succeed.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little bittersweet. I want to be out there. It’s what you work for coming into the season. That was the mindset, that was the goal for me. But at the same time, it is a team sport and these are my teammates. You go through so much together, especially these guys who have been here for a chunk of time. If you can’t be happy, there’s something wrong with you.
It’s the nature of sports, you know? Yeah, he got an opportunity, stepped up and made the most of it. That’s the deal.
When Smith was playing for Utah during his College Football days, he won his starting job the same way – Brett Elliot got hurt in 2003, Alex Smith had a big game against California, and he never lost his starting job that season or the next, going undefeated under Urban Meyer before becoming the number one pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, something that was considered to be a huge mistake for quite sometime until Harbaugh arrived and made the 49ers into a powerhouse team once again.
There’s always Drew Bledsoe’s case with Tom Brady to reminisce about, although Bledsoe was probably less of a happy camper on the outside after losing his starting job.