2014 DRAFT GUIDE
After another big win, 49ers QBs still in limbo

By JANIE McCAULEY - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-26 17:02

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Jim Harbaugh has watched each of his two quarterbacks lead the San Francisco 49ers to big wins in hostile, road environments - Alex Smith in the season opener at Green Bay's Lambeau Field back in September among others, and Colin Kaepernick on Sunday at the New Orleans Superdome.

Which one gets the ball on Sunday when the 49ers travel to St. Louis? Harbaugh is still mum on that, though he did say Monday he will formally announce his starting quarterback by mid-week so the players don't have to face constant questions about what they know about the situation.

Kaepernick said he was told late Saturday in a team meeting ahead of Sunday's start against the Saints.

Then, on Monday, Harbaugh offered this for thought: Yes, he's keeping everybody guessing again. Sort of.

``Alex Smith is our starting quarterback. He has not done anything to lose that job,'' Harbaugh said. ``In fact, he's playing at a very high level. Also, Colin Kaepernick, you can't categorize him as a backup quarterback, because he's started games and played very well in those games.''

Clearly, Harbaugh is growing tired of all the talk about his quarterback situation, even if much of the drama is of his own creation - and he refuses to categorize it as a ``controversy'' with two capable guys in the mix each week. He said again Monday that anything is possible this week, even using both quarterbacks in the game.

``The guys will be hammered,'' Harbaugh said. ``You go to Colin, you go to Alex, `Should you be the starter?' He's got no good answer for you. He says, `Yes, I should be the starter' - we're talking either one - and you look like you're just building up yourself. If you say no, then they hammer you because you don't think you should be the starter. Then the people, so-called subject matter experts, who talk about, ``You should be making a fuss about it or a stink about it, you shouldn't be that accommodating,'' it sends a completely wrong message, to me, for young athletes out there, or high school quarterbacks, where their coach is trying to tell them it's about the team and all of us working together. So that one gets me upset. That's not what our two guys are about.''

The NFC West-leading Niners (8-2-1) now own the second-best record in the NFC behind Atlanta as they head to face the Rams in a game that will mean plenty for both teams after their 24-24 tie Nov. 11.

In recent weeks, Harbaugh has vowed to go with the ``hot hand'' as his quarterback. Now, he has two guys who fit that mold, yet Kaepernick has won back-to-back games in his first two NFL starts - the first last Monday night against the Bears before Smith was medically cleared from his concussion.

For now, Harbaugh seems to be playing both sides. He wouldn't say when asked whether he has already made a decision for Sunday.

``I think it starts with this week, this game, what gives our team the best chance to win this game, like it would at any position,'' Harbaugh said. ``So in a unique situation, you have two quarterbacks that are playing at a very high level. One's your captain, your starting quarterback. The other has played great football the last three football games.''

Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick, hardly looked happy on the sideline Sunday. Last week, he said the 49ers have a good problem with him and Kaepernick able to lead the team to victory, and he plans to remain positive regarding what's best for the 49ers.

``He's a class act all the way -team player, that's why he has been voted captain by our players,'' Harbaugh said. ``They're great team guys, they're great example guys. We need them both. Both have played extremely well.''

In his lone two NFL starts last week, Kaepernick completed 48 of 74 passes for 680 yards and three touchdowns with one interception and was sacked six times. He has a 102.3 passer rating.

``He's a good athlete and I know that we respected him. You don't really know until you get on him for real,'' Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said Monday. ``I tip my hat to him. We had some people on him who could have finished him and didn't and that's because he's a pretty good athlete and that makes it tough. He's going to make a lot of people miss.''

Smith, meanwhile, has completed 26 of his last 28 passes and sports a 104.1 passer rating with 13 touchdowns.

While so much attention is on the team's quarterback situation, the 49ers' opportunistic defense produced a pair of pick-sixes - by Ahmad Brooks and Donte Whitner - and sacked record-setting Saints quarterback Drew Brees five times Sunday.

Harbaugh will be looking for the same kind of performances Sunday against the Rams. Both teams missed field goals in overtime and left Candlestick Park feeling as if they let the game slip away. It was the NFL's first tie in four years.

Not that Harbaugh is looking back at that frustrating finish.

``Really have a whole new light on unfinished business. I think all this is new business,'' he said. ``The new business is this game, this most important game because it's our next game. It's just that hard focus on that. It's not about unfinished business, it's about new business. New business is getting prepared to travel well, prepare to practice well and prepare to go there and do what it takes to be victorious.''

---

AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this story.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Miles AustinMar 30 05:32p

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 30. The deal is worth $2.3 million with $700,000 available in incentives, according to a source.

DeMeco RyansMar 30 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans (Achilles') said he will be ready for training camp in July after coming back from his second torn Achilles' tendon since 2010. He will [ More ]

Michael HillMar 30 05:02p

Free-agent RB Michael Hill (Colts) signed an undisclosed deal with the Washington Redskins Monday, March 30.

Demaryius ThomasMar 30 02:12p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas will not be present at the Broncos' offseason program or attend workouts with QB Peyton Manning at Duke University. Thomas is currently in Los Angeles for a charity event.

Jordan TodmanMar 30 01:42p

Free-agent RB Jordan Todman (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Monday, March 30. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyMar 26 11:52a

Free-agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Steelers) re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday, March 26. Heyward-Bey signed a one-year deal with the team, but financial terms were not disclosed.

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group