A Quarterback controversy in San Francisco is a very familiar story. Why is there a controversy and should there be?
Of course there is a controversy brewing in San Francisco. The answer as to should there be will be played out on the big stage, Monday Night Football.
Why is there a controversy? That’s great question. The San Francisco 49ers were a hair away from the Super Bowl last year. The same team with a much improved receiving core is well on their way to the playoffs again.
The goal of every team is to win the Super Bowl. So that’s really the first question to be answered. Alex Smith is referred to as a “game manager” and he is really good at that. He has the experience and it does take time to really learn the offense and to play quarterback effectively at the pro level.
The problem with fans and Alex Smith is so many years of poor performance. If someone forces you to drink straight lemon juice for 7 years and then adds some sugar you probably wouldn’t like it anyway.
The 49ers all around are really good team. Alex Smith does give you a good chance to win but the confidence is still low. San Francisco fans remember the days of Joe Montana and Steve Young. If San Francisco was down a touchdown with two minutes left in the game you were confident that Joe would marshal the team and win the game.
This year if the 49ers are down at the end of the game the fans are placing their hope in the defense making a big play.
Fans are fickle. They want to be entertained but they also want a Super Bowl. Alex Smith isn’t exciting to watch. Colin Kaepernick is exciting. He is a big guy with a powerful arm and can run. Fans want the best of both worlds. Short memories though. You would think after all those down years they would be happy to watch their team win.
Coach Harbaugh wants to win every game and is going to do what he thinks gives him the best chance to do that. This is big deal for the 49ers as a business. They are getting ready to move into a new stadium and they want that sold out!
If all you had to do was entertain your fans the choice would be different, but going into a new stadium with a Super Bowl victory would be great for the team owners.
There in lies the real problem. If Alex Smith is good enough to get you to the Super Bowl is he the quarterback that wins the Super Bowl? As a team owner you have to decide what is better, an entertaining team that is “in the hunt”? Or a boring quarterback the loses the Super Bowl.
This Monday Night game will tell a lot of the story but is it really a fair test of Colin Kaepernick? First start, Monday Night Football and against a strong defense. No matter what happens in that game the controversy will continue. Why not take the Lovie Smith approach. Sit Alex Smith for an extra week. After two weeks the San Francisco quarterback controversy will end one way or another. Either with a new starter or with a healthier Alex Smith.