Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

49ers Quarterback Alex Smith Is Still a Stand-Up Guy

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

49ers Quarterback Alex Smith Is Still a Stand-Up Guy

Article excerpt

SANTA CLARA, Calif. --

Alex Smith has won the job, lost the job, gotten hurt on the job, reinvented himself on the job, and experienced any number of other flips and flops as a high-profile 49ers employee.

You want perspective on the hurly-burly of the 49ers quarterback spot? Smith has got it -- from every angle, with every emotion.

Now, after losing his job when an injury opened the door for Colin Kaepernick, Smith is watching Kaepernick lead the 49ers into Super Bowl XLVII against Baltimore.

So, leave it to Smith to provide the best, sanest perspective on the whole phenomenon.

"Yeah, he got an opportunity, stepped up and made the most of it - - that's the deal," Smith said in front of his locker Wednesday.

"I mean, that's how I got my start in college, t was no different. Guy in front of me got hurt, and that's how I got my first start.

"So it'd be pretty hypocritical to be upset about it. It's just the nature of team sports."

Let the record show that Utah incumbent starter Brett Elliott suffered a broken wrist in the first game of the Utes' 2003 season, and in stepped Smith -- who immediately beat Cal and Aaron Rodgers in Weeik 2, and never looked back.

Smith went 21-1 in two years as a starter, turned into the No. 1 overall pick in 2005, and Elliott ended up transferring to Division II Linfield College.

Sound a little familiar?

Maybe that's why Smith has been so gracious about the switch to Kaepernick, which coach Jim Harbaugh insists was not preplanned and happened only because Smith suffered a concussion in the team's ninth game this season.

Smith doesn't have to love the situation, but he's not about to complain about it, either -- that wouldn't be right for the 49ers, or for him.

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little bittersweet -- yeah, I want to be out there," Smith said.

"But at the same time, it's a team sport, and these are all my teammates. …

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