The San Francisco 49ers arrived in New Orleans on Sunday evening, readying for the last week of Super Bowl preparations. Not long after, we had our first press conference from Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh.
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With the national media available, it didn't take long for the quarterback questions to start rolling in. The change from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick was one of the biggest stories of the 2012-13 NFL season. It's now the hottest story line since it resulted in them landing in the Super Bowl.
Alex [Smith] had played a lot more than two good games. He played 26, 28 really good games. I thought it was a new situation. Viewed it that way when it happened. My experience had always been that when it comes to playing the best quarterback or the quarterback with the hot hand, it had been between two guys that were struggling. And that was far from the case that we were looking at at the time. Two quarterbacks that were playing extremely well. We made the decision that was best for our team.
This wouldn't be the last time Harbaugh would be asked about the move. His acute and ever-changing facial expressions was the first tell that he was growing tired of the "QB controversy" questions. At one point, Harbaugh was asked if he was worried about losing the locker room or if ever second-guessed himself.
One more interesting question was; how much did Harbaugh credit Kaepernick with being "the final piece" for the 49ers.
It's been a team effort. I feel like there has a lot of people that have a lot of fingerprints on this team's success. The team has been focused on the unity of the team and on winning better than any other team I've seen or been around. I really credit that to the men in the locker rom. They enjoy each other's company, they like competing and they hold themselves to a high standard. Colin's play has been outstanding and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for that. He, like the rest of the guys of the team, are focused on the opportunity to play and winning a championship.
Given how Harbaugh usually deflects these questions in Santa Clara, it was impressive to see him complying so gracefully at first. However, it got old fast and media week hasn't even begun. Between the quarterback questions and the Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh talk, the 49ers head coach will have his patience tested this week.
"We did what we thought was best for the team. That would help us win games," said Harbaugh, concluding the presser.