The San Francisco 49ers were well on their way to an NFC West crown and a playoff berth in 2012 when they made a big change. With a 6-2-1 record, they made the switch from quarterback Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick. The call was head coach Jim Harbaugh's to make, and it caused a lot of controversy.
Now, Kaepernick is about to make his 10th career start, and he'll make it on the biggest stage of them all: Super Bowl XXVII.
On Wednesday, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke was on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco to discuss multiple topics related to the team and its run at a sixth Super Bowl title. He also spoke on Kaepernick and his development, and Sports Radio Interviews has the transcript, as usual.
On seeing Colin Kaepernick exceeding expectations:
"It's awful gratifying. It's early in this guy's career. Colin's a young guy. He's got nine games under his belt at this stage. But Coach and I were talking about it this morning, and a lot of credit goes to Coach on this as far as the evaluation process, he saw a lot of things in Colin that are starting to come out and was always a big supporter once he saw the film the first time. And certainly, once we got a chance to meet him and work him out in Nevada, it was a young man that Coach really saw some real rare traits within, and really wanted to work with him."
Kaepernick has certainly been playing well. Against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round, he had 236 passing yards with two touchdowns and added 181 rushing yards (a record for quarterbacks) and two touchdowns. Against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game, he threw for 233 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Smith had finally earned himself a place in San Francisco fans' hearts, and was playing well when he was benched. The only thing he did to lose his job was get injured, but he was healthy and ready to go the following week.
That being said, Harbaugh will likely never be questioned again when it comes to the quarterback position. The team moved up to select Kaepernick in the draft, they brought him in at what must have been the perfect time and now he has a shot at winning a Super Bowl in what is essentially a rookie season for him.