You want to know what the model teammate is?
Look no further than 49ers’ starting-turned-backup quarterback Alex Smith, who unceremoniously had his job taken away from him by the young and electric Colin Kaepernick midway through the season.
If I were in Smith’s shoes, I would have been absolutely irate.
I would have gone right into Jim Harbaugh’s office, pounded my fist on the table and yelled, “C’mon coach! I’m leading the NFL in quarterback rating, I’m completing more than 70 percent of my passes, and you’re benching me for a second-year, unproven quarterback! What do you (bleepin’) want from me?”
I bet that 99 percent of people would have done that as well had they been in Smith’s situation. With all the controversy and hardship that he has endured throughout his career in San Francisco, it would be excusable to simply snap and storm out of the room at that point.
Except Alex never did that.
Although he did admit that the situation “sucked” and he “wished he could be out there,” he understood that Kaepernick gave the 49ers the best chance to win, and that has been proven in the postseason.
So, Smith has devoted his time towards helping Kaepernick improve.
“Really, it’s been the same,” Harbaugh told the media. “He’s prepared and been involved in the game-planning and the preparation, and he’s prepared himself as the starter each week. That’s what he’s done, that’s what we expected of him, and that’s what he’s delivered.”
“(Smith is) another person really to credit in Colin’s success because Alex has really helped coach Colin,” he continued. “He’s been right there at his side, sitting in meetings every single day, and he coaches Colin now more than I do. And that speaks volumes for the kind of person and teammate that Alex Smith is.”
Plus, you never know when something crazy happens and Alex has to step up.
“I respect Alex so much,” said running back Frank Gore. “He’s been a pro. He still prepares and studies like he’s the starter.
Smith put it best, defining the role of a perfect backup:
You never know when your opportunity’s going to come. The good ones are ready when they do come.