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Colin Kaepernick struggling with accuracy for 49ers

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Lost in all the he said, Harbaugh said regarding the San Francisco 49ers-Peyton Manning flirtation is the fact that Alex Smith was supposed to be challenged by guys on his own roster.

It's not like the Niners drafted Colin Kaepernick high in the second round last year to sit on the bench forever. A lot of folks expected Kaepernick to challenge for the starting job as a rookie, but it never happened because the team was so successful.

It doesn't appear likely to happen this year, either. Smith has the big contract for 2012, and coach Jim Harbaugh has supported Smith publicly as if Smith was his son. Kaepernick's performance on the practice field hasn't wowed onlookers, either.

The San Francisco Chronicle noted Wednesday that Kaepernick has struggled with his accuracy throughout minicamp. We hesitate to draw too much from these practice reports, but the minicamp performance is consistent with what we've heard throughout the offseason.

Smith could still face heat for his job during the season if he struggles. But it won't necessarily come from Kaepernick. Josh Johnson -- Harbaugh's former player at San Diego State -- could give Kaepernick a battle for the backup spot in San Francisco.

With San Francisco's brutal schedule, the identity of its backup quarterback could be important to know this year. You don't need to live in a diabolical world to get that.

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