NEW ORLEANS -- Once again, no podium for Alex Smith.
"This is ridiculous," the San Francisco 49ers quarterback joked as he approached a group of reporters at Wednesday's media session. If Smith is down in the dumps, he isn't showing it, even while answering the 705th question about his midseason benching.
"I mean, it's difficult in the sense I get asked about it a lot," Smith said, when asked if he's dwelling on his future. "Other than that, I mean it's the Super Bowl, so it demands the respect. It demands your attention and focus and it's the biggest game for all of us here."
Smith hasn't started since November, and admitted that backing up Colin Kaepernick has been like starting a new job.
"You go from taking all the reps in practice, being the starter, playing on game day, to a different role," Smith said. "You're not getting the reps in practice, you're doing the scout team. Still, you have to prepare. You don't know when you're going to get a chance to go back in. I'm just trying to stay ready."
Fate has toyed with Smith this season, but he's handled disappointing circumstances with poise.
Smith doesn't want to talk about the future -- not with Super Bowl XLVII on the horizon -- but he's bound to be in another uniform next season. The NFL is a league of rebirth and second chances, and Smith is going to start again. Just not on Sunday.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.