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Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith? Jim Harbaugh better be right

The San Francisco 49ersbeat the hottest team in football (the New Orleans Saints), on the road, with a quarterback making his second start. And I'm thinking: This Jim Harbaugh's a pretty smart guy.

Isn't that the point, though?

Now you know what Harbaugh saw in Colin Kaepernick. You also know why it didn't work out with Peyton Manning, the quarterback he definitely didn't flirt with.

Remember, Harbaugh was a quarterback, too. You really think he'd have ceded control to the guy who replaced him?

Or the prospect? His prospect. His guy.

When they met, Harbaugh challenged Kaepernick to a passing competition. Then he traded up to get him. Now his gifts are evident in one bounding stride: an outrageously gifted athlete, yes. But more than that, the coach's vision, the quarterback of his team's future.

Then again, let's not forget what Harbaugh saw in Alex Smith. The very first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Smith was widely considered a bust.

He's my guy, said Harbaugh.

Smith got him within a field goal of the Super Bowl. Beat the Saints in the playoffs. Four touchdowns, ran for one.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay

will re-air the San Francisco 49ers' 31-21 victory over the New Orleans  Saints in Week 12 on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

But this isn't about Smith. This is about Harbaugh. This has never been done. Actually, it's a little crazy.

Alex Smith has a passer rating of 104.1. Leads the league with 70 percent completions. His last two starts? More touchdowns than incompletions.

And now he's the backup. On a Super Bowl team. That's right. They should be.

Hey. Smart guy. You better be right.

Follow Mark Kriegel on Twitter @MarkKriegel.

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