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Colin Kaepernick's play hard to predict, Jed York says

The episodic nature of the NFL's weekly schedule manufactures drama, the most entertaining of which is a full-blown quarterback controversy.

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While the media did its best to stoke the fires on the San Francisco 49ers last season, the team's sudden switch from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick never made waves in the locker room. NFL players trust nothing more than a coaching staff with a superior intellect, and Jim Harbaugh's staff has exhibited that in spades.

Harbaugh's willingness to take a chance on the more talented but less experienced Kaepernick was refreshing, but the 49ers' coaching staff had serious reservations about the still-developing quarterback before his first NFL start.

"I remember the conversations in the week leading up to the Bears (game)," 49ers CEO Jed York said on Tuesday's edition of "The Rich Eisen Podcast." "It's like, 'Hey Jed, we're not sure how he's gonna do, he might throw more interceptions to the other team than ours.' Nobody knew how well he was going to play."

Despite that skepticism, Harbaugh's staff unshackled the passing offense, taking advantage of Kaepernick's superior arm strength. A highly efficient Kaepernick went on to complete 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns in a 32-7 thrashing of the Bears on "Monday Night Football."

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"Everyone was trying to defend (the Kaepernick selection), and then he goes out there and lights it up," York added. "And there's where I give Jim and (general manager Trent Baalke) a tremendous amount of kudos. They weren't worried about what the world was going to say if we make this switch."

The NFL has come a long way since Vince Lombardi convinced his coaching brethren that risk should be minimized at all costs. The cream of today's crop might be charged with hubris at times, but they're also rewarded for the confidence to take chances that go against conventional wisdom.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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