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Jim Harbaugh mum on San Francisco 49ers' starting QB

Jim Harbaugh decides who plays quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He just doesn't like talking about it.

After Colin Kaepernick's second consecutive strong performance, this time in Sunday's 31-21 win over the New Orleans Saints, Harbaugh was asked if the second-year pro will remain the starter ahead of presumably benched Alex Smith.

"We'll address that at a later date," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh obviously isn't in a rush to show his hand. Kaepernick has made a serious case for the starting job with back-to-back wins over a six-day span, but it remains unclear if Kaepernick actually won the gig or if he's merely filling in for Smith, who suffered a concussion two weeks ago.

Smith was cleared by doctors Saturday, but he said he hasn't been informed what his role is at this point.

"I have no idea, honestly," Smith told's Albert Breer.

Tight end Vernon Davis believes Smith deserves to be on the field.

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"It's difficult, but I think Alex is still the man," Davis told Breer. "In my heart, I strongly believe that. And you'll know, next week, Coach Harbaugh will make a right decision with who he wants to go with, but right now, we have two outstanding playmakers."

Smith doesn't deserve to lose the job based on his play this season, but it's hard to imagine Harbaugh turning back now. Kaepernick threw for 231 yards on just 25 passes Sunday. Add his ability to move the ball with his legs, and he's simply a more dynamic option than Smith.

These 49ers are about defense -- they proved that again with a ferocious performance against the Saints. Kaepernick gives the offense an edge that Harbaugh has to love. Not that he'd tell us so.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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