Mariucci believes Harbaugh will stick with Kaepernick


Steve Mariucci's biggest quarterback controversy as 49ers head coach came in 1999, when he started Steve Stenstrom for three games before going back to Jeff Garcia.As an NFL Network analyst, Mariucci on Monday addressed 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's decision to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints."Theyre 2-0 with Colin Kaepernick playing and in the Bay Area, that's what they're talking about: Smith vs. Kaepernick," Mariucci said. "I guess it's a good problem to have. You have Colin Kaepernick (who) hasn't lost, yet. But I was really becoming an Alex Smith fan. He won 19 games in a year and a half -- as many as anybody -- and then gets the concussion."Unfortunately, his backup is playing very well. The Monday night game (against the Chicago Bears) was much more impressive to me than against the Saints' last-ranked defense."My guess is, we've heard (Harbaugh) say, 'I'm going to go with the hot hand,' I think he's going to stay with Colin Kaepernick. It's a tough call because, remember, the Niners were 13-3 with Alex last year -- just a fumble away from going to the Super Bowl and that wasn't his fault. So Alex really has done nothing other than getting hurt to lose his job."

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