You could forgive Alex Smith if the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl was a little bittersweet. After all, he lost his starting job because he was concerned with his health and took himself out of a game; Colin Kaepernick took over, and the rest is history.
But despite getting Wally Pipped, Smith says he still has a positive outlook and said Sunday he "couldn't be happier" with the 49ers' deep run in the playoffs.
"I'm so happy, man," Smith told Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports in the wake of San Francisco's 28-24 victory over the Falcons on Sunday. "This is so surreal. It's such a crazy time, such a crazy moment. Obviously, it's been a unique year, and it would be great to be in there. But I couldn't be happier. This is a great group of guys, and they're all Super Bowl bound. I'm just so happy for all of them."
There's some belief that the 49ers making the Super Bowl with Kaepernick under center validates Jim Harbaugh's decision to make the switch from Smith. (Pete Prisco wrote as much from Atlanta on Sunday night.)
I'd actually disagree on the validation: Regardless of how far the 49ers went in the playoffs, Harbaugh's decision was the right one. That's because Kaepernick makes San Francisco an infinitely more dangerous offensive team than Smith.
That reality is, simply, just a fact at this point, and it's one that's only emphasized by the 49ers' ability to dominate the Packers in the Divisional Round and storm back from 17-0 against the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.
Smith doesn't have much of a choice but to accept Kaepernick's success. But it's impressive to see him handling the run by the 49ers with such class. Lots of people wouldn't be as excited for someone who took their job putting their team on the brink of a Super Bowl title.
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