I'm going to make two assumptions. I don't think I'm going out on a limb by any means, but I am making assumptions.
Assumption No. 1: Colin Kaepernick will start today's game at quarterback against the Saints.
I make this assumption even though at his Friday media session, Jim Harbaugh was mum on the subject. “Again, it's just not something we think is an advantage for us to talk about,” he said when asked who will start the game. “And you may have your opinions on it. It's unorthodox. So be it. You can call me names if you want, or make sport of me. But, that's the way we're going to go about it.”
I, for one, have no intention of calling Harbaugh names or making sport of him. And that expression “make sport of me” is so British. Are there unexplored sides to Harbaugh? Does he drink tea with milk at 3 p.m. in his office and eat crumpets? It is his business that he does not want publicly to name his starter at QB. He'd be a dunce to name him if he doesn't have to, so all credit to Harbaugh on this one.
Assumption No. 2: Harbaugh would give Kaepernick this start whether or not Smith were cleared to play after his concussion. As I write this, I do not know if Smith has been cleared to play, but it doesn't matter. This is not a medical issue. This is a playing issue. Harbaugh, who gushed after Kaepernick's performance in the Bears game, who could not wipe the grin off his face, has every intention of starting Kaepernick. This, I believe.
Why will he start Kaepernick?
Because Kaepernick already is a better quarterback than Smith. Because Kaepernick has a better arm, runs better, can make throws Smith only dreams of making. Because the offense is dynamic with Kaepernick running it, and because it's hesitant with Smith running it.
I've told you this before — Bill Walsh said to me, about a million times, “The quarterback defines the limit of your offense.”