Deposed Smith Becomes Kaepernick's Mentor

AP Photo

Alex Smith could have been a divisive guy, tearing apart the San Francisco 49ers locker room with a quarterback controversy in what would have been the franchise's sequel to the Joe Montana-Steve Young cold war.

Instead, Smith has proved to be a key reason why quarterback Colin Kaepernick is 7-2 as a starter in leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years.

Smith was completing 70.2% of his passes with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, ranking fourth in the NFL with a 104.1 passer rating when he suffered a concussion Nov. 11 that opened the door for more dynamic Kaepernick.

But instead of sulking, Smith devoted himself to being a mentor and coach.

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