Alex Smith is No. 1, for now.


Although Jim Harbaugh has said a couple of times that there is no depth chart on the 49ers, just a rep chart, the head coach confirmed today that Alex Smith is No. 1 and Colin Kaepernick is No. 2, “for now.” That being said, Harbaugh admitted he wants to “kick the tires” on Daunte Culpepper, and the 49ers will soon give him a workout.

Here’s what the No. 1 QB had to say after practice.

Q: Protection was a big theme Friday. Do you think you guys worked out some things today in practice?

ALEX SMITH: Definitely, not just today but in the film room. A lot of that happens and it’s a problem with the communication. We’ve only had so much time to get so many reps in. A lot of this we have to learn on the fly. The first time we’ve some of those blitzes. You would hope that we would have executed better out there, but we didn’t and we have to learn from it.

Q: Was it more schematics or guys getting beat one-on-one?

ALEX SMITH: It was not seeing. Kind of a matter of, it seemed like every play there was a breakdown somewhere. Whether it was the quarterback, the receiver, up front, we all hard our hands in it, and we all took our turn, that’s what it looked like.

Q: Was it a communication issue?

ALEX SMITH: Some. Some things haven’t been communicated, some things have and we just didn’t execute. So I’d say both.

Q: They blitzed seven guys on that first play and throughout the day. Had you been practicing against seven?

ALEX SMITH: I hadn’t seen cover zero like that, just man across the board and bringing everybody. It’s something I haven’t seen a lot of this camp thus far. I’ve seen it on film, we weren’t necessarily expecting it, but there’s no rules in preseason. They decided to bring it out and we’ve got to get better from it.

Q: When would a team usually start preparing for that?

ALEX SMITH: In camp. The general progression is the first preseason game is pretty generic. You ramp your way up and everyone knows the third preseason game is the most dress-rehearsal like. That’s when you’re going to get your most game-time calls.

Q: Does this feel like a competition with Kaepernick?

ALEX SMITH: Absolutely. Without a doubt. Just the way the coach has set it up. It’s all about the football, it’s all out on the field. There’s nothing else. No politics or anything else going on. It’s just about performing out here, which is the way it should be.

Q: You’ve been getting all the first team reps.

ALEX SMITH: I don’t know what the plan is for that. We kind of just take it day-by-day. Colin got a lot of reps those first six days. So I don’t know if it’s a chance to kind of let me catch up or what, but I’m trying to take advantage of them right now.


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