Jeff Garcia: “Most coaches would have put Alex Smith back in as the starting quarterback.”

Jeff Garcia spoke on 95.7 The Game Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said about Colin Kaepernick’s performance against the Rams, and Alex Smith’s recent benching.

Q: How do you evaluate Colin Kaepernick’s against the Rams?

GARCIA: “I don’t think that he played a bad football game, I just think there were two unfortunate mistakes that, obviously, were instant points for the Rams. Anytime you do that, especially on the road in a tough environment, those things are tough to overcome. But they still had a chance to win the football game. He did make plays through the game. He made an outstanding run.

“I think one of the things that maybe we didn’t see as much yesterday that we’ve seen throughout the season was the involvement of the tight ends. The tight ends really didn’t have an impact in the game – only a few catches between them.

“The running game with Gore wasn’t as strong as it’s been in the past, but hey, it was a tough football game. The Rams are not a weak team.

“The unfortunate thing is David Akers, who’s been such a great kicker throughout his career, has missed two game-winning field goals in each of those games. We could be talking about a different outcome right now.”

Q: Jerry Rice gave Jim Harbaugh a ‘D’ for his handling of the quarterback situation. I know you’ve been involved in those QB situations from every angle. If you’d give Harbaugh a letter grade for how’s he handled this, what grade would you give him?

GARCIA: (Laughs). “I’m not going to give him a grade. Most coaches would have put Alex Smith back in as the starting quarterback as soon as he got over his concussion symptoms. He would have been put back in the starting position because he’s earned it. He’s done the necessary things from a consistency standpoint to be that guy, especially from the outside looking in.

“But we don’t know the details of what goes on inside. We don’t know who is the stronger leader for the team, who does Harbaugh really favor as the guy to take them on the Super Bowl run.

“That’s the factor here – who’s going to be your guy to help you win a Super Bowl. Can Alex Smith help you win a Super Bowl, or does he believe Colin Kaepernick is the guy who can help win that Super Bowl. That’s the coach’s decision. That’s what he has to live with.”

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