Harbaugh on the risk of changing QBs midseason: “There’s also reward.”

Jim Harbaugh spoke on KNBR Tuesday morning. Here’s what he said about Colin Kaepernick and the decision to bench Alex Smith.

Q: Was the safety a young mistake by Kaepernick, or was that just an NFL play that happens?

HARBAUGH: That’s a good way to say it – that was just an NFL play that happens. His reaction was pretty darn good – it was the trouble that he got out of. He managed that play about as well as he could have.

Q: What do you gain and what do you risk by changing quarterbacks this late in the season?

HARBAUGH: Alex has played very well for us – that’s all well documented. He’s won a lot of games for us. We’ve had a lot of faith and trust in Alex. And then Colin got in there and did some really good things. Has played extremely well. I really love the way he’s competed. There’s some of that same trust and faith that Colin deserves as well. That’s the thinking.

Q: Is it a risk to make the quarterback change this late in the season?

HARBAUGH: Yeah, I’m sure you could say there’s risk in anything that you do. There’s also reward.

Q: Are there intangibles and tangibles that have really gotten your attention about Kaepernick?

HARBAUGH: Mentally tough. Physically tough. Coming back after the safety and putting together a long scoring drive for our team. And then after the fumble-option play, I liked the poise that he had. I liked the mental toughness he had. He created the big 50-yard run and got us back in a position to win the game – that speaks volumes for his character, his mental toughness and his ability.

Q: Should we expect to see LaMichael James in December?

HARBAUGH: Yes. I think that’s a real possibility. He has worked hard for an opportunity. It’s definitely a possibility that he’s coming.

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