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Kaepernick doesn’t change Jim Harbaugh’s plans for Alex Smith

Jim Harbaugh

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh smiles during the 49ers’ local pro day at the NFL football team’s training facility in Santa Clara, Calif., Wednesday, April 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


Colin Kaepernick couldn’t have picked a much better situation to land in as a rookie quarterback than he did in San Francisco.

That doesn’t mean he’s going to be counted on to start early in his rookie year. That role is still more likely to go to Alex Smith.

“The plan for Alex is unchanged,” coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday night. “Alex has the ability and the license to be the starting quarterback -- same thing I said about Aldon [Smith] yesterday. Same goes for Colin. Guys will run on their own gas.”

Smith was one of roughly 15 players to show up to 49ers headquarters on Friday, according to Matt Maiocco of He met with Harbaugh.

“It was just good being around Alex again today,” Harbaugh said.

49ers fans probably don’t want to hear it, but the combination of Smith and Kaepernick is more likely than any other quarterback combination this year, especially if the lockout doesn’t end (again) for a while.

The major question is whether Smith will get a better offer elsewhere, but we suspect that won’t happen.