During the offseason, the 49ers acquired another quarterback to join the competition for starter. Josh Johnson, who played with Harbaugh from 2004-2007 at the University of San Diego, was added to the roster.
The 49ers now support four passers; Alex Smith (the presumed starter), Colin Kaepernick (a fan favorite with a strong arm), Johnson and Scott Tolzien.
Alex Smith turned in an almost error-free performance during the 2011 season, sporting the fewest interceptions in the league with only five. He led a depleted receiving corps that was in constant flux as the team tried to find consistent starters.
Alex also threw for just over 3,100 yards, won 13 regular-season games and led his team to a thrilling postseason victory at Candlestick Park. The second game was nearly won, but the bounce of the ball decided a closely fought contest. The 49ers came that close to sporting new bling on their fingers.
The hallmark of the 2011 season was that, in spite of 44 sacks, Alex Smith started every game of the year.
That cannot be depended upon forever. Stuff happens, and if Alex is taken out of a game, who will replace him?
Here are some facts. You decide.