Dear Alex Smith,
I'm your biggest fan.
You're my favorite athlete—not just my favorite 49er or my favorite NFL player, but my all-time favorite professional athlete.
I love your story. I love that you hit bottom. I love that you failed miserably for years while your own fans booed you, and your team kept losing. I love that you fought injuries, failure and rejection for six years, until finally you rose above it all and led your team to the NFC Championship game.
You persevered—and in the end, you triumphed. That inspires me.
But Alex, Colin Kaepernick is better than you.
Kaepernick makes the 49ers offense a weapon. He changes the game. He changes the way defenses play San Francisco.
With you at the helm, the offense is efficient, mistake-free and underwhelming. It relies on the crossing route, the screen pass and the run game to move the chains.
Big plays are rare.
With Kaepernick at the helm, big plays are common. Not only does Kaepernick make the run game more dynamic, he makes the deep pass a legitimate threat.
Because the offense has so many more options, drives that would have ended in a field goal result in a touchdown. Broken plays become Kaepernick first downs. The deep route isn't just a symbolic gesture.
When you check down, he checks again. When you take a sack, he steps up in the pocket and scrambles for a first down. When you underthrow Crabtree on a deep route, he puts a bomb right in his hands.
The 49ers are just a better all-around team when Kaepernick starts.
It isn't your fault, Alex. You've given your all for this city and this team. You learned the hard way how to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and you deserve to be one, somewhere. You're experienced and an excellent decision-maker. And no, I don't think you're a "game manager."
Much as I love you, Alex, I love the idea of winning the Super Bowl even more. Kaepernick gives the Niners the best chance of doing that.
It's nothing personal. But Kaepernick's better.