Jim Harbaugh helped turn Alex Smith from draft-bust into an NFL star, but ultimately chose Colin Kapernick to be his starting QB.
Former San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith says he doesn’t understand why the 49ers parted ways with head coach Jim Harbaugh.
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The former 49ers starter and No. 1 overall draft pick, now with the Kansas City Chiefs, counted himself among the confused in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News on Saturday.
Smith said he found it hard to believe that so many members of the San Francisco coaching staff from his days with the team – just under two years ago when he was still on the team – are now gone.
“I think for me, it’s still just tough to believe all those guys are gone, all that turnover,” Smith said.
“I wasn’t there so obviously it’s hard for me to speculate on any of that. I was just kind of shocked. There were a lot of ballgames that got won over the last few years, but for whatever reason, they couldn’t make it work. I don’t know.”
In 2011, Harbaugh’s first season with the 49ers, Smith went 13-3 as a starter (more wins than his previous four seasons with the team combined) and set career highs in completion percentage, passer rating and passing yards. The 49ers would go on to lose in the NFC Championship Game to the New York Giants.
After being injured, then benched in favor of Colin Kapernick in 2012, Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and led the previously 2-14 Chiefs to an 11-5 record.
Harbaugh would go on to accept the head coaching job at the University of Michigan, while offensive coordinator Greg Roman would join Rex Ryan with the Buffalo Bills. The 49ers named Jim Tomsula the replacement for Harbaugh.