Saturday, September 1, 2012

Alex Smith, Justin Smith Named 49ers Captains

For the second time in his eight-year career, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith will serve as a team captain.  For the first time, the honor comes via a vote of his teammates.

Matt Maiocco of reports that Smith and defensive end Justin Smith are this year’s new captains.  They join 2011 holdovers Frank Gore and Patrick Willis under coach Jim Harbaugh’s unique two-year term approach.

“There’s no greater honor than being elected captain by your teammates,” Harbaugh said.

Frank Gore said he fully endorsed the promotion of Alex Smith to captain status.

“He deserves it,” Gore said of Smith.  “He had a great year last year.  He had a great camp.  He’s a hard-worker, great teammate, and everybody respects him in the locker room.  He deserves to be the captain.”

Smith had his best NFL season last year in helping the 49ers to a 13-3 regular-season record and within one game of the Super Bowl. Smith's first seven seasons were marked by constant change, nearly two seasons of injuries and mediocre play.

"I think as long as you got the right guys around us, and especially around your quarterback, they can't do nothing but get better and successful," Gore said. "When you have Coach Harbaugh and his coaching staff behind you and not beating you down, you get more confidence."

In 2010, former coach Mike Singletary made Smith a captain.  That year, he eventually was benched for Troy Smith.  So maybe the guy most excited about this development should be Colin Kaepernick.

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