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SANTA CLARA -- Alex Smith, who lost his starting job after nine starts when he was sidelined by a concussion, said Wednesday that he is enjoying the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl.
"Absolutely, yes," Smith said. "Very much so."
It's not how he expected it to happen, remaining on the sideline as quarterback Colin Kaepernick's backup. But Smith counts himself as one of the many who has been impressed how Kaepernick has performed.
"I think the thing I've been impressed with most is, not so much the play-making. I knew that and the guys around here knew that," Smith said. "I think it's the lack of young mistakes that's really jumped out at me.
"Most young guys who come in, yeah, they show flashes and they can play good at times. But they also seem to have those young moments as well, rookie moments, and bone-headed things. He hasn't done it. Period. He's played good ball. He's played patient and smart, playing good football."
The 49ers returned to practice Wednesday to begin preparations for facing the Baltimore Ravens on Feb. 3 in Super Bowl XLVII. And Kaepernick is the quarterback who has led them there.
Since taking over at quarterback, Kaepernick has thrown 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions. In two playoff games, Kaepernick has a 105.9 passer rating and rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns.