Kaepernick playing beyond his years for Niners

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Kaepernick playing beyond his years for Niners

FOXBORO -- Let us get this out of the way.

This is coming directly from the mouth of San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday: "Colin's starting, yes."

He's talking about Colin Kaepernick, who will make his fifth start at quarterback since replacing Alex Smith, who seemingly lost his job after suffering a concussion last month.

Kaepernick is 3-1 since becoming the starter. And Harbaugh explained, on Wednesday, why he's sticking with the kid.

"I think it was a unique situation here," said Harbaugh in a conference call on Wednesday. "Two guys that we believe in, believe can win games for us. And picking one, it's who do you think can give you the best chance for this next game.

"He's playing, really, with a lot of poise and beyond his years. He's produced. he's made big plays with his arm and his feet and with his mind. He's 3-1 as a starter, doing a fine job. He's acquitting himself very well."

Linebacker Aldon Smith seems to agree with Harbaugh's decision to stick with Kaepernick.

"I think we're in a good spot," said Smith. "We have two good guys on our team, and Colin's playing good ball right now. It's exciting to see where he takes us."

Not just because of his legs, but also because of his arm.

"Not only can he run -- because I think people have seen that -- but his arm strength is out of this world," said Smith. "We were actually playing catch last week, and I was telling him, 'I don't think I'm about to play with you because you throw a little too hard for me. I can hear the ball coming before it gets to me so I'll step out of this one.' "

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