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Should Colin Kaepernick Be The Backup, Or Third String?

I think, knowing what we know right now, that there is no chance Colin Kaepernick enters the regular season as the starting quarterback. There is so much to like about him and the way he plays the position, and even more to like about the upside he has as a potential franchise quarterback, but he's just so raw at this point. If it were up to me, he is not at all in the discussion for the starting job in week one. One has to figure that Alex Smith is the guy in that scenario, getting yet another chance to show his stuff in San Francisco.

But what about the backup position? Should we consider Kaepernick a suitable backup, for any reason other than the fact that we'd like to get him some starting reps in the NFL? To me, not starting Kaepernick is not a matter of wanting to protect him in the way that the team should have protected Smith in his rookie season, it's more of a matter of him having a harder transition to the pro level than Alex did. The situations couldn't be more different, in fact ... Kaepernick doesn't need to be protected because the 49ers of now are a damn sight better than the 49ers of when Smith came into the league, that's just a fact. So it's not necessarily "directly into the frying pan," so what it all comes down to, to me, is whether or not he's learned the playbook.

Which is why I want to know where you guys see things. Do you agree with me, in that we are not protecting Kaepernick from the NFL in the same way that we should have protected Smith, but that he needs to learn the playbook? Smith, coming into his rookie year, picked up the playbook rather well and just got himself beat up and, for the most part, smashed. With the offensive weapons like Vernon Davis and Frank Gore, with potential for Michael Crabtree, plus the young and growing offensive line, would you like to see Kaepernick get the snaps if Smith under-performs or is injured?