Around the NFC West: Year of QB surprise

This will go down as the year of the unconventional quarterback decision in the NFC West.

The Seattle Seahawks went with third-round rookie Russell Wilson over free-agent addition Matt Flynn even though Flynn had signed a $19.5 million contract months earlier.

Around the NFC West: Nov. 30, 2012

The Arizona Cardinals went with 2010 fifth-round choice John Skelton roughly one year after committing $12.5 million per season to Kevin Kolb.

Now, with the San Francisco 49ers charging toward a second consecutive NFC West title, Colin Kaepernick is taking over for Alex Smith even though Smith has a 19-5-1 record over his past 25 regular-season starts.

The video from Smith's media session Wednesday captures the quarterback's emotional state following Colin Kaepernick's promotion over him as the San Francisco 49ers' starter.

Check it out here.

I also recommend listening to Steve Young's recent appearance on KNBR. Young breaks down the decision with great insight.

"Alex is going to man up," Young said. "It's going to be brutal. I'm sure these are some of the most brutal days of his career despite all the things he has seen. This is a hard, hard time to walk into work and see that his job is gone and still stay strong, do the work, be ready to play, not let the resentment get to you, not let the double talk you are getting from the building -- because they don't know how to say it.

"They don't know how to tell him, 'You have set records for most consecutive passes without an interception in 49ers history. You led the most yards an offense has ever had [for one game] in 49ers history. You were 18-of-19 [against Arizona], the best passing percentage in the history of the 49ers this year. We're 7-2 and running away from the division, but you are benched. That's a tough one."