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Crabtree: 49ers' locker room was split on quarterback change

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Michael Crabtree was on Colin Kaepernick's side during the 49ers' midseason quarterback controversy. (USATSI)

One of the biggest gambles of the 2012 NFL season came in November when 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh decided to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith. Few 49ers players have gone on the record about Harbaugh's decision, but Michael Crabtree did in a podcast with Rich Eisen.

According to Crabtree, the decision split the locker room.

"I hate to talk about it, but you have the starting quarterback, and a couple of weeks later, he's the starting scout team quarterback," Crabtree said to the Sacramento Bee. "And he's taking all the snaps with the scout team, it was kind of crazy to see."

Smith lost his job -- and never gained it back -- after suffering a concussion in the 49ers' Week 10 tie with the Rams.

"You had guys on Alex Smith's side, guys on Colin Kaepernick's side," Crabtree said. "I was on the winning side. ... You can't beat the guy who was hot. Kap was hot. As soon as he came in, even though we lost that game -- I think it was a tie, that game -- he came in and it just went up from there. We were scoring that many more touchdowns. We were just going every drive it seemed like."

"We had a triple-threat with Kap's feet, the passing game and the running game," Crabtree said.

Of course, Crabtree's preference for Kaepernick may have been swayed by the fact that Kaepernick "trusted [him] more." In an interview earlier this week, Crabtree said receivers need to have a quarterback that trusts them and he believed that Kaepernick trusted him more than Smith did.

The stats back up Crabtree's theory. Including the postseason, Crabtree went over 90-yards receiving six times in 10 games with Kaepernick at quarterback, but only once in nine games with Smith.

In the end though, everyone seemed to agree on who the starter should be, "I think Kap kind of won everybody over by winning," Crabtree said.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following John Breech on Twitter: @JohnBreech.

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