Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Smith making strides in 49ers QB competition


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Jim Harbaugh says Alex Smith has created some ``separation'' in the competition with rookie Colin Kaepernick for San Francisco's starting quarterback job.

Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick out of Utah, has been sharp for two straight days of practice - connecting with a handful of different receivers on deep balls. All along, he has been the favorite to begin the year as the starter in Harbaugh's first season as coach.

While Harbaugh on Tuesday didn't rule out signing veteran Daunte Culpepper to be a third QB, he said the 49ers would first give some others a look before any decision is made.

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