Are the San Francisco 49ers dissatisfied with their quarterback position? The pursuit of Peyton Manning and the signing of Josh Johnson have led some to ask that question. It's certainly a possibility, given the fact that Jim Harbaugh is an offensive-minded guy. The problem with that kind of guy is that he's always looking to innovate and make things happen - even when the current form is working.
You see, it's not Harbaugh's style to earn a three-point win with limited offense and no turnovers. That's how he built the 49ers in 2011 because he was more than smart enough to see that they're best suited for that kind of game. He relied on Alex Smith and used him to his fullest potential in an offense that was light on frills and heavy on ball security. It worked more often than naught, but as we saw in the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Harbaugh is rarely content.
It's not that he'll change things up at the detriment to the team, it's just that he could be looking for something with a little more pop to it. That could be Josh Johnson, or it could be Colin Kaepernick. Nobody really knows right now. It's probably safe to say that Harbaugh isn't getting what he truly wants out of the quarterback position, so he's bringing in Johnson to make things interesting.
But on top of all of that, Harbaugh wants to make sure he has the best team out there at all times. In all, this isn't a lack of faith in Smith because Harbaugh showed that he's more than happy with him as "the guy." That didn't change with the pursuit of Manning, really. It was just an opportunity to get better, and he's a big fan of competition.
The guy is kind of crazy as hell - he may have even tried to have an actual competition between Manning and Smith had he got Manning under contract. That's just how he is and that's just how he's going to be.
So when it comes to bringing in Johnson, it could be so many different things, but more than anything, Harbaugh is simply covering his bases with a quarterback he has a long history with and has been successful with on some level. And do not forget this about Johnson .. quarterback and coach combinations are a real thing. Some players just work better with some coaches, and so much more potential can come forth.
Just remember that there's a difference between having a preference and being dissatisfied.