Alex Smith setting up a 49ers minicamp

Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers have been issued a gag order by the NFL and ordered not to publicly speak about free agent quarterback Alex Smith any longer.

That doesn’t mean Smith can’t talk about them.

Or organize practices for the 49ers during the lockout.

Or envision himself returning for another season.

Smith is doing all of that as he takes a leadership role with the team he knows he will sign with when the NFL’s lockout has concluded. He told the Sacramento Bee he is planning on organizing a minicamp of sorts using the playbook Harbaugh already issued to him. He’s already been leading a small group of about a dozen players in workouts in the Bay Area.

I didn't want guys to be here if it wasn't productive,” Smith told the Bee. “I think there's a lot going around the league where it's a PR deal – 'Hey, we're working hard.'

“I don't know how efficient it is. I don't know how much guys are actually getting done. I wanted to have at least a good enough grasp of the offense so that when we did get together, I could at least give these guys something and help them out.”

It’ a testament to Smith’s leadership skills that he can step forward like that and the players will respond to him. It makes it easy to see why Harbaugh has spoken so glowingly of him. Eventually, he’ll have to make it happen on the field.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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