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Long booed by his home fans at Candlestick Park, Smith had only five interceptions last year as San Francisco went 13-3 to win its first division title since 2002. That was a remarkable turnaround under first-year coach and 15-year NFL quarterback Harbaugh _ the NFL coach of the year _ who declared his confidence in Smith as a winner from Day 1 when Harbaugh was hired away from Stanford in January 2011.

San Francisco went 6-2 on the road and won four of those games in comeback fashion _ and Smith rallied his team from behind five times in all, not to mention a 36-32 victory against the favored Saints in the NFC divisional playoffs. Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Davis with 9 seconds left to seal it after Drew Brees had put his team ahead.