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Blog Entry

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

Posted on: June 15, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 7:19 pm
 
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Maybe 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree misunderstood the question last week when he was asked if "throwing with the quarterback was beneficial toward improving chemistry." His response -- "Who's the quarterback?" -- was the latest slight in a career full of them for former first-overall pick Alex Smith.

Smith's six years in the NFL can kindly be described as underwhelming, a mix of bad luck and bad teams (and don't forget small hands). But new coach Jim Harbaugh stated in late April, shortly after the team drafted Colin Kaepernick, that Smith (who will be a free agent once the lockout ends), pretty much has the starting job sewn up.

"Well, Alex is going to definitely have the head start," Harbaugh said at the time. "He has played in the National Football League. He's won games in the National Football League. So if I'm a betting man, I'm betting on Alex Smith."

Technically, yes, Smith has "won games in the National Football League." So have Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell, two other QBs drafted at the top of the first round who will only get into Canton by purchasing a ticket. So realistically, what can Harbaugh expect from a guy who has played in 54 games in six seasons, and completed just 57 percent of his passes?

ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando breaks out his TI-35 in search of the answer. Specifically, going back to 1970, Sando looked at seasons two through six for every quarterback who had thrown between 40 and 55 touchdown passes, had no more than 45 interceptions, and had started at least 40 games during this period. (Sando excluded rookie seasons because Smith was so dreadful his first year in the league that it threw the analysis out of whack.)

The quarterbacks most similar to Smith through six seasons, according to Sando (scroll to the bottom for the statistical comparisons): Jim McMahon, Greg Landry and -- wait for it -- Jim Harbaugh.

No wonder Harbaugh wants to give Smith the job; Jim literally seems himself in Alex. (Another contributing factor: Kaepernick hasn't taken part in one organized practice with the 49ers.) 

Actually, Harbaugh doesn't have much choice. And while fans aren't typically a forgiving bunch, particularly after watching a player make the same mistakes for the better part of six seasons, Smith still has a chance to be a decent NFL starter. We mentioned Leaf and Russell above, but that was in response to "hey, this guy's won NFL games!", not a strict comparison of skills. Smith has shown glimpses of abilities, albeit brief. Either injuries or distractions have intervened, sidetracking any progress.

Whatever, unless Smith plays like Derek Anderson did with the Browns in 2007 (it's hard to believe now, but Anderson was a Pro Bowler that year), or Tommy Maddox did with the Steelers in 2002, he's probably nothing more than a one-season bridge to Kaepernick. There are worse fates than trying to salvage an NFL career. Smith, for instance, could be caught up in the sordid world of purple drank.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:10 am
 

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

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fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:13 pm
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 3:29 am
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:02 pm
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Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: June 16, 2011 2:57 pm
 

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

Well he kind of has to say this as he doesnt have a different QB thats better and has no garantee that they can find one when the lockout is over. You have to get the team and fans excited. It's kinda like every coach saying "our goal is to win the SB" at the beginning of every year, if you said anything else, you'd be alienating and discouraging those that you have to work with...that said, I hope he isn't serious or correct as Smith hasn't proven he can be anything like a good QB and if Harbaugh sees himself in that, then he may not be a coach for long. 



Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: June 16, 2011 12:15 pm
 

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

This is Jim Harbaugh first crack in the NFL with the best quarterback on the roster is Alex Smith so he have to make the 49ers fan believe there is something to look forward to, but in reality him and all of us know that Alex is a busted... If the 49ers can get a guy like Kolb i bet you Jim would said otherwise.  Once the lookout over i am sure they will try to make a run for a veteran quarterback.




Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2011 9:05 am
 

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

Lumpoco the reason why people with IQ's above 4 believe Alex Smith is terrible is because we all have his body of work to review. Hence we can formulate an opinion based on actual perfromance based facts rather than blind team loyalty. Face it... Alex Smith sucks and I can believe Jim Harbugh sees a little of himself in Smith because he too was a below average player himself.

LMAO



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2011 7:07 am
 

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

Um, why wouldn't you doubt him?  What has Alex Smith done that you erase all doubt about his ability to be a starting QB in the NFL?  51TD vs 53INT?

With all the vast talent who can argue with you???? Oh wait what talent? At first Davis wasn't used right, no WR until Crabtree, and no offensive line talent until the past 2 years and still has a shaky offensive line... yeah I can see why his numbers are where they are at. I mean he didn't come into a scenario like Romo where he already had talent around him, WR/TE/Offensive line.... I say give him a shot with a team that can at least BLOCK...




Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2011 7:41 pm
 

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

Lumpoco, the Rams are a much better team than San Fran because of Alex Smith.  Seattle is a much better team than San Fran because of Alex Smith.  



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2011 7:08 pm
 

So, about Alex Smith starting for the 49ers...

This is one horrible article, full of personal bias, incorrect information, and amateurish writing.  Love how he starts a sentence with "Whatever".  I had no idea sportsline was hiring 13 year old girls to write for them.  Next week's article: Could Justin Bieber Play In The NFL?


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