Blog Entry

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:27 pm
Smith could be back.  (Ryan Wilson,
By Ryan Wilson

Jim Harbaugh has been an Alex Smith supporter at least as far back as last summer when, during the lockout, the first-year 49ers head coach announced that he wanted the then-free agent quarterback in San Francisco as his starter. This must've seemed odd to Smith, whose NFL career up to that point had been full of underachievement and disappointment (though, to be fair, it wasn't completely his fault; this is what happens when you play in an new offense virtually every season in an organization that lacked stability until recently).

Now fresh off a 13-3 season, the NFC West title, and a trip to the NFC Championship Game, Harbaugh wants Smith, set to be a free agent in March, back for 2012. Even though the team selected quarterback-of-the-future Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft. Smith finished the season with 3,144 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and ranked 13th in Football Outsiders' quarterback efficiency metric ahead of Joe Flacco and Cam Newton.

Three days after Smith accepted the NFL Coach of the Year award on behalf of Harbaugh at the inaugural NFL Awards during Super Bowl Weekend in Indy, the two played golf together at a Pebble Beach charity event. (And via's Matt Maiocco, Smith will serve as Harbaugh's caddie on Day 1 of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.) To hear the 49ers head coach, it sounds like he's in no hurry to break up the band.

"We're all in lockstep as an organization that Alex Smith is our guy. It's well-documented. You saw the way he played this year," Harbaugh told "Chronicle Live" host Jim Kozimor, according to Maiocco. "(He is a) tremendous leader on our football team.

"There's Alex and there are other guys, too, that are high priorities. We want our guys. There are guys who play like 49ers, and what they do is they play their hearts out for our team. So Alex and others, (it's) going to be a high-priority to get those guys signed."

Despite a career year, Smith understands he has to improve.

"For me, it's all about strengthening your weaknesses -- getting better," Smith said, "really analyzing where you need to get better and being honest with yourself, as a player and as a team. That's what will happen in the coming weeks."

The 49ers were a fantastic story in 2011 but the real test will be if they can sustain their success from one season to the next.

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Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:51 pm

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

It's pretty obvious...1 for 13 on 3rd down.  That's it.  Take Gore out.  Take Davis out.  What do you have? An offense that's worse than the Cleveland Browns'.  Even without one of those guys in there, yeah sure, they could beat the Rams, or the Panthers...  They have no choice, really.  Re-sign him for a year or two if you must, but get another QB, or get Kaepernick extra snaps in the preseason or at the end of the regular season.

Since: Nov 15, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 2:04 am

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

Alex Smith can ball. I was very impressed with his transition to a higher level this year. This cat is only 28. He has 4000 yard seasons ahead, rest assured. In all reality though, that defense the Niners run out there, BLAST you. I mean, they hit hard. Alex just needs to keep doing what he's doing, right now. Finding Vernon Davis, screens for Gore, tight outs to Crabtree. Dude can win....I say 5 year-48 million....worth of wins...Super Bowl is comin SF.

Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:36 am

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB


Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:01 am

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

The Alex haters just never quit, do they.  Let's see...Niners came within an eyelash of the Super Bowl.  14 me another QB on a playoff team who was handicapped by an inconsistent OL, poor receivers (save Vernon, especially at the end of the season).  You can't, because all the other playoff teams have outstanding OL's and receiving corps.  Put comparable players around Alex that Brees, Rodgers, Eli, even Flacco have and he'll have much better numbers.  But, it's not really about the numbers, is it.  It's about wins...again, he had 14...14, people.   Get a grip and get off the hate wagon.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:57 pm

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

Let's not forget that Harbaugh was a Quarterback at Michigan and he was good enough to play Quarterback in the NFL for 15 yrs, who passed for 26,000 yrs in his career as an NFL QB. He understands the game coming from a Football family.  Considering he did not have sufficient time to prepare his team properly and look at what he accomplished in one year. Harbaugh accomplished more in his first year than some recycle Head Coaches have done in 5 years.  Harbaugh being a former QB probably understands that position than anyone else.  So if he is seeking to being Alex back, let him.  Lest not forget that he took a Gloried Franchise which became a sorry Franchise back to a Glory Year.  He was 2 fumbles away from going to the Super Bowl, so let Harbaugh run his team accordingly with Alex.  As Al Davis form the Raiders said.....'Just Win Baby".......  Isn't that whats it about forget the stats, just win.  So lets see what Jim does in his second year before people start telling him who he can have at the QB position.  He has won and probably will continue to do so....

Since: Dec 12, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:55 pm

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

I have constantly heard Harbaugh say he wants to do what is right for the team. He has said that no postition is guaranteed to any one player and whomever performs the best in practice will start at that position, and I believed him. After having Alex Smith pick up Harbaughs "Coach of the Year Award" I didn't think much about it, even Harbaugh and Smith in the same golf tournament, no big deal, but having Smith as Harbaughs Caddy, that to me is a clear indication that Harbaugh has made up his mind that Alex Smith will be his starting QB next year and for many years to come, there will not be any competition this spring and summer for the QB position, it is all Smiths to lose. Throughout the whole 2011 season we never heard much about Kaepernick. Smith was able to manage the team into wins with the help of Special Teams and the Defense. During the whole season the press only commented once about Kaepernick, saying that he has a better arm and accuracy than Smith. Tolzein the 3rd string QB beat Smith and the 49ers in a preseason game in which he played for San Diego. It has to be on everyones mind; What Alex Smith will we get next year? The one that played lights out against New Orleans or the one that had 1 completion to his WR's for 3 yards. For some reason he and Crabtree have yet to really bond ( Is it because Crabtree has yet to show up for spring training? )  and Smith is overly dependent on Vernon Davis. Baalke and Harbaugh need to be objective, so far they seem to be going out of their way to do what is right for Alex Smith, but is it the best thing for the team?

Since: May 24, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:51 pm

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the 49ers won because of solid defensive play and a QB that didn't make mistakes. This team will be a perennial powerhouse with the talent they have on both sides of the ball if they get a real QB. A game manager is all they have now. 17 total TDs? Gee, thanks. Half the Qbs in the league threw that many over 8 games. Gimme a break. What else is Harbaugh going to say in public? "Well, the kids really sucks and I can't wait for the draft and free agency." Yeah right. Guaranteed Alex Smith doesn't start next year. The 49ers won this year in spite of him, not because of him.

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:31 pm

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

Look, Alex had a great year.. for alex smith. he didnt make many mistakes and managed the games well, but what are the "even pulls that off" another season. he certainly isnt going to strike any fear in defensive coordinators. We have such an amazing defense rigth now, and some really good offensive weapons. but neither will last long the way free agency works. our star players will be major attractions for other teams. we NEED A REAL QB and we need it NOW. Im all for the idea of checking out Peyton. if his nerve has healed and he can throw the ball ofcourse....  but with him leading us offensively and our D, we are contenders every year for the next 2 or 3. Im not saying im against getting a rookie or great long term solution, however what we have right now is a great opportunity to win more Championships, and for that we need a LEADER.

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:34 am

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

Way to bring it!  props to you, I hope others see this as well!

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:13 am

Harbaugh wants Smith back in SF as starting QB

they have great chemistry why not!

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