Alex Smith would rather win games than individual awards.
In an interview last week, the Niners QB raised a few eyebrows when he educated the football world with this little tidbit from NFL.com:
"I could absolutely care less on yards per game. I think that is a totally overblown stat because if you're losing games in the second half, guess what, you're like the Carolina Panthers and you're going no-huddle the entire second half. Yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games. That's great. You're not winning, though," Smith said.
Truth be told, both Beason and Smith are right.
Peyton Manning did in fact talk and work out with the 49ers coaching staff and front office during the offseason (while Alex Smith was a free agent) and had he agreed to terms, Smith's days in the Bay Area would have been over.
Instead, Manning went to Denver and the 49ers re-signed Smith, who appears to have a new found edge to him now.
He's no longer the "aw-shucks" quarterback, but rather the guy who tasted NFL success and redemption and wants more.
Smith's comments are not only 100 percent authentic and true, but they also are meant to show to today's fantasy-sports-driven world that fantasy football stats don't win Super Bowls.
This past season, Smith—who led the 49ers to a 13-3 record, a division title and to the NFC title game—ranked 19th in the league in yards passing. Smith also got the best of eight quarterbacks with more yards passing, including Drew Brees in the divisional playoff game.
Smith's comments bring to mind the career of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman.
Several times throughout this career, Smith has drawn comparisons to Aikman. Prior to the 2005 NFL draft, where Smith eventually went No. 1 overall to the 49ers, he held a private workout for scouts who praised him as having the best pre-draft audition since Aikman in 1989.
Although the 2011 49ers drew favorable comparisons to the Aikman-led Dallas Cowboys of the early '90s, what's even more impressive is the individual comparison between the two former No. 1 overall picks.
In his 12-year career, Aikman never threw for more than 3,500 yards, 30 touchdowns nor had a quarterback rating of 100.
Aikman, by all standards today, is not fantasy football friendly.
He is in the real world, however, a three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback and a Hall of Famer.
Smith would like to be headed down a similar path as Aikman: no stats, just wins.
For Aikman, the wait was shorter as the Dallas dynasty was assembled within two years of his arrival and by year three, the Cowboys were Super Bowl bound after defeating the 49ers.
Smith, on the other hand, has had to wait much longer thanks in part to injuries, poor drafting and head coaching changes, but now, it all seems to have finally come together, whether people like the individual stats or not.