San Francisco 49ers: 3 Reasons Why Alex Smith Won't Regress in 2012

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San Francisco 49ers: 3 Reasons Why Alex Smith Won't Regress in 2012
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers were truly the Cinderella team of the 2011 NFL season with new head coach Jim Harbaugh as the fairy godmother and quarterback Alex Smith in glass slippers…unfortunately, the clock struck midnight in overtime for the 49ers just as the Giants knocked in the winning field goal.

Smith surprised everyone last season by increasing his passing yardage by 1,000 yards, cutting his interceptions from the previous season in half and ultimately breaking out as a near-elite quarterback.

Make no mistake; Smith’s performance in 2011 was no fluke. In fact, it looks like No. 11 will continue to impress in 2012 (a possible benefit from trying to earn his three-year, $24 million contract).

Whatever the motivation, Smith looks strong, so let’s take a look at the top three reasons why he won’t regress in 2012. 

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