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Alex Smith did have a breakout 2011 campaign leading the San Francisco 49ers to the verge of the Super Bowl. This came after seasons of consistent struggles in what looked to be a career that would end with the "bust" label firmly attached to No. 11.
The 49ers are also preparing for a 2012 season in which they should be one of the top teams in the entire National Football League.
That being said, Smith must remain aware that one great season doesn't fix six subpar years by the bay. He needs to remain grounded and actually win a Super Bowl before he starts running his mouth.
In an attempt to justify his rather pedestrian yard totals from last season, Smith thought it made sense to call out 2011 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Cam Newton.
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.
Okay, I can see that argument. It really doesn't matter how you win as long as you get the "W." The 49ers did things much different last season. Additionally, no quarterback that has led the NFL in passing yards has gone on to win the Super Bowl that season.
But Cam Newton...really?
Smith might actually want to do some research before going to the airwaves and looking like a bitter quarterback.
Newton has a total of three 300-yard passing games, all in the first quarter of the 2011 season. While Carolina did lose all three of those games, what Newton did for that offense and team last year was nothing short of amazing.
They went from 32nd in the league in scoring in 2010 to fifth last season.
Carolina scored a total of 47 offensive touchdowns in 2011, compared to a paltry 16 the season before. Most importantly, the Panthers won three times more games with Newton at quarterback than they did the previous season. Find those statistics and more here.
Next time Smith wants to make a point, he might not want to pick on the quarterback that won more games in his rookie year than Smith has won in four of his six NFL seasons.
For his part, Smith has since recanted these statements.