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Alex Smith had an up-and-down career in San Francisco.
You were probably excited for Alex Smith in 2005. Then you probably started to hate him shortly thereafter.
Smith's first four seasons in San Francisco were bad. There is no other way to describe it. Sure, he played better under offensive coordinator Norv Turner in 2006 and began to show signs of improvement in 2009.
Yet with the exceptions of the 2011 season and the first half of 2012, Smith was little more than a big disappointment considering his first-overall draft selection during the 2005 draft.
First, there were his struggles. We all know of those. There were all those different offensive coordinators too. Smith had injuries, his offensive line was terrible initially and head coach Mike Nolan called him out for not being "tough enough."
While many of his struggles are not necessarily his own fault, Smith became the poster-child for a 49ers team that was trying to get itself out of the NFL laughing stock. There were instances where he was nearly booed off the field. There were cries for backups like Nate Davis or Shaun Hill.
The ever-classy Smith never turned his frustrations on his teammates or fans. He could have, but instead he bore the brunt of fans' frustrations for years.
Smith eventually found success under head coach Jim Harbaugh and played very well for a season and a half. Only his concussion in 2012 opened the door for current quarterback Colin Kaepernick to take over.
Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs following the season.
You probably would like to see Smith have some success in Kansas City. You wish him well. You would probably recall the better days Smith had in San Francisco, perhaps recalling the incredible 2011 playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. You would rather forget his earlier struggles.
Overall, you probably hoped for some sort of "Cindarella story" to happen to Smith. Yet such stories do not always happen in the NFL and Smith is no exception. He was supposed to be a part of the miracle turnaround when he was initially drafted.
Unfortunately, that turnaround did not happen until 2011.
Most of his San Francisco tenure was marked by circumstances well beyond his control. It is unfortunate that Smith only enjoyed a mere two successful years in San Francisco with the latter year resulting in injury that eventually led to his trade.
Still, you feel bad for him to some extent.