Memo to Mike Singletary: Alex Smith Should Be Named Starter

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IOctober 25, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 22:  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith #11 scrambles during the 1st quarter as the San Francisco 49ers host the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park August 22, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Mike Singletary has been put into the same position as he did last year when he had a decision to make on who was going to be starter. Last year, it was Shaun Hill or J.T. O'Sullivan.

Hill eventually got the nod as starter after O'Sullivan continued to turn the ball over, and Hill has done a solid job since he has taken over as starter, but this season has been a little different for Hill.

Hill is not turning the ball over like the aforementioned O'Sullivan, but what is causing him problems is that teams are putting a lot of pressure on him to throw the football because the teams are stopping the running game of the 49ers.

Which leads to the problem Hill has currently faced is when the 49ers are going to pass the offensive line can't hold and Hill get sacked.

Hill is not that mobile, so even if he eludes the first pass rusher, he doesn't really have the ability to get rid of the second or third pass rusher.

Alex Smith, on the other hand, is more mobile. He can make plays with his feet and even if there's pressure around him, he can still either throw the ball away or make the play with his feet.

Smith showed this today by throwing for three touchdowns in the second half against the Houston Texans. Unfortunately for the 49ers, even though the Texans were only able to muster three points in the half, it still wasn't enough for the 49ers to win the game.

Yes, Smith did throw an interception with just over 30 seconds left in the game and the 49ers in position to at least attempt a game tying field goal, but stupid penalties also hurt the 49ers in the game as well.

Also, Arnaz Battle deserves some blame for trying to field a punt in the sun as well.

I believe that Smith gives the 49ers the best shot at winning games because of his ability to escape, and team's have to respect his feet, otherwise he'll run and get positive yardage.

There was the case in which Smith went back to pass got away from a defender and ran up field for 10 yards and ran out of bounds. Hill maybe able to do that once in awhile, but Smith can do it on any play.

It also looks like that with Smith at quarterback the 49ers were able to open the playbook a little bit more and the 49ers did something that they should have been doing all year.

The 49ers utilized their playmakers in the passing game, meaning hitting Vernon Davis over the middle going to Michael Crabtree after making nice moves to get to a spot on the field where he needed to be for the first down.

Josh Morgan did the same thing he found a spot in the part of the field where he was wide open and was able to take it for a 12 yard gain even though the ball wasn't thrown very far.

In the first half, Crabtree had two catches for 22 yards. In the second, he had three catches for 34 yards. He also had a 22-yard gain negated in the second half because of Morgan was not lined up properly.

Even more impressive though was the rhythm that Smith and Davis had. In the first half, Davis caught one pass for six yards. In the second half he caught six passes for 87 yards and three touchdowns.

So, at this time Singletary has a decision to make after back to back poor showings by Hill and that is should the 49ers start Smith?

The answer at this point if you look at all the positive things that Smith did against the Texans the answer is very simple and that is Smith needs to start.