Let me first say that I have been a die hard 49er fan for 15 years. I am 24-years old and I've been spoiled with Hall of Fame QBs or Pro Bowl QBs on my team. So I'm going to call out all my fellow 49er fans who proclaim that Smith is a "bust".
All of you should have your 49er fan cards removed this very moment, and the ones who keep saying we need to get rid of him are on false hopes. Listen, I never coached or was in player personnel decisions for professional teams.
But I do know this: Alex Smith is NOT going anywhere until 2011. There is no quarterback coming into free agency or worth drafting at the pick they make their first selection. He signed a two year deal for six million (I believe) and the way he is playing is remarkable for a guy who had missed two years from injuries.
The talent level overall has improved for the 49ers but overall its still light years away from the perennial contenders in Patriots, Colts, Chargers, Steelers, Giants, Phily and Dallas.
The talent that Smith had in his first three years were fourth string at best. All the from his offensive line to his wide receivers to his coaches. Smith is 1-4 this year as a starter but his stats are worthy of a better record. He has a 61 percent completion rate, 9 TDs, 7 picks, and 1,035 yards (207 yards per game).
The reason he has been under the microscope is because his defense has been a failure when its needed to make key stops in the games. Against Indianapolis they got burned with Addai's throw to Wayne that won the game 18-15.
Against Tennessee they couldn't contain Chris Johnson in the backfield on a fourth and goal from the two up 20-17, and against Packers he rallied them back from a 23-3 hole to make it a one score game with five minutes and 46 seconds left. The defense couldn't stop them on two third downs and Smith never got the ball back.
Our offensive line is terrible, our defense I thought would play better than this, and quite frankly when your the quarterback of a team that's won five super bowls and had two hall of fame qb's you will be judged more than other QBs in the league.
Smith has great rapport with Vernon Davis and Crabtree. He has a hammering running back and solid wide outs with Josh Morgan and Delanie Walker. If you're looking to blame someone, blame Singletary and Raye.
Raye's run the ball on first down and second down takes Smith and the offense completely out of their rhythm. When the team is down by nearly two or three scores then the offense goes into spread formation and Smith is more effective.
Our GM has made some dumb draft decisions (Lawson, Baas, Reggie Smith, Rachal) but signing Smith into a two year deal is a smart move. He knew that it would take matter of time before Smith is the starting QB and start producing. Smith will be starting QB NEXT season for us. This team has too many holes just to spend a draft pick on another quarterback.
Our OL is terrible and bottom five in the NFL, our pass rush is anemic at best and our secondary needs a makeover. We need to draft a blue chip RT and then address our pass rush or secondary with the second first round pick for next spring.
If Smith performs well next season (and I don't see any reason why he shouldn't based on his performance this year). He will be franchised next season because teams are looking for that qb. Carolina, Oakland, Cleveland, Washington and others, and they will overpay for Smith.
Smith is on pace for 2277 yards 20 td's 14 picks and 60% completion rate. Those are remarkable numbers considering he's in his FIFTH different offensive coordinator and playing only 11 games. It's like going to a college and you pick out your major and you have five different professors teaching you the same thing year in and year out.
Another comparison could be made you get hired by a company and you have five different bosses asking you to do something different each year. That's what Smith is going thru right now, and I am very impressed with his maturity and his poise. He is handling and saying all the right things for a guy whose been very scrutinized pressure on a franchise that was the most envied team in the NFL back two decades ago.
Smith in the most fans eyes and most experts was a failure before he started. He had to come and save a salary cap dumped team and revive a once proud franchise. He was suppose to be the "next" hall of fame quarterback in northern California. Smith is who he is, he won't change for the fans, the experts or his owner.
He needs to come back next season and work more with Josh Morgan and Brandon Jones and who two big targets in Davis and Crabtree. Hopefully he will have an offensive line that can block for an entire game and has a defense that doesn't take plays off when he needs to get the ball back.
But shame on haters, I remember once Jim Plunkett was the first overall pick in 1972 and was considered a bust before he went to the hated Oakland Raiders and won them a Super Bowl.
Smith is only 25 and he has more talent to work with and hopefully with the right offensive mind he can fulfill his potential that comes from being an overall number one pick in the draft. It could be worse for us, we could have JaMarcus Russell as our qb, and on that note lets pray that Smith's career matches his maturity and character.