With Kurt Warner’s retirement, it seems that the time is right for a new team to take over the NFC West, and what team has a better history of excellence than the San Francisco 49ers?
In the past, when the 49ers have been good, they have been "all-time" good. They have had all-time greats at quarterback, receiver, and defensive back. They've had Pro Bowlers at running back, defensive tackle, and defensive end.
Guess what? This is one of those teams. Maybe no all-time greats anywhere, but certainly Pro Bowl-caliber players up and down this roster. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a closer look.
Alex Smith has been much maligned during his tenure in the Bay Area, and not without cause. He was a No. 1 overall pick over local boy Aaron Rodgers (which is not exactly making the 49ers look good).
After losing the trust of the old coaching staff, and being benched for Shaun Hill by the new regime, Smith finally won back his job through hard work and on the field production.
Last year, playing 11 games, he had his first season completing 60 percent of his passes. He also threw for 2,350 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but played out over 16 games, its 3,408 yards with 26 TDs and 17 INTs.
Those numbers maybe a bit high, but in a very mediocre NFC West, Smith can fatten up his stats against the Rams and Seahawks. Even when they were winning the NFC West, the Cardinals defense wasn’t exactly making people think of the ‘85 Bears.
He has three talented targets in Vernon Davis at tight end, Michael Crabtree at receiver, and Frank Gore coming out of the backfield. Let’s not forget Josh Morgan, who is poised to make the third-year receiver leap. With all these weapons Smith has the potential to be a tasty matchup quarterback in several weeks.
Smith was a very good college quarterback because...