San Francisco 49ers: Why Alex Smith Is All We Have

Ryan FridayCorrespondent IOctober 11, 2010

This is what happened. Then 2 TD's Later. But still 0-5
This is what happened. Then 2 TD's Later. But still 0-5Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Now that I've got your attention...

This is being written just minutes after the 24-27 loss to the Eagles. Why am I so quick to pull the trigger? Because I wanted to be the first to satirize this. 

If you have read my previous article, in a nut shell, I talked about how Alex Smith is pretty much the best of our choices, and hoping for the best out of the season is about all we can do.

Well, I still feel the same way. Me and, well, if I'm lucky, one or two other people. (which possibly includes Alex Smith himself). 


Let's break down this game:

The first scoring drive by the 49ers looked good. Smith to Crabtree here and there. But it also looked good against the Falcons. 

Then again, outside of a field goal that's all the offense was. The offense had trouble getting going after that first drive. An interception and multiple fumbles didn't help either.

 In addition the defense allowed big plays.

However it was still a one score game at the half. A bit disappointing because of course it could have been better.


Then the second half came. 

The third quarter was dreadful.

Alex Smith tried to do more than he should have and ended up committing the worst possible error: he fumbled and the Eagles returned the ball for a TD.

Oh how the angry faithful roared. I for one laughed and said, "Okay, put in Carr."

Nope. Smith went back in. Had a very sorry looking three and out. The angry faithful's roars grew louder. I continued to laugh in awe, and said, "Oh, put in Carr." 

But before we get into it, I thought the the defense played amazingly in the second half, holding the Eagles offense to just a field goal. Please don't discredit the defense at all. 

Anyway, Smith stayed in. While Carr was warming up during the Eagles offensive series, Smith and Singletary were going at it. 

And this obviously wasn't an exchange of encouragement.

If my lip reading is accurate enough, Singletary's words went a little something like this:

Look at the score board. That is you. That is all on you. If that is what you are, then I can't have you in this game. Is this who you are?"

Something like that, with a few swear words omitted.

I'd like to imagine Smith's response was something like this:

"I started this coach. Let me finish it. This is all on me." 

Sounds like a bad Disney football movie doesn't it? 

Let me describe the crowd's response:

How could any human being go back in after that? I mean how could you possibly go? It was like a Republican trying to get the crowd stirred up at the Democratic National Convention. Or kind of like a few seasons ago when Rex Grossman got booed off his field in favor of Brian Griese. 


Smith, still wanted to be in. 

And you can kind of see where I am going with this. 

Alex Smith, amongst the hubbub of the angry faithful, gets in for his second series after that horrific fumble (all his fault by the way) and went 9/9 with a TD. 

The second Scoring drive, Smith went 8/9 with a TD.

I for one can't see how anyone can perform like that after receiving such a negative response from the fans.

You might say he didn't stay because he wanted to. Singletary made that decision and better coaches would have put Carr in. 

For my part, I want to give Smith credit for staying in. 

The easy, simple choice would be for him to crawl in a hole and let David Carr clean up his mess. Kind of like when a child misbehaves and you let him sit in a corner while someone else cleans it.

Being a good parent, wouldn't you let the kid fix it himself?



Anyway, you cannot deny how well he played after that conversation.

But of course you can't deny how bad he played either—I'm not telling you to forget about that.

Smith is not the future. That is clear. Smith is the QB of now. If you expect that Carr will turn this season around, you are wrong. 

Notice I am not giving any excuses. or a ton of what-ifs.  You won't hear anything about bad coaching, coordinators, Gore's fumbles, the offensive line's penalties, the defense playing bad (which they didn't), whatever you want to say. 

I am only telling you what Alex Smith is.  I don't think any other quarterback, that we currently have will give it as much of an effort at this point. I don't think anyone else knows the players enough, nor is anyone else going to respond to such a tirade, and play as well as he did. 

David Carr isn't this. 

Troy Smith isn't this. 


Why am I only looking at the positives? Because I'm a 49er faithful. However, I will only have faith in you as long as you don't screw up. He's screwed up a ton but I have no choice but to still be faithful to whoever is out there. 

I am not going to deny Alex Smith's terrible play or how it will be a hard goodbye by the end of the season.  It was one of the nastiest berating I've ever heard. It was worse than the Vince Young one, worse than the Ryan Leaf one, even worse then the one Ashley Simpson got a few years ago. 

Before I leave you let me bring back a memory that some of us remember:

Remember when Steven Young was playing terribly and Seifert took him out? Young got angry openly criticizing the decision, but he got put back in anyway the next game because he believed he could do the job. It was his offense, his players, and his mess to make up for. And hey didn't he win a Super Bowl that year? 

I don't remember. 

I have all the respect for anyone willing to man-up to this kind of situation. Again, he is not the future, he's just all we have for the time being. I won't be angry if Carr starts, but I will be content if it's Smith who gets the nod instead.


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