San Francisco 49ers: Evaluating Pros and Cons of Starting QB Alex Smith

Mihir BhagatSenior Analyst IIIDecember 20, 2010

San Francisco 49ers: Evaluating Pros and Cons Of Starting QB Alex Smith

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    The San Francisco 49ers have been battling a quarterback situation all season long, and it's apparent that they're yet to determine a solution.

    Interestingly enough, this problem truly dates back to 2002, which coincidentally or not, is the last time the 49ers went to the playoffs.

    This year they've switched back and forth from Alex Smith to Troy Smith and now back to the former No.1 overall pick.

    While both were dominant at the collegiate level, it's fair to say they didn't make a fluid transition into the pro game.

    While neither appear to be the answer, the team is giving Alex the nod and here's my evaluation of the decision. 

Pros: Salvage Former No.1 Overall Pick

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    Any time a team invests the first overall pick in the draft on a player, it's usually with the notion that he'll become a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come.

    In the 49ers case, it's clear that quarterback Alex Smith hasn't become that caliber of player and frankly may never.

    However, I definitely think its worth a shot to revive whatever is left of his career in San Francisco because it could potentially save them from a ton of embarrassment. 

Cons: Weak Organization

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    One rule that I've learned over the years is that it's critical to always know when to take your losses and let go. At this point, I think the 49ers need to understand that lesson. 

    Alex Smith isn't the future, and their unwillingness to part ways simply shows their weak mentality to the rest of the NFL.

     

Pros: Best QB On The Roster

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    The most talented 53 men should be on the roster and the best of the bunch should be the team's starters.

    In my opinion, Alex Smith is the best quarterback on the roster.

    Sure Troy Smith may provide the additional dimension of athleticism and the ability to utilize his legs to churn out yardage.

    Nevertheless, his terrible completion percentage and excessively high amount of sacks put him a notch below Alex Smith in my books. 

Cons: Poor Record As Starter

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    In the end, all that truly matters is the bottom line and in the NFL, that's the win-loss column.

    While Troy Smith is a respectable 3-2 this season as a starter, Alex Smith is a dismal 2-7. It just goes to show that he's not fit to lead the team to victories.

    The 49ers should be going with the player who gives them the best possible opportunity to win, and that's not Alex Smith.

Pros: Proven

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    Take this with tremendous context, because Alex Smith technically hasn't proved anything other than he's incompetent.

    However, through his career with the team, he's proven what he can be. The coaching staff knows what to expect and he's the safer option of the two.

Cons: No Potential

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    Despite legitimate playoff hopes, when a team is 5-9 it's time to experiment because it's obvious that what they're doing isn't working.

    It's also in the team's best interest to go with future potential as opposed to sticking with the same losing ways.

    In this scenario, Troy Smith provides much more potential to be great than Alex Smith does particularly due to his astounding physical skils.

Pros: Management's Choice

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    The franchise's management staff and the team, and in particular his quarterback, have to be on the same page at all times. 

    What it seems to me, is that people at the top of the organization prefers Alex Smith over Troy Smith which is why he gave him the nod to start. 

    Whether his decision is right or wrong is still up for debate, but I think its smart to go with their choice. 

Cons: Public Opinion

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    I think it's rather clear that the faithful fans of the San Francisco 49ers have lost virtually all faith in Alex Smith. 

    That said, as they continue to start him it merely aggravates their frustration and their disappointment with the ball club.

    If they want to revive their fan base instead of destroying it, Alex Smith isn't the direction to go.