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Troy Smith Can't Duplicate The Magic Against The Rams In St. Louis
I must be in a very good mood, because I could have easily given the quarterbacks an F. The only reason I didn't is because there were many other problems on the offensive side of the football and the quarterback does not live in a vacuum.
Mike Singletary's musical quarterback approach proved unsuccessful and his handling of the quarterback situation was a major reason behind his dismissal. In two games, Singletary got into heated arguments with his quarterbacks on the sidelines.
Poor offensive line play was also a big contributing factor in the lack of consistency out of the quarterback position. Both Smiths were constantly under pressure from on-rushing defenders, as the 49ers offensive line had problems with pass protection all year.
Alex Smith began the season as the No. 1 quarterback for the 49ers. He ultimately started 10 games and the Niners only won three of them. To be fair, the 49ers were leading against Carolina when he was injured. The end result was a loss when David Carr did nothing and the 49ers defense broke down late in the game. Nevertheless, Alex Smith did not win enough ball games.
Statistically, Alex Smith was OK. He completed 204 of his 342 pass attempts, a 59.6 completion rate. He also threw 14 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Alex Smith's yards per game was only 215.5, which is low in today's NFL.
The biggest issue with Alex Smith is he often played just well enough to lose. He had some fine moments out there, but frequently made the one killer mistake that got you beat.
As a free agent, there is no doubt in my mind that Alex Smith will not be back. The fans in San Francisco largely despise him and boo him at every opportunity. It would be best for all concerned, including Alex Smith, if he just moved on.
Troy Smith is another story, He started out very well, helping to lead the 49ers to wins against the Broncos and Rams in his first two starts. The league got more film on him, however, and defenses made adjustments to counteract his effectiveness. Troy Smith's completion rate went down substantially after those first two games.
Also a free agent, it would not surprise me if Troy Smith was signed as a backup for the coming year, as he did show some promise. Troy was much better at throwing the long ball than Alex Smith and he also was able to use his legs more effectively. His completion rate of 50.3 percent is not NFL caliber, however.
Troy Smith also had problems in the pocket and seeing over defensive linemen because of his lack of size. His accuracy on the short-to-medium distance throws also was lacking. As a starter, Troy Smith won three out of his six starts, but his performance declined as NFL teams prepared for him. Also, the win against Arizona in Week 12 was largely the result of a superior rushing attack, not Troy Smith.
At this stage of his career, Troy Smith is not a top tier NFL quarterback, which you need in order to compete for the playoffs. He may develop that ability at some point, but he's not there yet. The accuracy issue is my greatest concern, as that's something you absolutely need to be successful.
As for David Carr, I have only one question. Why did we ever get rid of Shaun Hill and get David Carr?
Frankly, with Shaun Hill, the 49ers probably would have made the playoffs.
Quarterbacks: Grade = D-