Tight end Delanie Walker has just four catches for 68 yards on the season, but he’s not complaining. “As long as
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Among the other things
–The Titans like to blitz, so the 49ers might need to keep extra guys in to block it up. The two-tight end sets can give the 49ers a little advantage. When
–Most of the time
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The game Sunday against the Titans marks the return of Alex Smith to
But that was not the case on the first day of training camp when Smith was booed after his incomplete pass. At the time, coach Mike Singletary said it was “outstanding” preparation for Smith to develop thick skin.
“I think he’s smart enough to not look back at the past and understand that fan reaction is going to be typical around the league,” Singletary said Friday. “But I think it’s really important for him to just continue to keep the focus that I’ve seen him stay on. Every time that we’ve had a conversation, he’s just really excited about the opportunity to be a starting NFL quarterback again for this organization. Having that opportunity means a lot to him and it’s just a matter of continuing to go forward so that’s where I see him.”
I’m perplexed why so many people, including a few who comment on this blog, maintain that Alex was/is a bust – or, really, that his play has been a disappointment. The disappointment is he’s had a broken shoulder, and the 49ers haven’t had a chance to see him on the field for the past two years.
Here’s a quick recap of his career:
2005: Drafted No. 1 overall, made difficult adjustment from spread/shotgun offense at
2006: Made switch from Mike McCarthy’s “West Coast” system to Norv Turner’s digit system. Became only QB in franchise history to take every snap. Smith improved from a one-TD, 11-interception rookie season to throw 16 TDs and 16 interceptions. At age 22, he helped engineer two road victories in final three weeks over
2007: The new coordinator was Jim Hostler. The team started 2-1, but Smith sustained a grade-3 separated throwing shoulder on the third play of an important Week 4 game against
2008: Enter Mike Martz as coordinator. But Smith’s shoulder never recovered from surgery. Two days before the first regular-season game, he felt extreme pain that turned out to be a small fracture of his right shoulder.
2009: Now, with Jimmy Raye as coordinator, Smith is getting his first chance in more than two years to show what he can do.
So when people talk about how Smith has underperformed, are they talking about his admittedly horrible rookie season? Or are they referring to his 2006 season as a 22-year-old player who was showing signs of developing into a pretty decent NFL quarterback?
They can’t be referring to 2007, when he played three games before getting injured, nor can they be referring to 2008, when he did not play at all.
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