Alex Smith: “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little bittersweet.”
SANTA CLARA – Alex Smith spoke in the locker room Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said.
Q: Is it bittersweet that the 49ers are going to the Super Bowl and you’re not the starting quarterback?
ALEX SMITH: I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little bittersweet. Yeah, I want to be out there. It’s what you work for coming into the season. That was the mindset. That was the goal for me. But at the same time, it is a team sport and these are my teammates. You go through so much together, especially these guys who have been here for a chunk of time. If you can’t be happy, there’s something wrong with you.
Q: Colin has taken everything by storm these last few weeks. Have you been impressed with him?
ALEX SMITH: Yeah. The thing I think I’ve been impressed with the most, not so much the playmaking which I knew about, I think guys around here knew about, it’s the lack of young mistakes that’s really jumped out at me. Most young guys that come in, yeah they play good at times and they show flashes, but they also seem to have those young moments, rookie moments, boneheaded things. He hasn’t done it. Period. He’s played good ball. Really played patient, played smart.
Q: Do you help with that?
ALEX SMITH: I have no idea. That’s a better question for him. He sees really well when he comes off the sidelines, especially during games. I try to relay anything I’m seeing, but he’s a smart kid. He sees thing well out there.
Q: You said he didn’t seem rattled when the team went down 17-0 nothing. Did that surprise you?
ALEX SMITH: I don’t think anybody was, especially at halftime on the offensive side of the ball. Yeah, we were down 17-0, but you’re in the middle of a game and you’re on the sidelines just trying to get something going. Getting that first score, all of a sudden it’s 17-7 and you’re back in it. And then we score again. We go in 24-14, but we had scored on our last two drives heading into halftime. I think guys felt really good with the game plan and what was going on come halftime even though we were down 10. It was just a matter of sticking with it.
Q: You didn’t do anything to lose the job. Has this shaken your confidence at all?
ALEX SMITH: Not at all. It’s the nature of sports. He got an opportunity, stepped up and made the most of it. That’s the deal. That’s how I got my start in college. It was no different. The guy in front of me got hurt. That’s how I got my first start. It’s just the nature of team sports.
Q: Before Colin got his first start, did you know he could be this good?
ALEX SMITH: Like I said, no question out there you see the playmaking ability on the practice field. For sure. You saw it in preseason. The thing I’m shocked by is the consistency. He hasn’t done the thing that a lot of quarterbacks do, which is lose the game for a team. He’s done a great job of preparing.
Q: Does he talked to you much about how he feels or if he’s nervous?
ALEX SMITH: As QBs, we’re not talking about our feelings. More so coverages and progressions, things like that. We talk football. That’s the great thing about the QB room. It’s a great group of guys, Scott as well helping out. Got a great room. It’s all ball in there. We just focus on preparing and getting ready to win.
Q: You played the Ravens last year. What does he have to worry about against that defense?
ALEX SMITH: It was a unique thing playing them on a short week and flying out there. It really seems like a blur. Don’t remember much from that game. We’ll learn from the film, for sure, saw how they played us. Things they did. Other than that, we know they’re a good defense. They have good players. It’s a matter of us going out there and executing.
Q: What are you doing to feel like you’re making a difference?
ALEX SMITH: Same thing I’ve been doing the last ten weeks. My job is to prepare and be ready to go, one. And then two, anything else I can do, whether it’s helping Colin or anyone else on the offense, on this team, in this locker room. That’s my job. I’m going to put everything I have into that. It hasn’t changed.
Q: Can you imagine not being a starter next year?
ALEX SMITH: There will be a time to talk about all of this after this game. For now, I’m just concentrating on the game.
Q: Who’s job did you take at Utah?
ALEX SMITH: Brett Elliott. Last play of the game against Texas A&M in Week 2. I started Week 3 and he never played again. He transferred.