SANTA CLARA – Alex Smith was the last player to speak to reporters today in the locker room, but I’m giving you his transcript first.
He answered a lot of questions about Braylon Edwards, and at the end he touched on Michael Crabtree.
Q: Have you been doing extra work with guys like Braylon Edwards after practice because of the time crunch?
ALEX SMITH: More so than in years passed, especially the last couple years. I mean, no off season, no OTAs or minicamps, so we’re trying to get that done out here after practice.
Q: Braylon said you guys have been sitting down together on off days. How extensive has that been?
ALEX SMITH: Crucial. You kind of hit on it with the time crunch. We’re trying to make up for lost time. But really, just kind of something every day – do something every day. Try to take a step every day. It may not be something huge, but just little things every day. Stay on top of it whether it’s in the film room or out on the field or just communicating. Those are the things I think that eventually add up.
Q: Are you looking at film of your own team or other teams?
ALEX SMITH: It depends, you know, sometimes yeah, we’re looking at concepts that other teams are running them sometimes, I mean a lot of the time yeah, we’re looking at our stuff. Things we could do better, things we could do differently, what we’re seeing – making sure we’re seeing the same things and reacting to it on the same page.
Q: Having said that, how do you feel about your chemistry at this point with Braylon?
ALEX SMITH: You know, I feel great, not only with Braylon but the entire receiving corps. There’s such good communication from the top down, you know, coming from the coaches all the way down to us. We’re always in there together, we’re hearing the same things and the same message – really one voice coming from all the coaches. And I think it starts there, you know, because really that helps us communicate once we get on the field because we’re talking the same language.
Q: How much more comfortable are you feeling?
ALEX SMITH: Yeah, definitely getting that. You know, I just think it’s a matter of continuing to get reps, continuing to get better every day. We had a great week last week and, you know, I think it showed during the game. And we need to do the same thing this week – put together another great week of great practice, taking steps every day.
Q: Will you play the full first half this week?
ALEX SMITH: You know, typically this third preseason game, yeah, this is the closest game to a dress rehearsal. You know, you treat it mostly like a regular season game, game plan-wise.
Q: At one point does this offense need to have a set-group to move forward?
ALEX SMITH: I don’t know. That’s probably a better question for Coach Harbaugh, but we’re getting so much in on the field, I think at this point we’re continuing to get everything out of the practices that we need. A lot of reps out there, taking advantage of them. I don’t know when we’re going to narrow that down into, you know, one group and they’re going to get the bulk of the reps.
Q: Does that impact you?
ALEX SMITH: There are little subtle differences with the snaps, but big-picture, no.
Q: Has Jim Harbaugh been everything that you thought he would be?
ALEX SMITH: You know, meeting with him this offseason, what I was really excited about was to get coached like that, to get coached hands on. He knew what he was talking about, the things he was talking about, how he was talking about the quarterback position and the offense, and no question, you guys can see it out there, we sure do every day. The detail, the coaching on every level, not just in the film room but on the field. It never ends. And that’s what I wanted. So, no question. It’s intense at times and it can be a lot but that’s what you want as a player.
Q: Are you more comfortable throwing a ball up to Braylon.
ALEX SMITH: It’s not necessarily his size. There’s a lot of other big guys who play his position. Obviously he has the capability to make plays on the ball in the air, Braylon’s got that. So no question, yeah, there’s times, yeah, when you get one-on-ones, it’s kind of those educated risks you take, yeah, absolutely. If he’s got one-on-one then you’re potentially going to take that shot, you know, because you feel good that his ability’s going to protect the throw, it’s going to be him or no one. You’re going to give him a chance to make the play.
Q: Did that sideline catch give you more confidence to throw those types of passes?
ALEX SMITH: You know, it was great to get it done there in the game, you know, not just out here in practice, but yeah, you know, I feel like if I’ve got him one-on-one and the corner’s back’s turned then you’re going to take that shot, and he made a great play on the ball. Great catch.
Q: Do you appreciate Braylon’s fresh start?
ALEX SMITH: I haven’t been around him before so I don’t know if it’s a new thing, but yeah, I mean the guy’s a professional. He works hard. He’s even on me a lot of times – let’s go through this or let’s do this. Very professional about how he goes about his job, aside from his ability. How he approaches the game it’s almost a lifestyle. He takes it very seriously. He’s putting everything into, so you appreciate that as a quarterback. And all our guys do. I’ve been so impressed with all the guys, how much they’ve committed. They’re not sitting on the fence. Everybody’s in. That’s great to see.
Q: When was the last time you threw to Michael?
ALEX SMITH: Crabtree?
ALEX SMITH: This summer.
Q: What are you hearing about his timeframe?
ALEX SMITH: No idea. Couldn’t tell you.
Q: When you find out could you tell us?
ALEX SMITH: (Laughs) yeah.
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