Alex Smith on practice

This is what Alex Smith had to say after his best practice of training camp.

The transcript is courtesy of the 49ers.

On Coach Harbaugh saying it was probably one of the best practices of camp and whether he felt so as well:

“It’s definitely the best I felt like. We’re taking the necessary steps. I think that’s what’s important; continue to get better each day, it’s obviously early, but just focusing on watching this film and getting better and being better tomorrow. I don’t think you can get too carried away with looking too far forward. Stay focused with now, stay patient, and just continue to work.”

On whether he has been concentrating on throwing those back-shoulder type throws to Braylon Edwards:

“It’s just something that’s out there. Obviously, Braylon just got here and we’re all still learning it and trying to get better. Just something, not just for him, but for everybody. It’s another tool for us and another concept to throw at people.”

On whether the team has used that type of play in the past:

“Those are things that you get taught, get coached and part of the playbook, and he made a great catch on a couple of them.”

On whether he sees a definite change in the offense from what he has been used to:

“Yeah, of course, lots of new things, which is great. It’s exciting. I think we’re embracing them as a team. I think the entire team is getting on board and that’s what we need.”

On whether he sees it as a change for the better:

“Obviously, what we were doing wasn’t working, all of us, me included. That’s the definition of insanity right? Doing the same thing and expecting different results. Embracing the change, working hard, like I said, just getting better.”

On having Coach Harbaugh so involved in the huddle:

“Not so much just offensively, but even the fact that he played my position and for all of us quarterbacks to get a chance to have him hands on, to have him demonstrate, to have him jump out there and still get in and be competitive, that’s fun. But it’s great to see it. I know for all of us it’s great to have a visual explanation sometimes, instead of it getting told to you. To get to see it happen, even from an old guy, it’s good.”

On what he gets from looking at other successful NFL teams:

“We look at a lot of film, a lot of different tape, a lot of different offenses and quarterbacks and take things from a lot of people. But just talk in general, especially about the quarterback position, how to play it from the smallest details in footwork to general decision making, things like that.”

On opening practice with long routes today as opposed to a lot of check-downs in previous practices:

“I think just taking what they were giving us. It’s funny, checking the ball down is kind of the epicenter of the west coast offense. Hitting backs quick, getting the ball into their hands and space and letting them run. Checking the ball down in the west coast offense if you’re making good decisions and getting through your reads is a good thing. I don’t think there’s an emphasis either way. We’re going through our reads, trying to make good decisions and throw the ball where it’s supposed to go, where the defense is taking us and that’s it. Day-to-day, where the ball goes, I think it’s just a determination of what they’re giving us and if we’re making good decisions.”

On how he would define west coast offense:

“I think if you go back, I might be corrected, but it’s timing in the passing game, the ball’s getting out, all of the routes are tied in the quarterback’s footwork, there’s a correlation with how the concepts are built and you’re spreading the ball around to all your targets, everybody’s touching it and you’re getting them into space and you’re letting them run. The whole idea that you can do some of that quick passing game and underneath passing game and it’s basically an extension of the run game. I think when it started out, that’s how I understand it.”

On what Coach Harbaugh meant when he said installation of the offense and fine-tuning was still taking place this week:

“Well yeah, obviously we’re still installing, still going, this is camp. But in the back of your head you’re ticking down, you know you’ve got a game on Friday, it’s four days away, it’s going to be three days away tomorrow. You’ve got both going on, but the big picture here, we’re installing, we’re going, we’re trying to get better. I understand that that game is there on Friday and we’re going to go out and compete. We’re not looking ahead right now, really just focused on each day.”

On whether Coach Harbaugh’s visual explanations on the field are usually pertaining to footwork:

“I mean anything, you’re talking about eyes, the fundamentals of playing quarterback. Sometimes it is feet, but a lot of things.”

On how well Coach Harbaugh can throw the ball:

“He throws it pretty good, for an old guy. Yeah, he throws it good.”

On how footwork needs to be adjusted playing from the shotgun in the West Coast offense:

“It’s just an extension anytime you’re in the gun. Those all just adapt whether it’s a seven-stop drop, a five-stop drop, whether it’s three steps, those all get adjusted from the gun.”

On whether he wants to play more in the upcoming preseason opener at the New Orleans Saints than he might normally play in a preseason game:

“To be totally honest, I’m not thinking about it, I have no idea. I honestly haven’t thought about it. I was pretty focused on today and trying to get better and change some things and then look at the film and then move on to tomorrow. I’m going to be honest with you, not really thinking about the Saints at all.”

On whether there is a sense of urgency in camp because you had said before the team is behind the eight ball:

“Absolutely. I feel like there’s a sense of urgency. I feel like we’re getting the most out of each day. Guys are working hard on the field and in the meeting room in their books, picking up things. We’re continuing to install and guys continue to soak it all up.”

On whether Coach Harbaugh’s presentation in coaching is very intense or is it cerebral:

“It depends I guess on his demeanor at the moment. Sometimes, we’re in a meeting room and we’re walking through things and talking through things and he’s very laid back. Sometimes we’re on the field and he’s getting fired up. So, I mean, just like all of us, it just depends on how we’re all feeling.”

On whether the addition of Braylon Edwards to the offense makes this the most talented offense he has ever played on:

“We’ve got a lot of great weapons. It’s tough to compare every single year that I’ve been here. I’m not going to try to do that. We’ve got a lot of weapons. I think it’s a special opportunity for us. We’ve got a lot of ability and we need to take advantage of it.”


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