SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of Alex Smith’s Wednesday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.
What are your emotions for the regular season opener?
“Just to prepare myself this week. It’s the opener, everybody has a lot of emotions. Pretty jacked up, getting ready for this. But for me, just to not get ahead of yourself. Just kind of focus on the next meeting, next practice, day-to-day and putting together a good week of preparation.”
Probably in one sense you have to guard against being overly emotional, you’re going to go into a place where they’re all riled up and all that kind of thing.
“No question. As a quarterback I feel like you’re always kind of doing that. As a quarterback you want to stay even keel. There’s a lot of ups and downs in a game, you’ve got to ride those out.”
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers talked about, you guys have obviously been friends for a long time and you were able to reconnect a little bit during the offseason. You said you spent time in San Diego, golfing obviously. Can you just talk about your relationship and what you guys did this offseason?
“Yeah, kind of pitted against each other coming out of college. It’s funny, just going through that, kind of became pretty good friends, had a lot in common. Just kind of been able to keep track and stay connected in the offseason and when we play each other and things like that. This offseason got a chance to play with him up in Tahoe and it was a lot of fun up there. Talked to him a few times here and there, a good friend. Obviously, getting ready to play him, but for me I’m thinking more about the defense than him. I’ll get to see him after. Got enough on our plate.”
When you guys were talking in the offseason, did you guys talk about how close you guys both were to going to the Super Bowl the season or how the season went?
“A little, not much. We kind of talked about other stuff. We do talk about football here and there, but for the most part just catching up.”
Covering Aaron when he was at Cal, it seems like you two have similar personalities after meeting him. Would you say that’s true?
“Yeah, for sure. Got a lot in common, similar guys I think.”
I think a lot of people are curious about WR Randy Moss? He’s been out a year, didn’t play a whole lot in the preseason. What are your expectations of his first full game in the regular season?
“For me, I think expectations of everybody on offense and this whole team is get ready to go, be prepared for whatever happens out there. No idea what’s going to happen on Sunday, can’t predict anything. But we all have to be ready for it and when your number gets called, that you step up and be accountable and that’s all of us, me included. Don’t know what’s going to happen numbers wise, catches, things like that. We’ll see.”
What did you see at training camp practices that encourages you most about the next step for this passing game?
“We just have so many weapons. So much of this game comes down to matchups sometimes. We have a lot of guys that can do a lot of unique things. I think that’s a good problem to have. The more matchup problems you can create the better.”
Does the question mark that Randy Moss presents – everybody’s asking about Randy Moss. Does that work to your advantage that the Packers are probably wondering the same thing right now?
“Yeah, for sure, the unknown. It works both ways, the unknown and what they’re going to do and things like that. A guy like Randy and the unique toolset that he has creates a lot of problems. I think it gives them a lot to think about. The big-play potential, the matchup problem that he is, I mean with the things that can do I think creates problems. ”
Strategically, they really won’t have any tape to even study, based on the preseason, because he didn’t get many reps.
“He’s one guy. Like I said, the more you have the better. Don’t know what they’re looking at as far as him, but getting ready to go.”
Another Randy Moss question. A lot of us –there’s an intriguing element of how good is he still? Do you still have that in the back of your mind, just how good he’s going to be when the games count?
“I think we’ve seen it out here on the practice field. No doubt in my mind. It’s a matter of all of us just taking that to the game field. I think the great thing is that as an offense you continue to remain multiple, balanced, you can do a lot of different things, you’ve got a lot of problems for them. They don’t know where it’s coming from and Randy is a piece of that.”
What did you see on film of the Packers that made them so successful in getting takeaways? That’s an area that you did so well in last season?
“Two things I think. The team speed on that side of the ball, they play fast, they know what they’re doing, they’re well coached. The other thing is they just do so much. They do a lot to try to confuse you, confuse quarterbacks, they give a ton of different looks, a lot of different pressures. Do some unorthodox things sometimes that you don’t see a lot and I think that kind of leads to turnovers for them, as far as the quarterback decision making. Then they do a great job on the ball carriers, do a great job of swiping at balls, trying to strip, trying to create the fumble.”
Are the roots of that defense similar to what you see every day, going against your own team?
“Yeah for sure, especially just the structure. There are some differences, no question. But the structure of it, yeah.”
Does that help you guys in preparing for them?
“For sure. Just that we’ve gone against them all camp, no question.”