SANTA CLARA – I was in a group that interviewed Colin Kaepernick and here’s the transcript, but first, here’s an observation. Kaepernick is a smiler, but it’s a particular kind of smile, and it’s different from the smiles of the other rookies. Chris Culliver, the 49ers third round pick, came to the press room after […]
As the 49ers begin checking off the must-have items on their list – general manager, head coach and, finally, quarterback – it will be interesting to see what becomes of Nate Davis under a different regime.
The last big decision of Mike Singletary’s 40-game tenure was his choice of quarterbacks for last week’s must-win game at St. Louis. Singletary chose Troy Smith. And last week’s backup conceded today that he wasn’t thrilled when Singletary gave him the news.
Alex Smith has been given plenty of labels during his six-year career.
Bust and disappointment? Those are a few that are appropriate for this blog.
Caught Steve Young on KNBR’s “The Razor and Mister T” on the drive to Candlestick Park tonight. After the requisite reminiscences, the Hall of Fame quarterback got to the important stuff: Alex Smith. And Young managed to not only praise Smith, but zing another NFC West quarterback who entered the league as a high first-round pick.
“I think Alex is a competent quarterback,” Young said. “I think Alex understands the game, and I’m telling you there’s a reaction – similar to Matt Leinart. He can’t get out of third gear. He throws the nice ball, he can drop back. But when things get fast – fast, fast – you can tell, he just can’t quite keep up. You really can’t win jobs when you can’t keep up.”
When Mike Singletary confronted the media Monday, I asked the coach if he felt comfortable with his backup quarterbacks. As is often the case, Singletary gave us more than we expected.
“When you say comfortable, I’ll put it this way,” he said. “I feel good about Alex Smith. I feel very good about where he’s at. I think we have to do a great job of protecting our starting quarterback. When it comes to David Carr, I think David Carr is a guy that I could grow to feel comfortable with. I think he’s a guy that has a good command of the offense. I think he understands, I just think that he’s still thinking a lot and he’s still having to get the rhythm and all the other things, but I think David Carr, I could grow to feel comfortable with him.”
Boiling down the response, it sounded a lot like Singletary saying, “Comfortable with my backups? Let’s just pray Alex Smith doesn’t get hurt.”
They say the most popular player on every NFL team is the second-string quarterback. Or the third-stringer.
Nate Davis has yet to play in an NFL regular-season game, and his performance during offseason practices and mini-camps was spotty. But Davis remains an intriguing figure to a lot of 49ers fans who remember the strong arm and daring instincts he displayed at Ball State. And let’s face it, the jury is still deliberating on starter Alex Smith.
Davis completed 5 of 6 passes for 84 yards at Indianapolis last Sunday after entering the game in the fourth quarter. Afterward, he admitted that he might be a better game quarterback than a practice quarterback.
The 49ers put in an hour of solid work on the practice field Friday morning before dialing back to three-quarters speed. Quarterback Alex Smith looked pretty sharp during that short span, misfiring just once in his 11 throws during team period and 7-on-7.
Whether or not that comes as a relief to the Niners and Smith, it’s certainly a positive sign. As the team prepares for its first enemy action of 2010 – against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium at 10 a.m. (PST) tomorrow – Smith’s development in Jimmy Raye’s offensive system remains the most important issue facing the team.
What, there was football today? The 49ers have gone so tabloid this week that it’s easy to overlook that they’re preparing for an actual game this Sunday.
Another factor that made this morning’s practice so forgettable: It was a snoozer. Coach Mike Singletary first combined what had been scheduled for two separate practices into one, then wound up cutting the lump sum from 3½ hours to 2½ hours. That’s all fine. But after two team periods and a mix of 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 blocking, the 49ers began running everything at three-quarters speed. Super Bowl XXIII it was not.
The good news? Some crisp quarterback play before things slowed down.
Today’s morning practice wasn’t nearly as ragged as yesterday’s, and the 49ers seemed to suffer no major injuries. But one element was off-kilter: QB Alex Smith, who has looked fairly accurate through most of camp, had perhaps his worst day of the summer.
It wasn’t like Smith missed everything. For example, he threw one gorgeous pass to rookie WR Kyle Williams down the right sideline, hitting him in stride for a sure 58-yard touchdown over CB Will James.
All in all, though, it was a morning the 49ers’ field leader would like to forget.
David Carr’s locker is sandwiched between Alex Smith’s and Nate Davis’ in the 49ers’ locker room, and it doesn’t get the heavy traffic. Smith is the projected face of the offense. Davis is an intriguing project, a player with a unique ability to polarize Niners fans. Those two have been receiving a lot of interview requests the past few weeks, while Carr quietly goes about his business.
It wasn’t always this way, of course.
My Twitter friend ED49ERS asked me an interesting question yesterday: Do I see Tom Brady coming to the Niners next season if the Patriots don’t extend his contract?
First reaction: Get outta here. We can’t assume that every Hall of Fame-bound player is headed to San Francisco. What, no trade for Adrian Peterson? Second reaction: Hmmm. This scenario doesn’t seem out of the question.