Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft. Now, the two individuals most responsible for selecting Smith are no longer with the 49ers.
Mike Nolan, who had the final say on personnel matters at the time, was fired as head coach in 2008. Now, Scot McCloughan, who held the role of director of player personnel in 2005, is no longer with the 49ers as the sides parted ways “mutually.”
The 49ers signed quarterback David Carr as a free agent and traded backup Shaun Hill to the Lions. Carr said when he asked coach Mike Singletary whether what he did on the practice field would matter, he got the answer he wanted to hear. In other words, Carr was led to believe he’ll have an opportunity to compete for the starting job.
I asked 49ers president Jed York today on a conference call what it means now to Smith that the man who championed his cause more than anyone else – and the man who decided he wanted to keep Smith around a year ago with a new contract – is no longer with the franchise.
“Alex is our guy,” York said. “He’s our quarterback. We believe in Alex. Coach Singletary believes in Alex. I think he’s always said he believes in Alex. I think Alex did a nice job stepping in last year when he came in. I think it’s great this is the first time he’s had continuity at the offensive coordinator. When you have some weapons around him with Crab (Michael Crabtree) with Vernon (Davis) with Frank (Gore), I think Alex is poised to have a good season for us. And (we’re) more excited that Alex is our starting quarterback.”
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York said the 49ers have yet to decide how they will vote on any proposal of any rules changes governing overtime in the playoffs. There is a proposal that if the team that gets the opening kickoff of overtime, they win immediately only with a touchdown. If the team scores a field goal, the other team will have the chance to keep the game going with a field goal or win with a touchdown.
“We’re looking at some different things,” York said. “Obviously, the overtime is a big issue. And we want to make sure we have an accurate system that gives teams a fair chance. The balance has swung from being a fair chance with the kickoff as it is now and first team to score to win the game. You want to balance what’s right competitively with how you make sure your players stay safe. I think that’s one of the biggest issues.”
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