Before the big game, 49ers coach Mike Singletary is playing a cat-and-mouse game.
Singletary said today that he’s decided on his starting quarterback for Sunday’s must-win game at St. Louis. But he’ll be keeping that bit of information tucked away until later in the week.
Could both Alex Smith and Troy Smith play in St. Louis? “It’s possible,” Singletary said.
Would it be part of the offensive strategy to play both quarterbacks? “It depends on how the game goes,” he said.
Singletary said he’s told his quarterbacks who will start Sunday, but dismissed the suggestion that’s he not telling the media in an effort to gain an edge.
So why not just spill it, Mike?
“Because it’s something that I don’t really want to announce right now,” he said.
Of course, it is clearly gamesmanship. And why not?
Alex Smith and Troy Smith have different styles that require different defensive game plans.
In a 23-20 overtime win against St. Louis on Nov. 14, Troy Smith repeatedly burned the Rams by rolling out of the pocket and flinging it deep. Smith completed 17 of 28 passes for 356 yards — completing five passes of at least 30 yards.
But Smith struggled in three starts after that command performance. He completed 48 percent of his passes (37 of 77), averaged 157 passing yards a game and had two touchdowns and three interceptions.
He lost his starting job and Alex Smith has started the past two games – completing 36 of 56 passes (64 percent) for 420 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in a 40-21 win against Seattle and a 34-7 loss at San Diego.