If you listen to coach Mike Singletary and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye speak about Alex Smith, you never hear any mention about a need for the quarterback to improve his physical skills.
But there are other issues on which the coaching staff seems to focus. On Monday, Singletary said, “Alex is such a humble guy, a meek guy.” And on Thursday, Raye twice mentioned Smith’s need to gain confidence and become more assertive.
Today, I asked Singletary about his use of the word “meek,” and whether that’s a label a quarterback can shed.
“It’s kind of like the whole thing with leadership,” Singletary answered. “Are leaders born or are they made? I think both. But when I think about Alex Smith, when talked about ‘meek,’ I should’ve used the word ‘humble.’
“He’s the guy who doesn’t want to cause any problems. To me, he doesn’t have the typical mentality of a quarterback, which is, ‘This is what I want.’ He’s not like that. And that’s the thing I like about him. Going forward, I’m seeing more and more assertiveness.
“I think it’s a tremendous asset for him to still want to be molded, still willing to listen and it’s not all of a sudden when he throws a couple touchdowns and is ‘the greatest quarterback in the world.’ He still listens, and I think that’s great.
“Going forward, I think he’s going to find his balance. We’re on this side, saying, ‘Come on, give us the information, let us know what you’re thinking.’ And he’s on the other side saying, ‘I don’t want to cause any problems. I don’t want to make this about me. I want to make this about the team.’ And I think that’s his mentality, and that’s been great. We love that, but, come on, be the guy who says, ‘This is what I want.’ And we’ll say, ‘We’re going to go here and we’re going to do that.’ Now, we’re where we need to be in the communication area. And I think we’re getting there.”
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It seems like a lot of quarterbacks have – I don’t know what the right word would be – a “jerk” quality to them. . .
Singletary: “For lack of another word, yes. I would say that. But there are some I know that are very clear and concise about what it is they want. The great thing about Alex is he’s such a bright guy that he can do a number of things. I think he’s still finding out some of those things that he likes better than others because he hasn’t played as long.
“To me, I think it’s a tremendous advantage to him and us. He’s not set in his ways, and I think that’s a good thing.”
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Singletary said the Jaguars offensive line does a good job of blocking for running back Maurice Jones-Drew. He said he has seen the
“There are time when it’s kind of like rugby,” Singletary said. “He’s in there and they’re just pushing, shoving, pulling, and the whole nine yards. They do a good job of blocking, it’s not like they’re cheating. They’re working and they’re doing what they have to do. I think that it’s going to be up to us to do everything that we can do to stop them, but they do a good job of blocking for him.”
But Singletary said he does believe the league needs to crack down on aiding a ballcarrier. The perfect example was last week’s game against the Packers. On a short-yardage play late in the game, Aaron Rodgers was initially stopped on a quarterback sneak. But he gained the necessary yardage when the fullback drove into Rodgers from behind and pushed the pile forward.
Singletary said it’s something the league must address. “They don’t enforce it that much,” Singletary said.
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Linebacker Takeo Spikes saw his most action at practice since Nov. 12, when he sustained a left hamstring strain that knocked him out of the remainder of the 49ers’ game against the Bears, as well as last week’s game in
Out: CB Nate Clements (shoulder), T Joe Staley (knee).
Doubtful: WR Isaac Bruce (ankle), RB Michael Robinson (shoulder).
Questionable: LB Takeo Spikes (hamstring), WR Arnaz Battle (ankle),
Probable: G David Baas (ankle), CB Tarell Brown (knee), CB Marcus Hudson (back), S Michael Lewis (quadricep), S Reggie Smith (abdomen), T Adam Snyder (shoulder), S Curtis Taylor (knee), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder).
Out: CB Rashean Mathis (groin).
Probable: RB Maurice Jones-Drew (knee), WR Mike Sims-Walker (knee).