As you may have heard, Alex Smith accepted the AP Coach of the Year Award for Jim Harbaugh on Saturday.
Here’s what Smith said, courtesy of the SF Gate:
“I was trying to think what Coach Harbaugh would say if he was here. He would probably say that he doesn’t deserve this. It’s just the type of guy he is. He’d give all the credit to the players, to the assistant coaches. It’s just who he is. And from someone who’s had one or two coaches in my career, I’d just like to tell you that this is well-deserved. Congratulations, Coach. Thank you.”
What’s the subtext of this? To me, it’s clear – Harbaugh is Smith. Smith is Harbaugh. They’re each other’s biggest advocates. They see themselves as a perfect match – head coach and quarterback, and they’re going to be working together for a while.
It’s easy to see why they like each other. From Smith’s perspective, Harbaugh pretty much saved his career. From Harbaugh’s perspective, Smith is everything he wants in a quarterback. He has no ego, he never gives up, he’s best when he’s behind in the fourth quarter and he follows Harbaugh’s extensive instructions to a tee.
Smith is not merely the 49ers place holder at QB until Colin Kaepernick improves. Smith is Harbaugh’s guy.