The Alex Smith-Cam Newton Brouhaha

If you don’t know about the Alex Smith-Cam Newton-Jon Beason brouhaha, you can read the full story here.

Let me share the main points:

In response to a question about passing yards this week, Alex Smith got a bit defensive and out of character when he said this: “I could absolutely care less on yards per game. I think that is a totally overblown stat because if you’re losing games in the second half, guess what, you’re like the Carolina Panthers and you’re going no-huddle the entire second half. Yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games. That’s great. You’re not winning, though.”

First thought: Smith’s point about stats and Cam Newton is sound, but if he really “could absolutely care less” about passing yards per game, would he have given a 57-word response to the question? I mean, he really got himself going.

Also, there was no need to bring up the Panthers or Cam Newton. Now, he’s made personal enemies. Smith’s never done that in his professional career. Why start now?

Here’s how Newton’s teammate, Jon Beason, responded to Smith’s statement on twitter: “Alex smith, don’t hate on Cam Bc your stats would’ve gotten u cut if Peyton decided to come 2 San Fran.Truth b told..That’s after a 13-3 yr.”

Smith opened himself up for what Beason said. Smith isn’t in a position to condescend to other another team’s franchise quarterback until he proves he’s a franchise quarterback himself. If Manning had chosen to sign with the Niners, there’s a good chance Smith wouldn’t be starting in the NFL this season. And if the Panthers would agree to it (and they wouldn’t), I’d bet the Niners would trade Smith for Newton right now.

I don’t think it was a smart move for Smith to call out Newton. What did he gain from that? How will it help his team or his career?

Bonus question: If it wasn’t a smart move, would you call it a Harbaugh move? Harbaugh punched Jim Kelly, who was an announcer at the time, in the head for calling him a “baby” in an earlier broadcast. Harbaugh broke his hand on Kelly’s noggin and missed games without pay.

But that’s different than what Smith did. Harbaugh was defending his honor, in a way. He didn’t needlessly instigate a brouhaha in a press conference with, say, Dan Marino for having hollow stats.

That’s essentially what Alex Smith did to Cam Newton. Why? I don’t get it. Can you explain it to me?

What he was thinking?

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