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i was reading in PFW about the QB situation in san fran and how harbaugh wants smith to stick around and thinks he can work with him, the new GM thinks that it is unlikely that they will stick with him. meanwhile, alex smith seems ok about the idea of working with harbaugh (or so it seems) but overall uninterested in sticking around with the 49ers, after all...who can blame him after what he's had to put up with there?

what has he had to put up with there?

when smith was drafted, it was the year that mike nolan was named coach. his OC was mike mccarthy who runs a WCO which is probably the most complicated of the schemes used by the NFL. so not only do you have a 20 year old QB coming out of a spread to the pros, you have a 20 year old rookie QB coming into a system that takes 4-5 years for a QB and the rest of the team to get a full grasp on. it's no wonder smith had the problems he had (1 TD:11 INTs) as a rookie. there was bound to be problems having a rookie starting, but having him start in a WCO was just dumb. the scheme needs to be rookie QB friendly for him to be able to adjust to the game. that is something that teams more recently have caught on to. this was very much a case of a round peg trying to fit into a square hole.

well, after that season, OC #1 left to become head coach of the packers. in came OC #2 in season #2 for smith. in also came offense #2, the air coryell offense with norv turner...quite different, but not nearly as complicated. there was nowhere to go but up for smith, but up he went doing much better than the previous year. he threw 16 TDs and 16 INTs. not too shabby for a 2nd year QB, esp. after how he looked the previous season.

well, after that season, turner left to become HC for the chargers. that meant hostler became the 3rd OC in smiths 3rd year bringing in a 3rd offense. it wasn't a WCO and it wasn't a coryell. it was the ugly abomination of a bastard child of the two. it was hostler's brain child. i'm not sure, but i think its called the fail offense. the playcalling was horrible. it hugely underutilized their best weapon in frank gore. the players didn't like him or trust him. he was probably worse than davidson last year. smith started off that year hoping to build on his success from the previous year, but he struggled in that God forsaken offense and then he got hurt very early in the season (4th game). nolan was a jerk and got smith back in the game too early and smith got hurt again in the same area (shoulder).

hostler got fired as the season ended and then in came mike martz as OC #4 in season #4 bringing in offense #4 for smith. martz's offense has it's roots in the coryell, but is a much more complicated version of it...too complicated according to many. martz wanted a big gun slinger for the job and went to jt osullivan. osullivan sucked. mike nolan gets fired. singletary gets made head coach. osullivan gets replaced with shaun hill. smith sits on the bench. martz gets fired by singletary who wants a more conservative ball control offense rather than the high wire circus act known as a mike martz offense. in comes jimmy raye as the 5th OC in smith's fourth year. in comes smith's 5th offense in 4 years. season ends with smith still on the bench.

next year the OC stays the same for the first time in smith's 5 year career. smith was benched for the first 5 games but half way through the 6th he stepped in and finished with a 5-5 record, 18 TDs and 12 INTs. he did surprisingly well considering all the changes that had taken place every year he had been there.

2010 season, they start out with the same OC, but then he gets fired 3 games into the season. so in comes OC number 6 in year number 6 with a 6th offense, which has a lot of singletary's offense in it but with elements of the spread. smith does ok for a few games, throwing 7 TDs (including 3 in 1) and 4 INTs with the new OC and offense, but then gets injured by charles johnson which very well could have been the reason they lost the game. smith wasn't winning much, but a lot of that had to do with singletary who was becoming pretty schizophrenic his last year there. troy smith comes in and wins a couple games, but then has a melt down and alex smith comes back in and wins 2 and throws 5 TDs and 1 INT.

point of all that is to ask, is alex smith a bust or just a guy with a stream of bad luck? 2 HC's fired while there and 6 OCs with 6 different offenses in his 6 seasons as a pro.

after that first miserable season of his, he went on to throw 50 TDs and 42 INTs in 45 games. that isn't anything stellar, but when you consider how much of a clusterf*ck his situation has been, it's pretty reasonable.

any QB coming into the league needs to have a team commit itself to him. more than that, he needs consistency so that he can learn the job he has. he doesn't need to be in a situation where the OC and the offense changes every year. why didn't he make the transition to the pros very well? was it because he came from a spread or because of the crappy situation he was thrown into.

i'm not even sure that you can call him a bust knowing what he went through. if he is, it's no more his fault than someone getting injured early on and having a mediocre career can be called a bust. it's a busted situation that kept getting busted up. it wasn't the spread offense he played in college that hurt him. it's having to learn a new offense every year with no real time to get completely acclimated to it.

agree or disagree?

discussion seems appropriate, imo, for any season where you have college QBs playing in the spread moving to the pros, esp when he is many times the first QBs name thrown out there of why it can't wok.
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yup, a bust.
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The answer to the question is 75% Alex Smith and 25% organizational discord. If he would have been just slightly talented and able to put it on the field, there wouldn't have been as much turnover because coaches would have kept their jobs.

And I don't think Harbaugh thinks he can turn Alex Smith around, but since they don't have anything at the position, wanting Alex Smith or nothing is a close call, but Harbaugh is making the right call by keeping the door open just in case.
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It's true when drafting a QB you also need a coach that will be around long enough to develop that qb. Same point Alice Smith Sucks...... He was a reach but it was one of the worst NFL drafts to have the 1.1.

1 San Francisco 49ers Alex Smith Quarterback Utah
2 Miami Dolphins Ronnie Brown Running back Auburn
3 Cleveland Browns Braylon Edwards Wide Receiver Michigan
4 Chicago Bears Cedric Benson Running back Texas
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carnell Williams Running back Auburn
6 Tennessee Titans Adam Jones Cornerback West Virginia
7 Minnesota Vikings (from Oakland) Troy Williamson Wide Receiver South Carolina
8 Arizona Cardinals Antrel Rolle Cornerback Miami (FL)
9 Washington Redskins Carlos Rogers Cornerback Auburn
10 Detroit Lions Mike Williams Wide Receiver USC
11 Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Linebacker Troy
12 San Diego Chargers (from New York Giants) Shawne Merriman Linebacker Maryland
13 New Orleans Saints (from Houston) Jammal Brown Offensive Tackle Oklahoma
14 Carolina Panthers Thomas Davis Linebacker Georgia
15 Kansas City Chiefs Derrick Johnson Linebacker Texas
16 Houston Texans (from New Orleans) Travis Johnson Defensive Tackle Florida State
17 Cincinnati Bengals David Pollack Linebacker Georgia
18 Minnesota Vikings Erasmus James Defensive End Wisconsin
19 St. Louis Rams Alex Barron Offensive Tackle Florida State
20 Dallas Cowboys (from Buffalo)[7] Marcus Spears Defensive End LSU
21 Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Jones Wide Receiver Arkansas
22 Baltimore Ravens Mark Clayton Wide Receiver Oklahoma
23 Oakland Raiders (from Seattle) Fabian Washington Cornerback Nebraska
24 Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers Quarterback California
25 Washington Redskins (from Denver) Jason Campbell Quarterback Auburn
26 Seattle Seahawks (from New York Jets through Oakland) Chris Spencer Center Mississippi
27 Atlanta Falcons Roddy White Wide Receiver UAB
28 San Diego Chargers Luis Castillo Defensive Tackle Northwestern
29 Indianapolis Colts Marlin Jackson Cornerback Michigan
30 Pittsburgh Steelers Heath Miller Tight End Virginia
31 Philadelphia Eagles Mike Patterson Defensive Tackle USC
32 New England Patriots Logan Mankins Offensive Guard Fresno State
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A.Rodgers would have worked ok.

Not like they had to go very far to scout him.
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take Raynmans original post and substitute Jason Campbell for Alex Smith and Redskins for 49ers......its amazing the story around it doesnt need to change much. So you have an east coast version and a west coast version of how to crap all over your stud qb draft pick.
For what its worth, i say Smith and Campbell will be fine if they get a coach that : a)will stick with them and b)will not get fired themselves; they are just getting a late start on the useful part of thier careers. imo
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badgasman9 wrote:It's true when drafting a QB you also need a coach that will be around long enough to develop that qb. Same point Alice Smith Sucks...... He was a reach but it was one of the worst NFL drafts to have the 1.1.

1 San Francisco 49ers Alex Smith Quarterback Utah
2 Miami Dolphins Ronnie Brown Running back Auburn
3 Cleveland Browns Braylon Edwards Wide Receiver Michigan
4 Chicago Bears Cedric Benson Running back Texas
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carnell Williams Running back Auburn
6 Tennessee Titans Adam Jones Cornerback West Virginia
7 Minnesota Vikings (from Oakland) Troy Williamson Wide Receiver South Carolina
8 Arizona Cardinals Antrel Rolle Cornerback Miami (FL)
9 Washington Redskins Carlos Rogers Cornerback Auburn
10 Detroit Lions Mike Williams Wide Receiver USC

11 Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Linebacker Troy
12 San Diego Chargers (from New York Giants) Shawne Merriman Linebacker Maryland
13 New Orleans Saints (from Houston) Jammal Brown Offensive Tackle Oklahoma
14 Carolina Panthers Thomas Davis Linebacker Georgia
15 Kansas City Chiefs Derrick Johnson Linebacker Texas
16 Houston Texans (from New Orleans) Travis Johnson Defensive Tackle Florida State
17 Cincinnati Bengals David Pollack Linebacker Georgia
18 Minnesota Vikings Erasmus James Defensive End Wisconsin
19 St. Louis Rams Alex Barron Offensive Tackle Florida State
20 Dallas Cowboys (from Buffalo)[7] Marcus Spears Defensive End LSU
21 Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Jones Wide Receiver Arkansas
22 Baltimore Ravens Mark Clayton Wide Receiver Oklahoma
23 Oakland Raiders (from Seattle) Fabian Washington Cornerback Nebraska
24 Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers Quarterback California
25 Washington Redskins (from Denver) Jason Campbell Quarterback Auburn
26 Seattle Seahawks (from New York Jets through Oakland) Chris Spencer Center Mississippi
27 Atlanta Falcons Roddy White Wide Receiver UAB
28 San Diego Chargers Luis Castillo Defensive Tackle Northwestern
29 Indianapolis Colts Marlin Jackson Cornerback Michigan
30 Pittsburgh Steelers Heath Miller Tight End Virginia
31 Philadelphia Eagles Mike Patterson Defensive Tackle USC
32 New England Patriots Logan Mankins Offensive Guard Fresno State


Good God look at that top 10. That is f'in brutal.

I just counted 9 teams I think Smith could start for. Not sure if that says anything at all besides that 9 teams are pretty crappy at QB.
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I read all Harbaughs comments about Smith.

You know what struck me when i read them? I thought he was a "smart guy"...

No, not for making encouraging overtures about Smith - but with (at the time) no CBA in place, uncertainty about the draft, a potential lockout on the cards - why would you alienate the only guy with the majority of starting experience rgardless of suckiness?

I think if the CBA gets resolved he'll drop him quicker than the chick you picked up that just told you she knew your mom back when she used to call herself "dave"... :F
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Redzone Rockets wrote:
badgasman9 wrote:It's true when drafting a QB you also need a coach that will be around long enough to develop that qb. Same point Alice Smith Sucks...... He was a reach but it was one of the worst NFL drafts to have the 1.1.

1 San Francisco 49ers Alex Smith Quarterback Utah
2 Miami Dolphins Ronnie Brown Running back Auburn
3 Cleveland Browns Braylon Edwards Wide Receiver Michigan
4 Chicago Bears Cedric Benson Running back Texas
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carnell Williams Running back Auburn
6 Tennessee Titans Adam Jones Cornerback West Virginia
7 Minnesota Vikings (from Oakland) Troy Williamson Wide Receiver South Carolina
8 Arizona Cardinals Antrel Rolle Cornerback Miami (FL)
9 Washington Redskins Carlos Rogers Cornerback Auburn
10 Detroit Lions Mike Williams Wide Receiver USC

11 Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Linebacker Troy
12 San Diego Chargers (from New York Giants) Shawne Merriman Linebacker Maryland
13 New Orleans Saints (from Houston) Jammal Brown Offensive Tackle Oklahoma
14 Carolina Panthers Thomas Davis Linebacker Georgia
15 Kansas City Chiefs Derrick Johnson Linebacker Texas
16 Houston Texans (from New Orleans) Travis Johnson Defensive Tackle Florida State
17 Cincinnati Bengals David Pollack Linebacker Georgia
18 Minnesota Vikings Erasmus James Defensive End Wisconsin
19 St. Louis Rams Alex Barron Offensive Tackle Florida State
20 Dallas Cowboys (from Buffalo)[7] Marcus Spears Defensive End LSU
21 Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Jones Wide Receiver Arkansas
22 Baltimore Ravens Mark Clayton Wide Receiver Oklahoma
23 Oakland Raiders (from Seattle) Fabian Washington Cornerback Nebraska
24 Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers Quarterback California
25 Washington Redskins (from Denver) Jason Campbell Quarterback Auburn
26 Seattle Seahawks (from New York Jets through Oakland) Chris Spencer Center Mississippi
27 Atlanta Falcons Roddy White Wide Receiver UAB
28 San Diego Chargers Luis Castillo Defensive Tackle Northwestern
29 Indianapolis Colts Marlin Jackson Cornerback Michigan
30 Pittsburgh Steelers Heath Miller Tight End Virginia
31 Philadelphia Eagles Mike Patterson Defensive Tackle USC
32 New England Patriots Logan Mankins Offensive Guard Fresno State


I just counted 9 teams I think Smith could start for. Not sure if that says anything at all besides that 9 teams are pretty crappy at QB.

Then? Most of these teams already had their own QB experiments going on.

Now?
Bears are perfectly fine with Cutler (both as a Packer easier-to-beat-you fan and a they-could-do-worse standpoint).
Browns are content with the Colt McCoy experiment, who did better than Smith in the few games he played.
Tampa Bay is already working on Freeman, who is turning to be a much better prospect.
Detroit already has Matt Stafford, who is a fine Quarterback (when he isn't injured).
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As a Packer fan, all I can say is "Thank you" to the 49ers for passing on Aaron Rodgers. However, I still can't get over the irony that Mike McCarthy would have been Rodgers' offensive coordinator had the Niners drafted him, and now they'll forever be linked in Green Bay lore. It scares me to think how badly the Pack would suck right now if the two teams had pulled a Costanza and done the opposite.
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crockett wrote:As a Packer fan, all I can say is "Thank you" to the 49ers for passing on Aaron Rodgers. However, I still can't get over the irony that Mike McCarthy would have been Rodgers' offensive coordinator had the Niners drafted him, and now they'll forever be linked in Green Bay lore. It scares me to think how badly the Pack would suck right now if the two teams had pulled a Costanza and done the opposite.


Who knows what would have happened. Playing the what-if game is dangerous.

Rodgers benefited from 3 years of being able to improve his learning of the NFL system and his passing form.

I'll give you that he was regarded as one of the most accurate distance passers in his draft year.
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jnadke wrote:
Redzone Rockets wrote:
badgasman9 wrote:It's true when drafting a QB you also need a coach that will be around long enough to develop that qb. Same point Alice Smith Sucks...... He was a reach but it was one of the worst NFL drafts to have the 1.1.

1 San Francisco 49ers Alex Smith Quarterback Utah
2 Miami Dolphins Ronnie Brown Running back Auburn
3 Cleveland Browns Braylon Edwards Wide Receiver Michigan
4 Chicago Bears Cedric Benson Running back Texas
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Carnell Williams Running back Auburn
6 Tennessee Titans Adam Jones Cornerback West Virginia
7 Minnesota Vikings (from Oakland) Troy Williamson Wide Receiver South Carolina
8 Arizona Cardinals Antrel Rolle Cornerback Miami (FL)
9 Washington Redskins Carlos Rogers Cornerback Auburn
10 Detroit Lions Mike Williams Wide Receiver USC

11 Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Linebacker Troy
12 San Diego Chargers (from New York Giants) Shawne Merriman Linebacker Maryland
13 New Orleans Saints (from Houston) Jammal Brown Offensive Tackle Oklahoma
14 Carolina Panthers Thomas Davis Linebacker Georgia
15 Kansas City Chiefs Derrick Johnson Linebacker Texas
16 Houston Texans (from New Orleans) Travis Johnson Defensive Tackle Florida State
17 Cincinnati Bengals David Pollack Linebacker Georgia
18 Minnesota Vikings Erasmus James Defensive End Wisconsin
19 St. Louis Rams Alex Barron Offensive Tackle Florida State
20 Dallas Cowboys (from Buffalo)[7] Marcus Spears Defensive End LSU
21 Jacksonville Jaguars Matt Jones Wide Receiver Arkansas
22 Baltimore Ravens Mark Clayton Wide Receiver Oklahoma
23 Oakland Raiders (from Seattle) Fabian Washington Cornerback Nebraska
24 Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers Quarterback California
25 Washington Redskins (from Denver) Jason Campbell Quarterback Auburn
26 Seattle Seahawks (from New York Jets through Oakland) Chris Spencer Center Mississippi
27 Atlanta Falcons Roddy White Wide Receiver UAB
28 San Diego Chargers Luis Castillo Defensive Tackle Northwestern
29 Indianapolis Colts Marlin Jackson Cornerback Michigan
30 Pittsburgh Steelers Heath Miller Tight End Virginia
31 Philadelphia Eagles Mike Patterson Defensive Tackle USC
32 New England Patriots Logan Mankins Offensive Guard Fresno State


I just counted 9 teams I think Smith could start for. Not sure if that says anything at all besides that 9 teams are pretty crappy at QB.

Then? Most of these teams already had their own QB experiments going on.

Now?
Bears are perfectly fine with Cutler (both as a Packer easier-to-beat-you fan and a they-could-do-worse standpoint).
Browns are content with the Colt McCoy experiment, who did better than Smith in the few games he played.
Tampa Bay is already working on Freeman, who is turning to be a much better prospect.
Detroit already has Matt Stafford, who is a fine Quarterback (when he isn't injured).


I should have worded that differently. The bolded wasn't who I was referring to when talking about who I thought Smith could start for, the bolded was just to point out how terrible the top of that draft turned out for the teams that picked there. Has there ever been a draft where NOBODY in the top 10 lived up to their draft stock?

As far as the teams that I think Smith would be an upgrade for right now and in the near future...let's see, 49ers(obv), Washington, Minnesota, Carolina, Arizona, Miami, Tennessee, Oakland, and probably Cleveland too.
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It's simple

He thinks too much........
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raynman wrote:i was reading in PFW about the QB situation in san fran and how harbaugh wants smith to stick around and thinks he can work with him, the new GM thinks that it is unlikely that they will stick with him. meanwhile, alex smith seems ok about the idea of working with harbaugh (or so it seems) but overall uninterested in sticking around with the 49ers, after all...who can blame him after what he's had to put up with there?

what has he had to put up with there?

when smith was drafted, it was the year that mike nolan was named coach. his OC was mike mccarthy who runs a WCO which is probably the most complicated of the schemes used by the NFL. so not only do you have a 20 year old QB coming out of a spread to the pros, you have a 20 year old rookie QB coming into a system that takes 4-5 years for a QB and the rest of the team to get a full grasp on. it's no wonder smith had the problems he had (1 TD:11 INTs) as a rookie. there was bound to be problems having a rookie starting, but having him start in a WCO was just dumb. the scheme needs to be rookie QB friendly for him to be able to adjust to the game. that is something that teams more recently have caught on to. this was very much a case of a round peg trying to fit into a square hole.

well, after that season, OC #1 left to become head coach of the packers. in came OC #2 in season #2 for smith. in also came offense #2, the air coryell offense with norv turner...quite different, but not nearly as complicated. there was nowhere to go but up for smith, but up he went doing much better than the previous year. he threw 16 TDs and 16 INTs. not too shabby for a 2nd year QB, esp. after how he looked the previous season.

well, after that season, turner left to become HC for the chargers. that meant hostler became the 3rd OC in smiths 3rd year bringing in a 3rd offense. it wasn't a WCO and it wasn't a coryell. it was the ugly abomination of a bastard child of the two. it was hostler's brain child. i'm not sure, but i think its called the fail offense. the playcalling was horrible. it hugely underutilized their best weapon in frank gore. the players didn't like him or trust him. he was probably worse than davidson last year. smith started off that year hoping to build on his success from the previous year, but he struggled in that God forsaken offense and then he got hurt very early in the season (4th game). nolan was a jerk and got smith back in the game too early and smith got hurt again in the same area (shoulder).

hostler got fired as the season ended and then in came mike martz as OC #4 in season #4 bringing in offense #4 for smith. martz's offense has it's roots in the coryell, but is a much more complicated version of it...too complicated according to many. martz wanted a big gun slinger for the job and went to jt osullivan. osullivan sucked. mike nolan gets fired. singletary gets made head coach. osullivan gets replaced with shaun hill. smith sits on the bench. martz gets fired by singletary who wants a more conservative ball control offense rather than the high wire circus act known as a mike martz offense. in comes jimmy raye as the 5th OC in smith's fourth year. in comes smith's 5th offense in 4 years. season ends with smith still on the bench.

next year the OC stays the same for the first time in smith's 5 year career. smith was benched for the first 5 games but half way through the 6th he stepped in and finished with a 5-5 record, 18 TDs and 12 INTs. he did surprisingly well considering all the changes that had taken place every year he had been there.

2010 season, they start out with the same OC, but then he gets fired 3 games into the season. so in comes OC number 6 in year number 6 with a 6th offense, which has a lot of singletary's offense in it but with elements of the spread. smith does ok for a few games, throwing 7 TDs (including 3 in 1) and 4 INTs with the new OC and offense, but then gets injured by charles johnson which very well could have been the reason they lost the game. smith wasn't winning much, but a lot of that had to do with singletary who was becoming pretty schizophrenic his last year there. troy smith comes in and wins a couple games, but then has a melt down and alex smith comes back in and wins 2 and throws 5 TDs and 1 INT.

point of all that is to ask, is alex smith a bust or just a guy with a stream of bad luck? 2 HC's fired while there and 6 OCs with 6 different offenses in his 6 seasons as a pro.

after that first miserable season of his, he went on to throw 50 TDs and 42 INTs in 45 games. that isn't anything stellar, but when you consider how much of a clusterf*ck his situation has been, it's pretty reasonable.

any QB coming into the league needs to have a team commit itself to him. more than that, he needs consistency so that he can learn the job he has. he doesn't need to be in a situation where the OC and the offense changes every year. why didn't he make the transition to the pros very well? was it because he came from a spread or because of the crappy situation he was thrown into.

i'm not even sure that you can call him a bust knowing what he went through. if he is, it's no more his fault than someone getting injured early on and having a mediocre career can be called a bust. it's a busted situation that kept getting busted up. it wasn't the spread offense he played in college that hurt him. it's having to learn a new offense every year with no real time to get completely acclimated to it.

agree or disagree?

discussion seems appropriate, imo, for any season where you have college QBs playing in the spread moving to the pros, esp when he is many times the first QBs name thrown out there of why it can't wok.


Great post, Rayn. Lots of detail, lots to think about.

For my money, Smith could yet contribute, but it probably won't be on the 49ers, and the odds are against him even being given the chance again. He's better than he's been given the chance to be, for all the reasons you enumerated. Unfortunately, it's hard to reinvent yourself after 6+ years of playing a certain way (inconsistently), and even harder to convince people to give you the chance (i.e., put their jobs on the line).

I think Smith could have been much better.
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stuffedcrust3meat wrote:take Raynmans original post and substitute Jason Campbell for Alex Smith and Redskins for 49ers......its amazing the story around it doesnt need to change much. So you have an east coast version and a west coast version of how to crap all over your stud qb draft pick.
For what its worth, i say Smith and Campbell will be fine if they get a coach that : a)will stick with them and b)will not get fired themselves; they are just getting a late start on the useful part of thier careers. imo


Agreed that I immediately thought of Campbell, too.

But a third and fourth chance hasn't really helped either one. Whether they had the ability to do well coming into the league has been beaten out of them by this point IMO.

I place most of the blame on Smith. Yes, that's a biitch of a system to be thrown into, agreed, but has anyone seen any improvement in him?

Wouldn't St. Louis's offense last year be considered a version of the WCO? Bradford came from a spread offense and seemed to adapt well last year.
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