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Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith working closely together

Jim Harbaugh signed

Alex Smith is scheduled to be a free agent this year, but the signs continue to grow that he’ll be back with the 49ers.

Matt Maiocco of Comcast Bay Area reports Smith and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh have met several times face-to-face.  They’ve even thrown the ball around on the team’s practice field to break the ice and work on some fundamentals.

(Working on fundamentals on the field in February.   Wouldn’t that violate the CBA?)

“I’ve had a couple meetings with him,” Harbaugh said. “It’s been good. And I look forward to continuing that [this week] when he’s back in town.”

Just last month, G.M. Trent Baalke told Florio on PFT Live that the team’s quarterback of the future was not on the roster.  Harbaugh can explain that one.
“It was factual,” he said. “The only quarterback on the roster right now is David Carr. So take that as a factual statement. The quarterback of the future is not on the roster right now.”
Um, well, Smith is on the roster until March 4 or beyond if there is no CBA.   Otherwise, Harbaugh wouldn’t be allowed meet with Smith and potentially set up a plan of action for what the quarterback should do with his teammates in the event of a lockout.
It’s looking more and more that Smith will also be on the roster through the 2011 season.
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29 Responses to “Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith working closely together”
  1. jc1958coo says: Feb 9, 2011 10:02 AM

    what he’s saying alex is that your not good enough, but we have to keep you one more year!
    that’ll fire the team up, sounds like denver and cutler! harbaugh is another mc daniels!

  2. liquidmuse says: Feb 9, 2011 10:07 AM

    Ok, I’m sorry—this reminds me of the St. Pete Times beat reporter who almost got Aqib Talib suspended because he reported that Aqib spent his one game suspension in a luxury box @ the stadium. What is the point of bringing up “Oh, gee, does practicing with his coach violate the CBA?”. SPIRIT of the law, please. Let the two guys throw the ball around without bringing a lawyer in, fer chrissakes. You wouldn’t last a day in the old days, when reporters *rightfully* let the athletes do what the hell they wanted within reason. The fact you have an “arrest ticker” is *highly* offensive to the players, & makes me wonder how much you actually love the game.
    Oh wait…you *were* a lawyer, correct? I guess it makes sense now that this is where your brain goes.(Just like the Aaron Rodgers/cancer ambulance chase scene…)

  3. liquidmuse says: Feb 9, 2011 10:09 AM

    Sorry, Mr. Rosenthal, I see *you* wrote this piece. My semi-apologies. But I see the lawyer has trained you well ;o)

  4. wutthecrapman says: Feb 9, 2011 10:12 AM

    If I was the 9ers GM, I’d seriously look to the draft.

    They’ve spent years on Alex, its now time to move on. He’ll make a quality back up.

  5. joecool16280 says: Feb 9, 2011 10:12 AM

    Work some magic Harbaugh…PLEASE!

  6. mrplow3 says: Feb 9, 2011 10:18 AM

    I know it’s popular to rip Alex Smith as a bust. But watching him play on Monday night this year I was shocked at how good his game was.

    He was alot of talent which is probabaly what JH likes.

    Keep in mind please before ripping this kid, he has had a new offensive cordinator EVERY YEAR since joining the 49ers including two just this season. Had he been giving some offensive stability I believe he could be a solid QB in this league.

  7. da11ascowboys says: Feb 9, 2011 10:22 AM

    2029 NFL Season… 49ers see progress being made in Alex Smith.

  8. bleedgreen says: Feb 9, 2011 10:26 AM

    How would it violate the CBA? He wasn’t required to be there. He wasn’t paid to be there. And why would not being on the roster preclude him from being around and talking to Harbaugh? If he’s not under contract with any team, he can run naked around the practice field if the team is OK with it, no?

  9. otistaylor89 says: Feb 9, 2011 10:27 AM

    Waste.of.time

  10. loungefly74 says: Feb 9, 2011 10:27 AM

    ugh…look, i’m cool that we gave alex several opportunities to come around, he does have talent, but he just has worn out his spot here in SF. alex is a back-up QB. we need new blood to start for us.

  11. johnnyshore says: Feb 9, 2011 10:32 AM

    As a Niner fan, there were times where Alex showed flashes of being a good qb..and the other 75% (or more) of the time he looked awful and was unbearably frustrating to watch. If Harbaugh can bring out the good in him I’m all for it. He needs to stop being so panicky with the football and learn how to take a sack rather than try and scramble then fumble or throw it up. I would prefer they look to someone else but Alex Smith isn’t a horrifying backup plan if the draft or free agency doesn’t work out.

  12. chapnastier says: Feb 9, 2011 10:36 AM

    @ liquidmuse

    While I agree with 95% of what you said, Greggers was never a lawyer.

  13. mvp43 says: Feb 9, 2011 10:44 AM

    Alex Smith has gone through numerous coaching changes. He can be a good QB if he can stay in the same system for more than 1 year and benefit from some real coaching. Had SF selected Aaron Rodgers number 1 overall and threw him right into the fire, I bet he would’ve had the same struggles.

  14. eknirb says: Feb 9, 2011 10:45 AM

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

  15. rayvens says: Feb 9, 2011 11:12 AM

    da11ascowboys says: Feb 9, 2011 10:22 AM

    2029 NFL Season… 49ers see progress being made in Alex Smith.

    ————————————————————————————————————

    Best comment of the year!…LMAO!

  16. tombrookshire says: Feb 9, 2011 11:15 AM

    What CBA?

  17. someonestolesociofan says: Feb 9, 2011 11:15 AM

    I think Smith has all the tools. The change in mindset/philosophy might do him well. Harbaugh probably met with him, liked what he heard, liked what the film showed him, and decided to give him essentially a one year audition. As an ex-QB, Harbaugh may be what Smith needs to emerge.

  18. dgforreal says: Feb 9, 2011 11:16 AM

    *sigh

  19. dmackdaddy says: Feb 9, 2011 11:20 AM

    We only have David Carr on the roster as we speak, so we need to have JH check out AS under the hood. Like stated above, AS has had chances but never stability or a consistent game plan. He’s not bad and would make a great backup for us or a possible starter somewhere else when given time to learn another new plan. Dudes smart too. I dont think other QBs would have been as quick to learn as he’s had to learn. He’s also got the same QB rating as Palmer, Kolb, Orton, so its not like there is much better out there. We might as well sign him and trade him than just letting him go for free.

    To quote Johnny above: “I would prefer they look to someone else but Alex Smith isn’t a horrifying backup plan if the draft or free agency doesn’t work out.”

  20. willisgore2152 says: Feb 9, 2011 11:26 AM

    Steve Young?

  21. cytofed says: Feb 9, 2011 11:37 AM

    This may be a good move for then ninners as proven in the past Alex smith flashed greatness in a few game then fold the rest of the way. this isn’t necessary a bad thing if history repeat itself this off season. Say Alex smith play well in the preseason win the starting then fold during the season 49ers would have a good chance at Andrew luck their qb of the future. No qb, owners, coaches, or fans like to look forward to losing but reality is that we don’t have a starting caliber qb on our team. If Alex smith was a quality starting qb we would have won game dating back to 2005 and worst case sanario won the west this this season at a weak 7-9.

  22. dspohn55 says: Feb 9, 2011 11:47 AM

    Ignorant Niners fans hate Alex because of 2005-2008 and because Rodgers has developed into a top flight quarterback. But anybody who has watched him play the past 2 seasons can see this guy isn’t a bust. Alex isn’t JaMarcus, he’s an NFL qb.

    It’s been well documented that Alex has gone through six offensive coordinators in six years (and next year would be his 7th), but he’s also been hampered by ineffective play calling. As sure as the sun rises in the morning, the Niners were going to run on 1st & 2nd down, setting up a 3rd & 8 or 3rd & 7, which is tough for any NFL qb. To give up on him now, after all these years of development, would be pretty dumb unless we can get Kolb.

    As the talent at the surrounding skill positions has improved, so has Alex’s production. 2 years ago Alex had 18 td & 12 int in only 11 games. This past year, he had 14 td & 10 int in 11 games. Alex struggled some in very difficult road games (@ Atlanta, @ KC), but both were playoff teams & are generally considered 2 of the toughest places to play.

    I’m one of the few Niners fans who still believes in Alex, and I would like to see him back.

  23. 11inthebox says: Feb 9, 2011 12:18 PM

    @dspohn55:

    Totally agree. The worst thing to happen to Smith was Norv Turner’s departure. Turner may not be a great head coach, but when it comes to quarterbacks, he’s the best in the business.

    That one year he spent there was one of Smiths best season–in terms of mechanics and decision making.

  24. cytofed says: Feb 9, 2011 12:46 PM

    Coaches usually make a name for their players but there are also players that also made a name for their coaches and when you are drafted as high as 1st overall those expectation will be on you. Recent look at high draft pick: Payton Maning(yes it’s been with the same oc), Michael Vick(led falcon to NFC chapionship) Carson palmer, Eli Maning, Matt Ryan(had an mediocore offensive line), Sam Bradford. I don’t think Alex smith fit in class of any of those guys. Those he does fit into the class of ryan leaf, Tim couch( although I think couch went to the play off) jamarcus Bussell and Joey Harrington. Hope to paint a clearer picture for you.

  25. georgeblanda says: Feb 9, 2011 2:15 PM

    Huh, did I miss something? People act like Harbaugh was stitching “Hall of Fame” on the back of Smith’s jersey. They had a couple of meetings and threw the ball around! Harbaugh is watching tape and evaluating his options for all 22 starting positions, with the only exception being Patrick Willis LOL. Did you ever notice that everyone that proclaims that Smith must be banished from S.F. never has a realistic option for who the team can actually get to start next season? Kolb, Palmer, Orton, McNabb? They are all under contract with other teams, all have worts and all have multiple teams who will also want to trade for them. The idea of drafting a QB to start in year one is just plain silly, since there isn’t one QB that anyone thinks is ready to start in the NFL even in the draft.

  26. favrelous says: Feb 9, 2011 2:18 PM

    Classic. Women like to change men and NFL coaches want to change Alex smith. Neither is a good strategy. Harbaugh is starting out just like Singletary. Bad submissive cordinators and seeing something in Alex smith.

  27. jagerbolt says: Feb 9, 2011 2:53 PM

    The guy had a good year with Norv Turner as his qb coach. It shows that he can learn and do well with the right mentor & system.

    Is Harbaugh as good of a mentor as Turner? Who knows.

  28. cletusvandam says: Feb 9, 2011 3:58 PM

    As a Niner fan I could actually support bringing A Smith back. I still don’t think he is the long term solution, but if Harbaugh thinks there is something there I’m all for it.
    I’d rather see K. Orton or even K Kolb brought in and a young guy drafted.
    As long as Troy Smith and David Carr are sent packing I’m good

  29. freedomispopular says: Feb 9, 2011 9:11 PM

    Smith was actually starting to play well when Norv Turner was the OC. Had he not left for San Diego, he may have turned Smith into a quality starter.

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