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Jim Harbaugh turns up recruiting effort with Alex Smith

Alex Smith, Vernon Davis

We keep reading that Alex Smith is still a longshot to sign with the 49ers despite coach Jim Harbaugh’s  recent flattering comments.  The theory is that bringing Smith back would only be out of desperation.

And then Harbaugh opens his mouth again and we begin to wonder.

“Some people say Alex Smith needs a fresh start — needs a new place to be or whatever. I say let that place be here,” Harbaugh said Friday on KNBR via Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

This has gone beyond just covering all your bases.  Harbaugh is recruiting Smith to return to the 49ers.  There is really nothing for Harbaugh to gain from this all-out blitz unless he truly wants Smith and is trying to mentally prepare an annoyed fanbase for the possibility of another year with Smith.

(And as Mike Silver pointed out on PFT Live Friday, maybe Harbaugh realizes he may be stuck with him.)

“Well, I like Alex,” Harbaugh said.  “And I like being around him and I like what I see on tape.”

At some point, maybe we should believe what Harbaugh is saying.

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54 Responses to “Jim Harbaugh turns up recruiting effort with Alex Smith”
  1. radrntn says: Feb 18, 2011 4:24 PM

    there was a reason why he was the #1 pick, he just has not been able to show that reason yet

  2. brutus9448 says: Feb 18, 2011 4:24 PM

    If Alex smith was consistant he’d be good. But that’s true about 80 percent of QBs in the NFL

  3. arzcardinals says: Feb 18, 2011 4:26 PM

    He should stay if he wants a shot at starting.

  4. heyooooh says: Feb 18, 2011 4:32 PM

    Is there really a need to “recruit” him? What teams are clamoring for Alex Smith?

  5. tombradyswig says: Feb 18, 2011 4:34 PM

    FOOLS GOLD NINERS!!!!

  6. prmpft says: Feb 18, 2011 4:36 PM

    niners’ fans :
    “…um, yeah…hey jimbo – ixnay on mithsay talk ok? yeah, not really workin’ for us…thanks, oh nice sweater…

  7. dgforreal says: Feb 18, 2011 4:40 PM

    Smith is only good when things are going good.

    Even the tiniest bit of adversity during a game and the guy regresses.

  8. goldrush36 says: Feb 18, 2011 4:43 PM

    If he didn’t have two moron coaches, 6 different OC’s 4 of which were incompetent, and had actual receivers and protection from the get go we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Blame the Yorks because that’s where this problem initially started. Throwing in a rookie with absolutely zero positives anywhere else within the organization and hoping he would be their savior. Kevin Barlow was the best player they had at the time. That’s enough said right there.

  9. chetbrooks31 says: Feb 18, 2011 4:44 PM

    I’d rather see Justin Smith at QB next year.

  10. flapjack1231 says: Feb 18, 2011 4:45 PM

    “And I like being around him and I like what I see on tape.”

    One has to wonder what tape he is looking at.

  11. hobartbaker says: Feb 18, 2011 4:47 PM

    Smith is only 26. Lots of successful QBs didn’t get rolling in the NFL until that age. Alex is younger than most of the names being bandied about as possible replacements, like Kolb, Orton, Palmer, etc. I don’t think he is much older than Matt Flynn. He has a lot of experience for his age as well.

  12. goldrush36 says: Feb 18, 2011 4:47 PM

    @arzcardinals

    That’s funny considering Arizona is expected to be one of the teams in heaviest pursuit of him if he hits the market

  13. dmackdaddy says: Feb 18, 2011 4:49 PM

    We would be lucky to have him IF there is a strike and no pres eason. He is bright enough to learn yet another play book as long as the play calling of that play book was better than he’s had in the last 5 years. Think Norv Turner days could come back with Jim Harbaugh.

  14. mikehuntsmellztu says: Feb 18, 2011 4:50 PM

    MikeHunt tells me something just doesn’t smell right here.

    Smith should sign w/ the whiners – it’s in his best interest.

  15. jimmysee says: Feb 18, 2011 4:52 PM

    How about bringing him to Green Bay for the veteran’s minimum and trading Matt Flynn for a 3rd and 4th.

    He can attend Coach McCarthy’s QB school this offseason and be #2 behind Aaron.

  16. sethb222 says: Feb 18, 2011 4:53 PM

    Pretty sure, Josh Johnson gets traded from Tampa and starts for the 49ers.

    He played for Harbaugh at San Diego and Harbaugh loved him enough to show his tape at Stanford’s Pro Day to Scouts.

  17. voiceofrealism says: Feb 18, 2011 4:54 PM

    radrntn says:
    Feb 18, 2011 4:24 PM
    there was a reason why he was the #1 pick, he just has not been able to show that reason yet

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    ummm….
    JaMarcus Russell was a #1 pick too. It doesn’t have to mean anything other than a bust pick.

  18. house068 says: Feb 18, 2011 4:54 PM

    He is David Carr. Don’t know why Andrew Luck didn’t come out other than if SF is going to have the #1 pick next year.

  19. dgforreal says: Feb 18, 2011 4:57 PM

    If he didn’t have two moron coaches, 6 different OC’s 4 of which were incompetent, and had actual receivers and protection from the get go we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Blame the Yorks because that’s where this problem initially started. Throwing in a rookie with absolutely zero positives anywhere else within the organization and hoping he would be their savior. Kevin Barlow was the best player they had at the time. That’s enough said right there.

    There’s some truth here, but at this point those excuses are wearing a bit thin.

    This season was supposed to be the year he finally stepped up. Had the same OC for the first time ever and we all see how that turned out.

    He’s a serviceable QB, but I don’t think he has the potential to be “the guy” in an offense. He needs a Trent Dilfer situation to flourish imo.

    I also think he may lack some mental toughness as I mentioned in my previous reply. Put the pitchforks away, I was a huge Alex Smith supported in the past, but at some point you have to say enough is enough.

    In this turbulent offseason he may be the best SF can hope for and I understand that.

  20. mrpizzle says: Feb 18, 2011 4:58 PM

    Alex has a lot of promise. Harbaugh is no idiot, its not Alex’s fault that he’s had no consistency in his career

  21. johnnyshore says: Feb 18, 2011 4:59 PM

    I’ve said this before, but as a Niner fan, there are worse options in my opinion than Alex Smith. If nothing works out through free agency or the draft, I have no problem with giving Smith another shot. He finally has a coach that knows a thing or two about the qb position and is showing the confidence in him. Mike Nolan treated Smith like dirt and Singletary was out of his league as a head coach. Looking back Alex Smith has been largely inconsistent but if Harbaugh can bring out those flashes of being a good qb that we have seen at times, I’m all for it.

  22. mannyburg says: Feb 18, 2011 5:10 PM

    Starting Alex Smith greatly increases the odds of a reunion with Luck in 2012. Crazy like a fox.

  23. ricknmarin11 says: Feb 18, 2011 5:11 PM

    He’s looking at the same tape that shows Singletary bullying a reporter, arguing with his players and deferring on answering questions about games he had just supposedly coached. He’s also looking at tape that has players saying they played “tight” and “fearful” and that they didn’t prepare for game situations till that last week under Tomsula. Yes, under the theory that individual players can win or lose games, then yes, Smith cost us a few games; but so did other players (Nate Clements for one), crappy play calling, and the inability to make game time adjustments. And in spite of a clueless coaching staff, Smith still posted an 82% passer rating for the season, an over 90% passer rating after Raye was replaced, and an over 120% passer rating in the red zone. So, I for one have confidence in Harbaugh to turn the entire team around.

  24. j4m3zm0n3y says: Feb 18, 2011 5:17 PM

    @House068…

    Um, Luck didn’t come out because he wanted to finish school. He had talks with Payton Manning, along with his dad and figured that was the best choice. Plus, considering a lockout? Jeah, I believe that was a pretty smart choice.
    ——————————————————–
    @Everyone else…

    Everytime Alex is brought up, I post something speaking on the excellence of how great he will soon be. I’m tired of it. I know he’s going to be great. He is only 26, and 6 yrs pro. Hmm… Kolb? 26, 4 yrs… Flynn, 24, 2/3 yrs I believe. So he has a little bit more expirence and then those two. And BOTH Kolb/Flynn had how many games combined? And check out the teams they played. Your going to go off that? F*ck outta here. All you Alex haters are pathetic, just because the kid has been dealt with all this sh*t in his career, you throw’em under the bus. Obviously is our new coach sees something in him, don’t you think that he will probably be back next year as our starter? Quit hoping for Kolb/Flynn/Palmer… Not going to happen. If it does… they will be Alex’s backup. And as far as the, I think it was… 53 INTs? Just the past two years, look at some tape and realize how many of them were Crabtree, Morgan, Davis, etc. fault. Sh*t half of them were bombs to the endzone in the final seconds of all their CLOSE/ALMOST WINS which Alex brought them back to… (Understandable, close/almost is not a win, but hey, I don’t see any of you out there QBing for any team.) So sit the f*ck down, shut the f*ck up..

  25. indycolt45 says: Feb 18, 2011 5:26 PM

    Harbaugh is immediately the best coach Smith has ever had, and SF is the best place for him to start. Aside from everyone in the Bay Area hating him, there’s no reason not to go back, honestly.

  26. Nevis says: Feb 18, 2011 5:33 PM

    @heyooooh

    I think you’d be surprised how many team would at least pick up the phone. It’s a QB starved league right now and I could see him having a chance to start in a handful of places.

  27. kleppnasty says: Feb 18, 2011 5:34 PM

    Classic pft, quoting, without proper clarification, to suit their story. Harbaugh never said Smith is the future or that they won’t still look in draft/free agency for their qb. He just wants him back bc he has some talent, experience and familiarity with the org. He wants him there to compete with whomever they pick up, which is a great idea.

  28. kazkal says: Feb 18, 2011 5:37 PM

    Harbaugh just wants to finish 1-15 so he can draft luck next year.

  29. kazkal says: Feb 18, 2011 5:38 PM

    —JaMarcus Russell was a #1 pick too. It doesn’t have to mean anything other than a bust pick.—

    Jamarcus was a lazy sack of poo.

  30. realitypolice says: Feb 18, 2011 5:44 PM

    Alex Smith has a lot of gall if he thinks he deserves to be “recruited” by anybody.

    Not saying he’s the worst QB in the world, but he certainly has made a whole lot of money for very little production overall.

    That said, it would be a great story if Harbaugh could make it work.

  31. 52crabcakes says: Feb 18, 2011 5:53 PM

    At some point, maybe we should believe what Harbaugh is saying.

    Why? Can’t believe what John says, why should Jim be any different?

  32. hooterdawg says: Feb 18, 2011 6:07 PM

    If Harbaugh is as excited about Smith as he was about Luck, maybe that’s why Luck stayed in school .

  33. raiderrob21 says: Feb 18, 2011 6:34 PM

    I guess 7 years of excuses for this turd isnt enough to slap Harbaugh in the face? Guess hes not the Multi million dollar HC with all the answers you guys have painted him to be, if he cant see this guy is a BUST!

    Get a clue, trade your 1st rd pick for Kevin Kolb, it’ll probably take a 1 and a 3 to get it done.

    The whiners just cant cut ties and admitt they effed up that pick and let Aaron Rodgers go to Green Bay.
    Great job whiners!

  34. cytofed says: Feb 18, 2011 6:59 PM

    radrntn says:
    Feb 18, 2011 4:24 PM
    there was a reason why he was the #1 pick, he just has not been able to show that reason yet

    The reason why he was the 1st overall pick is because Mike “I don’t get along with other” Nolan did not think he can coexist with Arod. Who know maybe smith Couldve drop out of the first round. Just because he was taken 1st overall doesnt necessary mean he have something to show for it. See: Jbust Russell or Ryan leaf or even Matt leinart.

  35. johnnyshore says: Feb 18, 2011 7:26 PM

    @raiderrob “The whiners just cant cut ties and admitt they effed up that pick and let Aaron Rodgers go to Green Bay.
    Great job whiners!”

    I seem to remember the Niners beating Oakland this year. Oakland has no room to criticize when it comes to terrible draft picks.

  36. jc1958cool says: Feb 18, 2011 7:33 PM

    another BS media coach!
    just say it you only need smith until you get some one else! what a turd!

  37. vercingetorix43 says: Feb 18, 2011 7:35 PM

    Smith is the product of an unstable franchise and poor coaching…so if they can get him at the right price why not. Assuming there is finally a coach worth having confidence in.

  38. dlmcc1010 says: Feb 18, 2011 7:38 PM

    I dont understand the need to kiss Alex Smith’s ass here. there isnt one team out there right now that will be tripping over themselves to sign this guy. The guy is a bust

  39. j4m3zm0n3y says: Feb 18, 2011 7:47 PM

    @Raiderrob21

    They let him go to Green Bay… hmm? So you think if we picked up Aaron Rodgers he’d have the same success in San Francisco? And it would be Alex Smith as the current Superbowl MVP? Or no, Alex Smith just doesn’t have what it takes? But just one person, Aaron Rodgers, not the coaches or anything like that would have an impact right?

  40. red415 says: Feb 18, 2011 7:48 PM

    Im sorry to all the Smith apologist but this guy has had Six years to show that he can lead a team.. Have we once had winning record with this guy??? His best year was with Norv running the offense, even then he had the same amount of TDs as INTs. Excuse after excuse, just move on PLEASE!!

  41. blackhawkmcarthur says: Feb 18, 2011 7:52 PM

    Regardless of the qb controversy in SF; the thing to watch next season in the NFC West will be Harbaugh vs. Carroll. Bitter college rivals, at again.

  42. red415 says: Feb 18, 2011 7:54 PM

    What games are ya’ll watching?? When has this guy shown that he can win game CONSISTENTLY? I just wish If I sucked as bad as Smith after 6 years and $40+ mill that people would have my back like him..

  43. red415 says: Feb 18, 2011 8:01 PM

    72 career passer rating. 51 tds and 53 ints… Dude sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. goodguyjohn says: Feb 18, 2011 8:37 PM

    This is really simple. Based on his limited options through the draft and FA, Harbaugh thinks Smith gives him the best option to win the NFC West which again,won’t take more than 9 wins this year if we have football.

    He obviously thinks he can develop Smith. I tend to agree

  45. realitypolice says: Feb 18, 2011 9:13 PM

    j4m3zm0n3y says-

    Understandable, close/almost is not a win, but hey, I don’t see any of you out there QBing for any team.
    ==========================

    Holy crap, dude. Next time try posting BEFORE happy hour.

    Seriously, we can’t criticize Smith because we don’t play QB for a team?

    Great point, Einstein. No, really, I’m not being sarcastic.

    Oh, and if you’re 15, which is actually more likely, I should explain that Happy Hour is when your parents’ friends go to a bar and get cheap drinks.

  46. ceadderman says: Feb 18, 2011 9:41 PM

    Wahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    Stick that in your hate pipe and smoke it.

    Smith gets so much crap from the fanbase it would not surprise me to log into the net on a Monday morning to find out that he went Postal on everyone in the stands ala Rambo with the M60 in First Blood.

    It would be a nice house clearing too. We have the dumbest fan base this side of the ’70s and ’80s Saints.

    Everyone knows that we had THE WORST coaching for the last 8 years. I don’t and cannot see how all this hate and discontent can be directed toward one player on ANY team when that player is being drowned in suckness by their coaching staff. That makes absolutely no sense.

  47. ninjapleazee says: Feb 18, 2011 10:08 PM

    If Alex is smart, he’ll stay in San Fran to “revive” his career. Sign a one year deal, because I don’t think he’d get a starting job anywhere in the league right now.

  48. cytofed says: Feb 18, 2011 10:13 PM

    Forget about the wins if alex smith is our starting qb next year. The only thing we can look forward to in that case is only 2 word Andrew and Luck!!!!

  49. fonetiklee says: Feb 18, 2011 10:26 PM

    ceadderman says: Feb 18, 2011 9:41 PM

    “log into the net”

    Wow, how old are you? What was the Great Depression like?

  50. gwylie1 says: Feb 18, 2011 11:33 PM

    It is quite simple really, Harbaugh knows the best way to be in a position to draft Andrew Luck is to start Alex Smith

  51. funkylovemonkey says: Feb 19, 2011 12:13 AM

    I’ve posted about this before, but it bears repeating. There simply isn’t an alternative that looks better.

    Alex Smith’s rating last season (82.1) was better then or the same as every alternative that’s out there. Better then Kolb (76.1) and statistically the same as Matt Flynn (82.5) and Carson Palmer (82.4). Better the McNabb (77.1) and funny enough slightly better then Shaun Hill (81.3). Also better then Sam Bradford (76.5) who most people agreed was an extraordinary first year QB and Mark Sanchez (75.3) who went to the Conference Championship this year.

    The best the 49ers can hope is to get someone with roughly the same talent level as Alex Smith, the worst case scenario is they pull in someone like Kolb and he performs just like he did this last season with the Eagles.

    I’m not making excuses for Alex Smith, but bear in mind that San Fransisco has an extremely high standard for QB performance (which might make it hard for Alex Smith to ever be accepted in San Fransisco. This is the fanbase that called for the benching of Joe Montana and never gave Jeff Garcia much respect. Shaun Hill was a 49er castoff, went to Detroit and pretty much had an identical year as Alex Smith (close to the same passer rating and going 6-10) and yet was generally heralded as a success in Detroit.

    The 49er problems go way beyond Alex Smith. Unless they can shore up their defense which ranked 20st last season and strengthen their offensive line, they will continue to lead the last third of the NFL. Going 6-10 isn’t just the fault of one person.

  52. tcdun says: Feb 19, 2011 6:55 PM

    Everyone who knows anything about the situation KNOWS that IF Alex were to return because of the CBA mess,that it would be for only one year at the most. Why would alex want to return to a place he knows he is not wanted for anything more than a stop gap until they can get the real QB of the future on the roster ?
    He is simply a poor QB and will always be less than a franchise type qb,so why even talk aboiut Alex,he is old news and not good enough to be part of the future.
    Leave us alone Alex,you have already been a 6 year curse on the team,so go try to fool another team !

  53. ceadderman says: Feb 20, 2011 6:29 AM

    @dlmcc1010… I know of at least 3 teams that would be “tripping over themselves to sign Smith.”

    Seattle
    Arizona
    Oakland

    You can BELIEVE that.

    Then there is Minnesota who could use an experienced QB and with nothing better on the FA wire Smith has as good a shot as anyone to get picked up by them.

    Carolina needs a QB. And I guarantee you they have enough film on Smith to see that he’s worth pursuing.

    Just face the facts, in a limited FA scenario and given enough time should the CBA get worked out fairly quickly Smith is as much a solid pickup as Donovan McNabb would be if he hit the market. If not MORE so. The reason is simple. McNabb is old, tired couldn’t even work with Shannahan (Runs Bill Walsh WCO 3.0) and averages maybe 9 games a season on the field now.

    Whereas Smith is young has been under more fire under Center than DM over the last 6 years and could with decent Coaching has more upside than the rent a wreck QB in Washington.

    Don’t get me wrong I like McNabb but I wouldn’t want him to QB the 9ers. If he can’t win a Super Bowl with T.O. on the field, what makes anyone think he could with the cast that we have?

    I’ll suffer with Smith rather than overpay to pick up a tired player.

  54. moseszd says: Feb 20, 2011 1:24 PM

    People forget that Smith had an incredible college career. As a starter he was 23-1 and won his bowl games.

    In his junior year he lead the Utes over five bowl teams (plus defensive powerhouse Pittsburgh) by an average of 23 points a game. He was also the second-highest rated college QB and completed almost 69% of his passes.

    People also forget just how bad the 49ers coaching has been during his career. First, they’ve had 9 offensive coordinators in 9 years have trashed every QB (even the former pro-bowler Garcia) that’s been there since 2004. Second, they’ve never had a good QB coach. And third, we still don’t have WRs playing at an NFL level — you watch the games and ex-coach-broadcasters are constantly ripping them for lousy routes, dropping easy passes, etc.

    Personally, if I were Smith I wouldn’t come back. Six years of being thrown under the bus and not supported is enough. Better to make a clean start, like Plunkett or Plummer… One of those ‘bust’ QBs that ended up great QBs…

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