When 49ers quarterback Alex Smith used Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as an example of how a player can put up good stats without winning, one of Newton’s teammates jumped to his defense. Now one of Smith’s teammates is entering the fray to side with his quarterback.
Apparently responding to a tweet from Panthers linebacker Jon Beason, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis took to Twitter to say that Smith is right, and what really counts is winning or losing.
“Wins are Wins I stand with My Qb Alex Smith and all my teammates. I can’t wait for the season,” Willis wrote.
At this point everyone is probably talking past each other on this story, and Smith’s initial comments didn’t seem to be intended as a knock on Newton anyway. But the reality is that while wins are wins, different players contribute to wins differently, and the 49ers’ wins can be attributed more to Willis and their defense than to Smith and their offense. It’s great that Willis wants to stick up for his quarterback, but the fact remains that Newton did more to help his team win than Smith did to help his team win last season — even though Smith’s team won a lot more than Newton’s.