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Beason elaborates on his criticism of Alex Smith

Carolina Panthers Training Camp Getty Images

Last week, Panthers linebacker Jon Beason took issue with comments from 49ers quarterback Alex Smith regarding the big stats from 2011 generated by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.

On Tuesday, Beason had more to say during an appearance on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio.

By way of background, here’s what Smith originally said:  “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.”

Here’s what Beason said on Tuesday:  “When you read the comments it seemed like he used the Carolina Panthers as a way to take the pressure off himself, in the meantime taking a shot at us.  Based on what he said I think couldn’t be any further from the truth, actually what happened this season.”

There’s more.  “I think [Cam Newton] is way ahead of Alex was as a former first-round pick,” Beason told Evan Cohen and Steve Phillips.  “You know, going into a situation where you’re on the worst team in football, or in an offense that finished 32nd in scoring last year, to an offense that finished fifth, I think you should at least take your hat off to him and understand the situation and the type of pressure that Cam Newton was under this year.”

The bottom line is that, while the 49ers went to the NFC title game, the Panthers offense generated big passing numbers last year, and the 49ers didn’t.

“I think 19 touchdown passes is, you know, not going to get you in a Super Bowl,” Beason said.  “I think five interceptions is an amazing stat, but it is just like in basketball, if you don’t shoot you can’t score.  So based on what they were able to do and the parts around him, the coach, the defense, I think they did a great job.  You win 13 games you’re the best in the league.  I think that’s the right formula for them but that wouldn’t have been the right formula for us.  So do you take your hat off to Alex Smith?  Yes.  Should he feel good about himself?  Yes.  Should he get upset about having to answer questions about him finishing 29th in the league in yards per game?  That’s a stat.  If you don’t like it maybe fix it but, like I said, in the meantime don’t take shots at other people or other players because you are tired of dealing with that question.”

Beason’s ultimate point is valid.  In defending his relatively bad stats, there’s no reason to knock down those who had better stats.  Newton had the best rookie season of any quarterback to ever play the game.  Regardless of the team’s won-loss record, that’s a fact.

For 49ers fans, it could actually be a good sign that Smith is starting to display a bit of a chip on his shoulder.  And he definitely should have one after the team openly flirted with Peyton Manning before giving Smith yet another chance to prove that he can finally become the guy the organization thought he would be when making him the first overall pick in 2005.

Whether that shoulder-chip generates a better stat line for Smith will be one of the more relevant questions of the 2012 season.

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55 Responses to “Beason elaborates on his criticism of Alex Smith”
  1. kattykathy says: May 29, 2012 2:01 PM

    Beason sure does talk alot

  2. vexey says: May 29, 2012 2:02 PM

    I expected Beason to be a lot harsher on Smith than that, so kudos for restraint I guess

  3. thegreatgabbert says: May 29, 2012 2:12 PM

    Newton’s roookie season wasn’t the best. I say that Roethlisberger, Marino, and Tarkenton, all had better rookie seasons. But Greg Cook had the best. Cook led the league in a few passing categories only playing 10 games. Most of them with a damaged shoulder. His rookie season was best of all time. When you adjust for era, Newton’s stats aren’t remarkable.

  4. bobhk says: May 29, 2012 2:15 PM

    Don’t know why this continues to be a story. If Smith truly does not care about his stats he’s right in saying that 13-3 is the only stat that matters.

    However, he should have just said that and not mentioned anyone else’s name. I think if he had to do it again he wouldn’t.

    I don’t have a problem with Beason’s response, but he too could have shrugged it off. I liked Willis’s response and Cam’s non-response the best.

    I am a hers fan.

  5. ripster65 says: May 29, 2012 2:17 PM

    I can see Alex’s frustration with that question as I’m sure it’s not the first time he’s heard it, still would’ve been best not to drop Cam in there. At first I was miffed at Beason (and, no, I’m absolutely nobody…just my personal opinion) but I think he clarified that fairly well without taking any shots. I think the proper leadership that the Niners have finally found will absolutely make him a better QB. Finally some stability.

  6. chubbsmcgee says: May 29, 2012 2:20 PM

    In the last week or two, Beason’s comments have hit the mainstream sports media and now some are saying he “talks too much.”

    First, he was asked by a local media member what he thought of Luke Kuechley. He replied “as I said on the (ESPNU) show [before the draft], I thought he was the safest pick in the first round, more so than (Andrew) Luck or RGIII . . . Watching this guy play, he knows how to play the game. He plays hard. He competes every down. He’s a smart kid. He’s an athlete”

    Then, Alex Smith tries to shift the attention away from his own flaws through a misguided critique of Cam Newton and the Panthers. Beason calls him on it, rightly so.

    Beason is a Pro-Bowler, an All-Pro, a team captain, and he is simply complimenting his rookie teammate and defending his organization and quarterback. Complimenting and defending teammates is not a trait of a typical NFL “loudmouth” as some are making Beason out to be, those are traits of a passionate leader.

    That’s because Jon Beason is a leader. He has his team’s back and is willing to show it when appropriate.

  7. kungfubillysims says: May 29, 2012 2:21 PM

    Alex Smith was 100% correct in his original statement. It’s pretty tough to argue against the premise of what he said. If you’re consistently going into the 2nd half down by double digits you’re obviously going to be throwing. Therefore your stats will be inflated. Your team’s record at the end of the season is what matters.
    It’s pretty sad that some people are so sensitive about hearing the truth. It’s even sadder when it’s a big, bad NFL linebacker who seems to have had his feelings hurt so badly.

  8. panamon says: May 29, 2012 2:23 PM

    His ultimate point is invalid because he blows off their bad schedule much more than he does the 29th in YPG which is much more meaningless. He says:

    “When you read the comments it seemed like he used the Carolina Panthers as a way to take the pressure off himself, in the meantime taking a shot at us. (…)
    If you don’t like it maybe fix it but, like I said, in the meantime don’t take shots at other people or other players because you are tired of dealing with that question”

    Well that’s pretty hypocritical and he wants to have it both ways where he can criticize and tell people not to criticize, as well as ignoring everything flawed about the Panthers team that had the 5th or whatever offense but barely won games.

  9. raideralex99 says: May 29, 2012 2:28 PM

    What pressure … you are on the last place team … you can’t go any lower.
    Yes Cam had the best rookie QB stats EVER and no one is trying to take that away from him but lets not forget the NFL has become a passing league.
    Three 5,000 + yds QBs and another 7 with over 4,000 yds … what does that tell? Defensive players should keep their mouths shut and learn how to play better defence.

  10. Mr. Wright 212 says: May 29, 2012 2:29 PM

    Not a single mention of:

    1) The Panthers were missing their top two defenders all season, and were missing a couple others for long stretches at a time, contributing to the Panthers being behind just as much as Cam’s turnovers — if not more.

    2) The FACT that Newton passed for more yards in the FIRST HALVES of games, and not in “comeback mode”, as Smith suggested.

    Before you make any kind of assertion about who’s “right” or “wrong” here, those two facts must be taken into account.

    Based upon that, it definitely looks like Alex Smith is just being sensitive when the questions regarding his ability are legitimate and constantly coming at him from reporters and people within the NFL.

  11. Mr. Wright 212 says: May 29, 2012 2:30 PM

    And you saw how we made him look foolish in the NFC Championship Game. If not for a couple of blown coverages, he wouldn’t have even had 75 yards passing, nor would they have even scored more than 3-4 FGS maximum, instead of two touchdowns.

  12. bmeye03 says: May 29, 2012 2:30 PM

    I think you are all missing the point of Smith’s comment. He was not taking a shot at Newton or the Panthers. Simply suggesting that different situations facilitate different stats. He didnt claim to be better or worse than Newton. He was just stating his point of view on passing statistics.

  13. ninergold says: May 29, 2012 2:30 PM

    Glad to see that you kept Patrick Willis’s name out of your conversation. Best decision that franchise ever made.

  14. georgiavol91 says: May 29, 2012 2:32 PM

    Beason comes across as a pretty smart kid.

  15. biggiep says: May 29, 2012 2:46 PM

    Beason’s a smart dude. He knows damn well that Alex Smith isn’t criticizing Cam Newton specifically, but saying the rest of Cam’s losing team put him in a position to be trying to do more as QB. Ironically, a big part of that is that the crappy defense Jon Beason is a part of keeps putting the Panthers behind in games.

    So now, Beason is trying to frame the conversation about Cam Newton when it should be about the pathetically incompetent defensive unit he leads.

  16. qdog112 says: May 29, 2012 2:48 PM

    kungfubillysims says: May 29, 2012 2:21 PM

    Alex Smith was 100% correct in his original statement. It’s pretty tough to argue against the premise of what he said. If you’re consistently going into the 2nd half down by double digits you’re obviously going to be throwing. Therefore your stats will be inflated. Your team’s record at the end of the season is what matters.
    It’s pretty sad that some people are so sensitive about hearing the truth. It’s even sadder when it’s a big, bad NFL linebacker who seems to have had his feelings hurt so badly.
    ***********************************************
    Speaking of the truth, the Panthers were ahead going into the 4th quarters of most of their games. So the passing yardage actually got them ahead. They were not passing to catch up. But don’t let the facts get in the way.

  17. sterilizecromartie says: May 29, 2012 2:50 PM

    Smith was actually blasting the Panthers crappy defense, not Cam Newton.

  18. jeffcor7 says: May 29, 2012 2:52 PM

    For people who didn’t actually watch Panthers games, the idea that we were behind by double digits constantly and forced to throw the ball is completely wrong. The Panthers had fourth quarter leads in several games they lost. The fact that Newton ran for the highest total of touchdowns for a quarterback ever goes further to prove that he wasn’t just slinging it all over the place to pad stats. Team win/loss records are products of so much more than quarterback play that you would be a fool to say you are better than another guy because your team has a better record. What about scheduling, defensive and special teams play, coaching, and on and on. We all know there isn’t a single team in the NFL that would take Smith over Newton so Smith should find a different approach in defending his lack of touchdown passes.

  19. ninerfanrich says: May 29, 2012 2:58 PM

    Do the players really have to keep this nonsense going? Would have been easy for him to just shrug off the questioning from the interviewer, but no. I really hope Smith, or any Niner, doesn’t respond. Shrug it off, take the high road, and worry about OTAs and not offseason jawing.

  20. chowtime888 says: May 29, 2012 3:00 PM

    the pathetically incompetent defense that he was NOT part of as well as a number of starters and even backups. the defense was mostly practice squad players last year.

  21. hart089 says: May 29, 2012 3:13 PM

    All i have to say is that good thing this isnt in medieval time, because if Willis had to fight Beason for Alex Smiths honor the Panthers would be in the market for a new inside linebacker…….

  22. thacloser86 says: May 29, 2012 3:14 PM

    This should tell Alex Smith how much the team believe in his stats don’t matter craps. They went out and tried to recruit Peyton Manning after a 13-3 season. Obviously Coach and management sees thing differently its ok to try and make yourself seems relevant in a league that is QB driven. (sic) Alex Smith should be benched for those comments ASAP. YA BIG DUMMY

  23. nfloracle says: May 29, 2012 3:15 PM

    Panthers 2012 record: 7-9

    49ers 2012 record: 12-4

    Make book on it.

  24. bubba9er says: May 29, 2012 3:16 PM

    Alex Smith needs to just play the “There is always room for improvement…” card and just keep handing the ball off to Frank Gore. What are ANY QB’s best friends? Top notch Defense, great running game, and the best Special Teams in the game. He actually has it pretty nice.

  25. thacloser86 says: May 29, 2012 3:18 PM

    Just watch the NFC championship game and tell me if this the kind if QB you want running you offense. REALLY I’m pretty sure Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell couldve done better

  26. hatesycophants says: May 29, 2012 3:19 PM

    If Smith wasn’t criticizing Newton specifically, why did he mention him specifically?

  27. ninerfanrich says: May 29, 2012 3:42 PM

    @hatesycophants

    Anyone that’s followed Smith through his career knows he’s not one to take shots at individuals, not publically anyway. The point he was making is, regardless of who you are, you can have all the yards you want, but if it doesn’t translate to wins, who cares. How many yards you pass for per game doesn’t determine a win/loss record. I bet if you ask Dan Marino if he’d trade all those records he has/had for 1 ring, he would.

  28. bullethead527 says: May 29, 2012 3:44 PM

    To all you players bashing Beason’s DEF, he was injured for 15 games, with a torn achilles. 1st time in his career that has missed a game since being drafted in 2007. We had two starting LBers out and our starting DT out. we fielded 9 different DEF units in 14 games. We didn’t have enough depth to keep up with the injuries. we were the 2nd youngest team in the league, the Tampa was the youngest.

    Our offense scored about 26 points a game- more than doubled 2010 numbers (12 PPG).

    Our DEF gave up about 29 points a game.

    Cam’s picks hurt us no doubt-

    3 picks vs the packers- we loss by 7

    4 picks vs the Lions- we loss by 14. ( we had the lead in most the game, but Stafford got on fire and took the lead)

    3 picks vs the Falcons we loss by 14.

    game 2 vs Falcons 2 picks loss by 8

    12 of Cam’s picks came in 4 games.

    In every one of those games we held a decent lead, up 13-0 vs packs, up 14-17 vs Falcons in game one, and up 23-7 vs falcons and double digit lead vs Falcons game two.

    so in 12 games Cam only threw 5 picks and 2 FUM loss.

    And he was a rookie, with no offseason program.

  29. dfwprosports says: May 29, 2012 4:04 PM

    So Beason the “leader” of a defense that was 27th in 2011 and 26th in 2010 in the league in points allowed is calling out the “leader” of an offense that was 11th in 2011 and 24th in 2010 in points scored. Aka Alex Smith led his “crappy” offense to a more respectable ranking than Jon Beason led his defense each of the past two years. Instead of Beason comparing Newton to Smith how about we mention that Carolina was terrible b/c of the unit led by the big mouthed Beason? Carolina has had one of the 7 most scored on defenses each of the past two years. That’s a stat. If you don’t like it Beason maybe fix it!

  30. ceadderman says: May 29, 2012 4:39 PM

    Beason needs to shut up now. Cam had 4 more Passing TDs’ than Smith and by rights Smith should have had 2 more if it weren’t for the inept officials taking away two TDs’ from the 9ers cause the Zebras were so blind they can’t tell a black shoe from white chalk on green grass.

    The reality of it is Carolina’s Defense sucks, Beason was prowling the Sidelines more than he was the middle of the field and the 9er D was solid enough for the team not to expect Smith to have many big Passing days. Is Smith sposed to be ashamed of that? On top of this Carolina didn’t find their Run game til around mid season. Is Smith sposed to apologize to booty hurt players and fans that his team has a Run game too?

    Didn’t Cam Newton himself suggest that he would rather have Wins over statistics?

    The last I knew Football was a TEAM sport. Why everyone’s knickers in a twist over a harmlessly truthful statement is beyond me. Beason obviously knows how to read. But the comprehension level is severely lacking.

  31. bullethead527 says: May 29, 2012 4:46 PM

    dfwprosports -
    ———————————

    In 2010 we averaged like 8 punts a game and little over 2 turnovers a game. We had 16 fumble loss and 19 INT.

    The DEF ranked 18th. with the worse offense in the league.

    2011 the whole DEF was injured, Beason only played 1/2 a game, 1st time he has missed any games in his career.

  32. tarheelpirate says: May 29, 2012 5:28 PM

    For all of the Alex Smith defenders going after Beason’s defense last year–Jon Beason tore his Achilles in game 1 against Arizona. Please get this through thick skulls.

  33. tatum064 says: May 29, 2012 6:09 PM

    ninerfanrich says:
    May 29, 2012 3:42 PM
    The point he was making is, regardless of who you are, you can have all the yards you want, but if it doesn’t translate to wins, who cares
    ==================================

    The point is, Alex Smith was 19-33 before last season. He really needs to reign it in. Sam Bradford, Matt Flynn and co. could really embarrass them next year, particularly if the Moss thing blows up in their face.

  34. 49er4life says: May 29, 2012 6:42 PM

    Ok, we’ve had fun with this media hyped confrontation all about nothing. Everything being said and done, I think Beason has done a commendable job with his second statement, at bringing it all to a much needed end. He polished his point, gave credit where credit was due where it came to Alex, and supported Cam, along with his team. Only this time, he didn’t attack Alex in his response, much the way Alex made his valid point without attacking Cam. And I can fully respect him for that.

    The real villans here are the media members who love to antagonize a moment, instigate a situation, then sit back and sensationalize it all. Hell, certain ones were even going as far as saying too bad the two teams didn’t face each other in this year’s schedule, trying to fuel a bad-blood grudge match between the two franchises.

    Wake up people and smell the coffee. Cause, they can only continue to do this if we continue blindly to get sucked into their games!

  35. seahulk9 says: May 29, 2012 9:29 PM

    one good season in 10 years isn’t enough street cred to be flappin your gums like you won the Superbowl last year. Please keep it down niners fans

  36. seahulk9 says: May 29, 2012 9:30 PM

    and alex smith is one of the worst qbs in the nfl

  37. jnova80 says: May 30, 2012 12:37 AM

    seahulk9 says:
    May 29, 2012 9:30 PM
    and alex smith is one of the worst qbs in the nfl

     —————————————————————

    And yet your beloved Seahawks were interested in him a couple of months ago. Since when did Seahawks fans get the right to trash talk? I know it’s hard for you to understand this, but those days of Seattle barely squeezing into the playoffs due to a poor division are long gone. Enjoy your Skittles.

  38. bobhk says: May 30, 2012 3:26 AM

    seahulk9 says:
    May 29, 2012 9:29 PM
    one good season in 10 years isn’t enough street cred to be flappin your gums like you won the Superbowl last year. Please keep it down niners fans
    —-
    Let me guess. A bitter seahags fan. Come flap your gums when you win *one* Super Bowl. Chump.

  39. sanfran49707 says: May 30, 2012 4:40 AM

    And Sumbody Tell Me Who The Seahawks QB Is Again????Oh Right Who Cares!!!!

  40. carolinamic says: May 30, 2012 7:22 AM

    Kudos I Beason for giving respect where respect was do. Let this be lesson to everyone who name drops, it’s not worth it. If you can answer a question from the MEDIA in an intelligent way with out mentioning your peers then just blow it off. Good luck to both squads this season.

  41. seahulk9 says: May 30, 2012 8:37 AM

    dear sanfran90210 our rookie qb would do better for your team than alex smith. if peyton came to town yous be singing a different tune. I guarentee matt flynn puts up better numbers than alex WHICH ISNT HARD TO DO! as a lifetime seahawks fan I know a crappy qb when I see one(ex. tjax) and you got one. in flynns starts he dominated…..smith has no idea what that feels like and he NEVER WILL!

  42. seahulk9 says: May 30, 2012 8:43 AM

    you niners fans are hilarious with all the talk after ONE GOOD SEASON IN A FRIGGIN DECADE. CALL ME WHEN YOU MAKE THE PLAYOFFS IN 6 OUT OF 10 YEARS AND MAYBE I’LL GIVE YOU GUYS SOME RESPECT. THE 80′S ARE LONG OVER. AHH THE GREAT QBS OF NINER LORE MONTANA STEVE YOUNG AND OF COURSE ALEX SMITH(IM LAUGHING SO HARD RIGHT NOW)
    ENJOY WATCHING SMITH FALL APART THIS SEASON : )

  43. seahulk9 says: May 30, 2012 8:47 AM

    like I said @bobhk the 80s are over buddy

  44. 4hrchubby says: May 30, 2012 8:54 AM

    Beason doesn’t think 19 touchdowns will get you to a Superbowl, well he is wrong, ask Troy Aikman, he only threw 20 touchdowns one time in his career, and he has 3 Superbowl rings.

    In fact Alex Smiths numbers this last year rivals the best years of Aikmans..why? because Aikman was too busy handing the ball off the Emmitt Smith.
    The Cowboy teams that won Superbowl’s in Aikmans years were primarily running teams.

    The 49ers are a running team as well.

  45. seahulk9 says: May 30, 2012 8:55 AM

    joke all you want but the seahawks are vastly improved and you guys got a bunch of wr and a dude that can only hit the te or hand the ball off to your aged rb. Hope yo enjoyed your good season. you are all right and I’m so very wrong alex smith is a top notch qb in this league……..tehehe

  46. seahulk9 says: May 30, 2012 9:04 AM

    you d is great. you gb sucks just come to terms with it and move on.
    and the fact that smith was supposedly meeting with seattle were based on the fact that we didn’t want the worst qb in the league but we feared our only option may have been the second worst qb in football, your beloved game manager. and boy just think if the hawks got a qb of alexs calibur we’d prob win it all…….dorks please shut up

  47. seahulk9 says: May 30, 2012 10:29 AM

    do you know of many other teams or fan bases who had to create a website to try to make their qb think they all honestly want him around after they were crowning themselves Superbowl champs of peyton signed like the niners alex smiths I believein alex smith.com….I almost peed my pants when I saw that.
    perhaps I will start I believe in tavaris jackson.com if it weren’t for the fact that I’m not delusional and can admit that tjack sucks ass unlike every niners fan who keeps trying to convince the world that alex is an upper tier qb.

  48. seahulk9 says: May 30, 2012 10:54 AM

    alex smith has not won a superbowl last time I checked…….why do you all talk like its a gimme in 2013??? did you not see the pathetic display in his final game of 2012? do you honestly believe if you had manning or brady you wouldn’t have another ring now??? you guys have yourselves a glorified trent dilfer not a tom brady

  49. chesticus says: May 30, 2012 2:47 PM

    When it comes down to it Cam Newton is a better qb than Alex Smith and if given the choice I would much rather have Cam leading my team. Alex Smith is not the reason the 9ers were so successful last season, they’re defense and Frank Gore were. As for the Carolina Panthers, I’m sure they would have a much better record if they played in the worst division in the NFL (NFC West), instead of the second toughest (NFC South).

  50. ripster65 says: May 30, 2012 3:13 PM

    “Just watch the NFC championship game and tell me if this the kind if QB you want running you offense. REALLY I’m pretty sure Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell couldve done better”

    Really? Did YOU happen to watch that game? Alex isn’t why they lost that game. Sure, he could have done more to help the cause but he didn’t and they still should have won. I’d take Alex in that game again. Heck, let’s not forget he Did beat the Giants once last year.

  51. sob2324 says: May 30, 2012 3:27 PM

    Why do people continue to bring Peyton Manning in this (as a reason Alex should shut his mouth). Peyton Manning is a Hall of Famer, and prolly will be better this year than 80% of the Leagues qbs ( including Alex and possibly Cam). If Alex is whining about that, the maybe his head has gotten too big for his helmet.

  52. firstnovaprime says: May 30, 2012 3:50 PM

    Let it go already! Everybody has their own opinion
    on what was said. Just drop it!

  53. firstnovaprime says: May 30, 2012 4:34 PM

    Oh! and by the way! Anybody really listening to the crap coming out of a (seahulk9) seachicken!

  54. thebhaile says: May 31, 2012 12:32 AM

    Let me end the debate! Put Cam on the Niners and Alex on the Panthers last season and which team has the better season? Hands down, no debate or question about it… The Niners!

  55. snowpea84 says: May 31, 2012 10:15 AM

    C’mon. Its pretty clear Smith is saying that he’d rather be winning games than putting up big numbers. I’d bet the Panthers would feel the same way if they thought about it.

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