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Aaron Rodgers: Alex Smith is more than a game manager

aaronrodgersalexsmith AP

In the 2005 NFL draft, Alex Smith went first overall to the 49ers, while Aaron Rodgers took a tumble to the 24th overall pick, where the Packers finally grabbed him. As it turned out, Rodgers has become a much better quarterback than Smith, but Rodgers takes exception to the suggestion that Smith isn’t a fine quarterback in his own right.

With the Packers preparing to play the 49ers on Sunday, Rodgers was asked if he considers Smith a “game manager,” and Rodgers said he has a problem with that term.

I think that term is a condescending term for quarterbacks,” Rodgers said, via USA Today.

Rodgers said he admires Smith and is troubled by the lack of respect Smith has received.

“I don’t think he’s a game manager,” Rodgers said. “I think he’s a guy who takes care of the football and makes a lot of plays. I don’t think he got the respect that he deserves. I’ve been friends with him since we were 21 and I’ve followed his career. I definitely pull for him and enjoy watching him play.”

The reality, however, is that any lack of respect for Smith is because he hasn’t produced the way a No. 1 overall pick should. Smith has averaged less than 180 passing yards a game and less than one touchdown pass a game over his NFL career, and has found success only when avoiding turnovers on a team with a good running game and a strong defense. That’s what a game manager is.

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91 Responses to “Aaron Rodgers: Alex Smith is more than a game manager”
  1. iced107 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:09 PM

    Trent Dilfer 2.0

    I’d laugh if the niners got the NFC championship game, lost again,and they cut Alex smith…

  2. medtxpack says: Sep 6, 2012 6:10 PM

    Im more in line with Rodgers rather than MDS on this one. Smith has been through alot of changes and different OCs out in San Fran. Hes more than a game manager and a starter id rather have than some of the scabs that start in the NFL.

  3. sfsaintsfan says: Sep 6, 2012 6:10 PM

    Alex Smith is a game manager, but Aaron Rodgers has had much better coaching throughout his NFL career. Put Aaron Rodgers with the cast of clowns that has coached the Niners since 2005 and he would be a “game manager” also.

  4. pacodawg says: Sep 6, 2012 6:10 PM

    If he couldn’t win the NFC championship last year, don’t expect it to happen. He blew a golden opportunity.

  5. apm says: Sep 6, 2012 6:12 PM

    Says the system quarterback.

  6. thepvyharvin says: Sep 6, 2012 6:12 PM

    Aaron Rodgers: Alex Smith is more than a game manager,,,he is the best man at me and Ryan Braun’s wedding! You heard it here first folks!

  7. mrgomerpyle says: Sep 6, 2012 6:14 PM

    Let these 2 guys swap places and lets see who is considered the game manager.. you guys are ridiculous…

  8. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 6, 2012 6:14 PM

    I’d laugh if the 49ers even won more than 5 games this season. They are a mediocre football team.

  9. 49erstim says: Sep 6, 2012 6:18 PM

    The amount of critisism that Alex receives is horrible. Nobody is calling him Montana2.0 and if EVERY QB threw for 5000 every year then it wouldn’t be special. Alex is a more than capable starter, but he probably isn’t destined for the HOF. I’ll take it.

  10. skittlesareyum says: Sep 6, 2012 6:19 PM

    apm says:
    Sep 6, 2012 6:12 PM
    Says the system quarterback.

    If Rodgers is just a system QB then McCarthy and his entire offensive staff is a lock for the HoF already. Sound ridiculous? Because it is. A system QB doesn’t do as well as Rodgers.

  11. thetokyosandblaster says: Sep 6, 2012 6:19 PM

    sfsaintsfan says:
    Sep 6, 2012 6:10 PM
    Alex Smith is a game manager, but Aaron Rodgers has had much better coaching throughout his NFL career. Put Aaron Rodgers with the cast of clowns that has coached the Niners since 2005 and he would be a “game manager” also.
    —–

    Just like without Sean, Drew wont do anything, right?

    And apm is obviously jealous of the Packers. Rightfully so. If your team isn’t the Packers, your team isn’t the best.

  12. Getoffmylawn! says: Sep 6, 2012 6:20 PM

    apm says:
    Sep 6, 2012 6:12 PM
    Says the system quarterback.
    ————————
    You mean the system where he throws completions and much more touchdowns than interceptions? That system?

  13. nineroutsider says: Sep 6, 2012 6:22 PM

    Alex is more than a game manager, but less than a franchise QB. How about that? Does that work? I’d take him over Sanchez or Fitzpatrick or Dalton, but not over Stafford, etc. However, Alex hasn’t peaked either…

    He can do more than Dilfer, way more, so the Dilfer 2.0 comments are garbage. However, he isn’t a franchise QB, but he does a great job. He makes plays that need to be made. He had 5 or 6 4th qtr. comebacks last year. He made some big throws. He protected the ball. He had very little help outside. He was the most sacked QB last year. Considering all of that, he did more than manage the game. Did he manage his way past the Saints? With that said, maybe a little too much management during the NFC Championship. It is a fine line and much has to do with coaching.

    Perhaps this year he takes another step forward given the fact that he has way more weapons. No excuses this year and I don’t think he will need them. I’m confident in Alex and I think he will surprise a lot of you again.

  14. bobby2478 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:26 PM

    When you enter the league as a rookie QB and EVERY SINGLE YEAR you have a new head coach, offensive coordinator and new offensive scheme, you start from square one all over again.

    Rodgers has benefited from stability of the same OC and same system which allows him to learn the terminology and plays and get on the same page as his play makers. Rodgers is a great QB, but if he was thrown into a situation like Smith with a different OC, players and system every year, he wouldn’t be as good as he is right now.

    So while Smith hasn’t produced like a top pick, most of that is explained by the situation he was thrown into. Not many QBs, I don’t care who it is, would benefit in that scenario. Not to mention he hasn’t exactly had top tier wideouts to throw to either. Or to mention the fact they have always been and continue to be a run first team.

  15. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Sep 6, 2012 6:28 PM

    Alex Smith readily admits he’s a game manager so I don’t see what all the fuss is about. He takes what the defense gives him.

    A lot of people don’t understand what a damn good coach Harbaugh is. He has “coached up” Smith to the point where he is a winning, serviceable, semi-accurate NFL QB.

    Smith will never be a great QB. He would tell you the same thing. The rest of the NFL should enjoy the Niners being handicapped with Smith as QB becausxe once these guys get a real QB, they’re going to be in the championship game and super bowl an awful lot

  16. goldenperspective says: Sep 6, 2012 6:32 PM

    Alex is the man! I’m glad he is our qb. He is still young. I hope he continues to grow in this 2nd year under Harbaugh’s system. Also just acquired a new found respect for Aaron Rodgers. Classy statements by one of the leagues best. Can’t wait for Sunday! May the best team win!

  17. chochav says: Sep 6, 2012 6:32 PM

    So Aaron Rodgers is just suppose to bash on Alex Smith and call him out before the game? Ok, Arod does the classy move and everyone has the nerve to call the MVP a system qB.

  18. canadianvikingfaniii says: Sep 6, 2012 6:33 PM

    They also look like they could be brothers!

  19. hitit49 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:34 PM

    Last year’s 49er strength was defense and pounding the football. The QB had to make a few plays, keep D’s honest and avoid the costly mistake. I don’t think anyone on that coaching staff was completely happy with where they ended up. More production is needed from Alex and his recievers, by the way who were they last year? That includes better protection from the O line and unmissed half back blocking assignments. But no more excuses, this year will show if Smith can or cannot take the next step. I think he can and if he can’t young Kap will be running alot of read option.

  20. mp4pack says: Sep 6, 2012 6:36 PM

    It goes both ways, you can whine about Smith having been through a bunch of coaches, but if he’d played like a 1st overall and won those coaches some games, maybe they wouldn’t have lost their job. If you think the only difference between Rodgers and Smith is coaching, I have a bridge to sell you. It really has to sting to have Smith when you could have been set up with a HOF caliber QB who also happens to be a hometown boy for the next decade.

  21. billb49 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:41 PM

    Aaron Rogers is a stand-up guy. I like him and at the time, I was hoping the 9ers would take him. But, I also like Smith a lot as well and I think this year, Smith is going to silence all the doubters. I think that by half way through this season, people are going to be eating crow on Alex Smith.

  22. humboldt420 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:42 PM

    I remember reading all the scouting reports about Alex Smith and several said he would fit into any scheme or system because of his arm and intelligence.

    So, I don’t buy into the “different system” argument used to defend his lackluster performance year-in, year-out early in his career.

    And so what if he’s a game manager? The 49ers won games, didn’t they? They got to the NFC Championship game, right?

    I mean, that is the overall goal for NFL teams right? To win games.

    The 49ers are one of the few old-school teams left in the league.

    What I mean by that is while the NFL has become a passing league, the 49ers are one of the few that stick to the ground and pound game. The old-school smash-mouth running game.

    And, while some 49ers fans would love to have a 4,000-plus yard throwing QB, San Francisco’s run-first system doesn’t call for one.

  23. jvibottomline says: Sep 6, 2012 6:44 PM

    Alex will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in one hand and the middle finger to Mike Nolan on the other come February in New Orleans

  24. Joe says: Sep 6, 2012 6:46 PM

    Lets not forget that Aaron Rodgers sat on the bench as a rookie behind a future Hall of Famer on a playoff caliber team.

    It’s obvious whos the better QB, but I’m just sayin…

  25. purplekoolaid1 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:49 PM

    Aaron Rodgers: “I think he’s a guy who takes care of the football and makes a lot of plays.”

    NFL Translation: Game Manager

  26. rodgers419 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:50 PM

    Alex Smith was the #1 overall draft pick. With that comes expectations that he’s going to have a storied career and make the hall of fame or at the very least be a perennial pro bowler. It took him 6 seasons to have a decent year. SF wins with their defense and run game. He’s a game manager and can easily be replaced.

  27. kev86 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:50 PM

    He stunk in the NFC championship game and cost the Niners the chance to win the NFC title. If I’m wrong, than Harbaugh is a complete moron for calling the plays that he did. Williams will always take the bullets for Smith.

  28. zn0rseman says: Sep 6, 2012 6:54 PM

    Alex Smith, like a lot of promising young QB’s) ended up being drafted onto a terrible team with high turnover in the coaching area, little supporting talent, and very little hope of success.

    Aaron Rodgers was drafted onto a team that had him sit behind a legendary veteran until the team was the best it had been in many years. Then the veteran was uncerimoniously flushed down the toilet so Rodgers could take over the reins of an elite team.

    Therefore nobody can really say that their fortunes would not be reversed had they been drafted into opposite situations.

  29. ezwriter69 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:54 PM

    He threw the ball a bleep of a lot better against the mighty Giants than Brady did two weeks later. He made some tough, excellent throws under enormous pressure last year, especially when it mattered most. I don’t know what turned the light on finally, and I have no problem with saying you want another year of it to believe it, but to discredit what he did last year is just flat ignorant, and makes you look like a total idiot. Yet again.

  30. rpiotr01 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:56 PM

    Translation: “I’ve watched Alex Smith my whole career and thanked god every day I didn’t get drafted into the cluster#$%^ situation he did. Anyone who keeps his confidence and keeps on going after the parade of coaches and systems he’s had to deal with, and then helps take his team to the NFCC by unexpectedly trashing the Saints at their own game is OK in my book.”

  31. greyhawk9 says: Sep 6, 2012 6:58 PM

    yes its true…..he’s a game manager and a draft bust

  32. dladd79 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:00 PM

    pacodawg says:
    Sep 6, 2012 6:10 PM
    If he couldn’t win the NFC championship last year, don’t expect it to happen. He blew a golden opportunity.
    __________________________

    Did you watch their last game? Probably not I guess???

    Have you heard of a guy named Kyle Williams? Probably not I guess???

  33. flaccotoboldin says: Sep 6, 2012 7:03 PM

    If he was purely a game manager, how do you explain the last 10 minutes against the Saints?

    As a Ravens fan, its the same thing with Flacco. If he was such a game manager, what was the that game winning drive that Lee Evans missed the catch on about?

    This all comes down to team philosophy. The Packers were a pass first teams since they got Favre. Its easier for Rodgers to come in and be that prolific passer, because thats what he was groomed to be.

    Alex Smith went to a team lacking an offensive identity, that then became run first as they cultivated a solid defense. He had a lot of turnover on the offensive side of the ball.

    It is what it is. I’m glad Rodgers isn’t a hater.

  34. 49ergeorge says: Sep 6, 2012 7:03 PM

    He ain’t the best but he’s good enough.

  35. chesslungo says: Sep 6, 2012 7:08 PM

    I don’t understand why people always ask Aaron Rodgers his opinion. Is he a scout? GM? If he thinks Alex Smith is good he has no credibility whatsoever.

  36. burrito12 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:13 PM

    What is a “system” qb anyway? What “system” enables a qb to throw precision passes in tight coverage over and over again? Give the man his due people!! Aaron Rodgers is an amazing qb!! Get over it!!

  37. packhawk04 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:19 PM

    Rodgers is one of the best qbs in the game. If hes a system qb, so are brees and brady. Smith had a great year last year, and him and his team need to prove last year wasnt a fluke.

  38. wherezwaldo says: Sep 6, 2012 7:27 PM

    I’d take Alex Smith over Sanchez/Tebow.

  39. pack13queens0 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:34 PM

    No doubt about it, A-Rod is the best QB in the NFL. World’s Greatest Athlete as well. Go A-Rod.

  40. mgdsquiggy17 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:38 PM

    “yes its true…..he’s a game manager and a draft bust”

    How is he a bust? Jamarcus Russel is a bust. He is no where near worth a 1st overall pick but that draft also was very sub par. He is a good player. Not a franchise QB but not a scrub either. I’d say he hasn’t lived up to the expectations he never had a chance of reaching anyway but I wouldn’t say a bust at all.

  41. adenaguy says: Sep 6, 2012 7:46 PM

    Aaron Rodgers strictly a system QB. Matt Flynn – 6 TD passes? Do the math. Things could easily have worked out where Aaron is riding the bench behind Russell Wilson. Nothing special about Aaron, he’s sitting back there with the best
    receiving corps in the NFL. He has receivers that can get some separation. That probably helps ya think?

  42. revroy78 says: Sep 6, 2012 7:49 PM

    Not a Packers fan, but Rodgers is classy as hell. Plus, he pulls for Vandy where his kid brother is playing = awesome.

  43. kidmidas says: Sep 6, 2012 7:51 PM

    Smith is a more than capable QB, but all the criticism is warranted. Regardless of the situation he was drafted into, he was given the keys to the family car years ago and until last season hadn’t learned to drive. I’m very hopeful he has another good season. GO NINERS!!!

  44. adenaguy says: Sep 6, 2012 7:54 PM

    It’s all about recievers and systems that can provide separation nowadays. Look at Aaron, he takes 3 steps and there’s an open receiver. Not that hard guys, for NFL caliber throwers. Which Aaron is. Packers have the throwing game down pat.

  45. hipstercagematch says: Sep 6, 2012 7:55 PM

    For the people making Dilfer 2.0 comments last time Dilfer had a Defense that good he won a super bowl so I’ll take it.

  46. willcoop62 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:19 PM

    He didn’t reduce because the team was plain dreadful during those times and he had how many coordinators during that time?

  47. cliffordc05 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:26 PM

    Seahawks fan here. If you saw the 49ers beat the Seahawks in Seattle last season you would not consider Alex Smith to be a ‘game manager’. In a very tight game he made a perfect throw to Crabtree late in the fourth quarter to set up their final score. He was being pressured and there was very good coverage. It was simply a great throw by an improving quarterback.

    I wasn’t particularly surprised by his performance against New Orleans.

  48. jimthebuilder27 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:34 PM

    Really how many chances does one QB get? He hasn’t performed like a number 1 pick, and he’s on, what, his fifteenth chance? Wish I got that many!

  49. m1000be says: Sep 6, 2012 8:43 PM

    Say what you want about Alex Smith, but I think he has character. I remember that game against the Eagles where he threw a pick, got booed off the field and then turned around and next time lead them down the field. That takes character. He hasn’t had a fair shot due to crappy head coaches and constant change of offensive coordinators.

  50. ninersforlife15 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:01 PM

    Hmmmmmm…… Let’s see here, listen to an opposing NFL quarterback (whom is at the top of his game) discuss Alex Smith situation or listen to the same DUMBASS (the one who wrote this article and every other one) talking about how Alex Smith isn’t a good quarterback. Let’s see, listen to MORONS on here that know absolutely nothing about football when the day ignorant things about Alex Smith’s QB play or listen to the ones who understand the situation he has been in for almost his entire career (until Harabaugh) and acuatally have played a down or two in real life as well. I’ll take the QB who understands and studies the game, along with the fans who understand that as a #1 pick in the draft, at quarterback, you need to have stability, weapons, and time to develop on a certain system to be successful, which is the exact opposite of what Alex Smith had. If the 49ers were to take Rodgers #1 and Alex would of gone to Green Bay then we may be having the exact opposite of this conversation.

  51. jintfan says: Sep 6, 2012 9:02 PM

    The coach doesn’t even trust him. The Niners are a run first and play great Defense team. No one has ever told Smith to go out and win the game, but they sure have told him not to go out and blow it. He has been a game manager, sure he’s had some good moments but that doesn’t make him Rodgers, or Brees, or either Manning, or Big Ben, or Brady, or Vick or Romo or Stafford or Ryan or Rivers etc…

  52. greyhawk9 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:13 PM

    draft bust game manager. more than just a game manager.

  53. thetokyosandblaster says: Sep 6, 2012 9:13 PM

    What’s funny is that jealous people call Aaron Rodgers a system QB, and people who get paid to write their opinions about football call him “Most Valuable Player.”

    I guess their opinion is more important than haters. Sorry :(

    Not sorry :D

  54. sfsaintsfan says: Sep 6, 2012 9:14 PM

    For those people who say Alex Smith is more than a game manager and point to his “performance” against the Saints and say, how do you explain that? One simple answer, Gregg Williams. The man called moronic defensive plays at the end of that game, looked like he already knew he was about to get fired and didn’t care. Everybody and their brother, and sister for that matter, knew that Alex Smith was going to continue to throw it to Vernon Davis at the end of that game, and Gregg Williams continued to call blitzes and left his worst single coverage guy in the secondary one on one with Vernon Davis. What an idiot, it cost the Saints a Super Bowl.

  55. randallflagg52 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:15 PM

    I just want to know what kind of dirt Alex Smith has on someone to stay on the roster for so long. If a team could give up on players like Jimmy Clausen after only a year, why else would Alex Smith survive like 3 head coaching changes, a couple GMs and countless offensive coordinators in 7 years?

  56. eaglescomments says: Sep 6, 2012 9:16 PM

    I sure Alex Smith is getting the AP NFL GMOTY (Game Manager of the year) lol

  57. Little Earthquake says: Sep 6, 2012 9:22 PM

    I’m a Packer fan but I will admit that had the situation been reversed, Rodgers would have struggled under multiple OCs while Smith would have enjoyed some level of success learning from Favre and McCarthy.

    That doesn’t make Rodgers a “system quarterback” however. That’s a stupid term for people who don’t understand football. If “The System” aka McCarthy’s offense could produced endless 2011-model Aaron Rodgers, every team would implement The System. Besides, I don’t see Brian Brohm, Ingle Martin or Craig Nall signing any $10 million contracts or winning any divisions.

    Look ‘em up, Sparky. They were in “The System.”

  58. csilojohnson says: Sep 6, 2012 9:24 PM

    The man has had to learn a new system with new coaches EVERY year of his career. Manning or Rodgers wouldnt have the same success today if it weren’t for the stability they were fortunate enough to land in. And that people is the Truth!

  59. trollaikman8 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:29 PM

    You’re right Aaron, he’s a bus driver.

  60. axespray says: Sep 6, 2012 9:39 PM

    Yeah, Aaron Is a System guy cause his system has a thing where Wide receivers run routes…. nevermind the fact that those routes are backshoulder throws that require precise throws from the QB or that the QB is running a no huddle a good portion of the time, or the fact that when a play breaks down, he can scramble and lob accurate passes down field to his reciever… he’s a system guy…. ka-durrh!?

  61. gbpshareholder says: Sep 6, 2012 9:40 PM

    I would suspect you would answer in a similar manner if you were asked a comparable question about one of your contemporaries.

  62. pkswally024 says: Sep 6, 2012 9:41 PM

    Listen, Alex Smith hasn’t had any stability in San Fran, they’re a franchise that just keeps turning over year after year. I believe Smith is better than what the nation perceives him to be.

  63. jwreck says: Sep 6, 2012 10:02 PM

    The issue here is not with Smith or Rodgers, but with with the condescending connotation of the phrase “game manager”.

    The fact is that Alex Smith is a game manager, in the best sense of the word. There’s nothing wrong with “managing” a game. If you were a five-year-old who had never heard the term or its negative connotation before, being a “game manager” would sound like a really good thing.
    The other day I was talking with a co-worker about Luck and Griffin. He made the point “Of course Griffin will put up better stats if Shanahan has him dinking and dunking his way down the field and he never has to make throws over ten yards” Fighting my urges to rave about Griffin’s deep ball accuracy, vanilla offenses in the preseason and whatnot, I realized “Well what’s the matter with a five yard pass?”

    If you can complete five yard passes 90 percent of the time, you don’t need the Rodgers/Brady/Manning deep ball. If a quarterback can manage games well enough to get to the NFC Championship, he is a good quarterback. End of story.

    While game managers will never be as loved by the fans or get as much attention as dynamic superstar passers, the term should not be thrown around disparagingly. It should be used to describe quarterbacks who integral to their team’s success, but may not make the highlight reel, not quarterbacks who lack the physical or mental tools to be pro-bowlers.

    To summarize, Alex Smith is a game manager, but that’s not a bad thing at all.

  64. chi01town says: Sep 6, 2012 10:15 PM

    The 49ers will beat Greenbay this sunday. Randy Moss is COMING to Greenbay… NO MERCY HOMIE

  65. mikesmajormojo says: Sep 6, 2012 10:16 PM

    Granted he’s not been stellar since he was drafted but he’s shown a lot of class and heart while everyone’s been busy bashing him. I’m proud of the guy and glad to have him on the Niners. I doubt we’ll have to wait all season for him to quiet his critics since it’s likely to be a shootout in Wisconsin this weekend and the team with the better D will win. If the Niners actually do beat the Packers because of Alex Smith instead of despite him, will you all finally just give him some credit and then shut up already?

  66. raiderrob21 says: Sep 6, 2012 10:17 PM

    What the hell did you expect him to say? What a stupid article. BTW Alex is a game manager with a GREAT defense. He wouldnt start for any other team in the NFL except for maybe the Dolphins, as they were the ONLY team that brought him in as a FA to discuss their starting QB job.

  67. musicman495 says: Sep 6, 2012 10:27 PM

    Actually, Alex Smith is more of a game assistant manager.

  68. thermalito says: Sep 6, 2012 10:48 PM

    Smith is awful. He was an unrestricted free agent last year and no team showed any real interest at all because he’s terrible on third down, he stinks in the red zone and rarely throws for even 200 yard a game. Why would anybody want a QB like that?

  69. thermalito says: Sep 6, 2012 10:52 PM

    @m1000be: Smith hasn’t had a fair shot?? He got handed the starting job year after year despite being awful and doing nothing to deserve it. So did Matt Leinart not get a fair shot too?

  70. msclemons67 says: Sep 6, 2012 11:04 PM

    The Alex Smith cult is almost as bizarre as the Tim Tebow cult.

    Alex finally managed to be average after 6 years in the league. No matter how many excuses his cult makes for him he is just a guy.

  71. b3nz0z says: Sep 6, 2012 11:15 PM

    rodgers is classy and old school. smith deserves credit for having a lot of heart. i remember one game where he was getting shredded by philly and even the crowd was against him. he threw a few picks but he stayed in there slinging.

  72. ninertownusa says: Sep 6, 2012 11:48 PM

    Game manager – a term for haters. Be as jealous as you want MDS & Co., but I don’t see you behind center… only hacking away about guys who are. Time to give it a rest (which you never will, of course, because THEN what would you write and comment about?).

  73. sonoco says: Sep 6, 2012 11:54 PM

    I believe Alex Smith was nearly ruined by the regime that drafted him. They re-wrote the book on how best to screw-up a young NFL QB. Enter Harbaugh and without an off-season Smith has the best year of his career while “managing” the team to the cusp of the Superbowl. How can nobody see the potential? I’ll agree that if he doesn’t take a clear step into the upper echelon of QB’s this year he probably never will.

  74. mikesmajormojo says: Sep 7, 2012 12:06 AM

    Oh please. None of Alex Smith’s supporters are confusing him with Joe Montana. He’s a better QB than a lot of the other NFL starters is all anyone is saying… Skelton? Kolb? Really? How about Sanchez, Cassel, Fitzpatrick, Tebow, Ponder, Freeman…? And he plays for a new coach who works for a new owner in a (finally) stable system that understands how to put their players in position to be successful. When Smith was drafted he didn’t have that type of leadership throughout the entire organization nor as many talented offensive players that York, Baalke, and Harbaugh have put together in 2 short years. Can’t wait to see how well Smith does. I believe he’ll have a much better season this year but will he ever become ‘elite’ or considered the best QB in the NFL? Hell no. But we’re still proud of and support the guy and believe he has enough to win a SB.

  75. discosucs2005 says: Sep 7, 2012 12:12 AM

    Is there anything the people that love to hate Alex Smith hate more than someone who knows a 1000 times more than them on the subject of QBing corrects them.

  76. pantherpro says: Sep 7, 2012 12:34 AM

    In Alex we Trust! He has a sack fo sure! Raiders suck as always!

  77. sasattack says: Sep 7, 2012 12:48 AM

    The guy has improved. Give him some credit! I’d rather “manage” a game in the NFL than manage a website that can only write about it.

  78. hipstercagematch says: Sep 7, 2012 1:28 AM

    Wait did I see one dude say Smith had the reigns handed to him year after year? I am bored and will go down memory lane….

    2005: Tim Rattay started at QB for the 49ers to start the season. Eventually Smith started on a team where Kevan Barlow was still the first string RB(Gore was the rookie backup), his starting WRs were Brandon Lloyd(still spectacular grabs mixed with gator arms mode) and Johnnie Morton, Bajema was his TE because the future Mr. Jessica Simpson was hurt for the year again. And the O-Line was a horror story. Mike McCarthy is the OC but since he doesn’t have much to work with he doesn’t do so well. He leaves to become the HC for Green Bay.

    2006: Alex is named the starter early because well he was the number 1 overall pick. Kevan Barlow is cut(addition by subtraction) and Frank Gore is named starter, Lloyd is traded and the team replaces him with Antonio Bryant to be across of Arnaz Battle, Vernon Davis is drafted to be the TE for the team, Offensive Line gets a boost in the run game by adding Larry Allen but still isn’t that great. Norv Turner is the OC and gets a good amount out of the second year Alex Smith, only to leave to become the HC in San Diego. Team plays better than expected and this leads to higher expectations.

    2007: Alex is the starter because of the progression from a year before. This is also the year Alex had his shoulder destroyed against Seattle and then a few weeks later came back early because Mike Nolan questioned his toughness(which in turn showed Alex’s toughness when he played in pain) Antonio Bryant is cut because well he must not have been able to bring a DD or call a cab and was replaced by Darrell “Hands of Stone” Jackson, Gore has a tougher time running because defenses are game planning but still has over 1k yards, Davis and Walker are the top two TEs, Larry Allen shows age and doesn’t play well. Last minute replacement OC Jeff Hostler is absolutely atrocious in game planning and is promptly fired after the season. Alex didn’t play so great but Hostler’s playcalling was so generic teams knew what was being called.

    2008: This season is irrelevant because even with Smith not named starter(Nolan was desperate to keep his job and Martz didn’t want to risk his future by teaching Smith a new offense when he had a guy who knew his O already on roster in O’Sullivan) and ended up having season ending shoulder surgery before week 1. Nolan is fired during the season and replaced by Mike Singletary who after the season fires Mike Martz.

    2009: Alex has to compete for the starting spot again and loses out to hot hand Shaun Hill. Eventually Smith starts because Hill was figured out and he had Gore still at RB, Davis had his big TD record for a TE tying season, Crabtree eventually played and played well as a rookie with Josh Morgan on the other side at WR, Jimmy Raye is the OC here and while not spectacular wasn’t exactly Hostler bad….yet.

    2010: 49ers lose 5 straight and in those five games it features the argument between Smith and Singletary over benching Smith, and Jimmy Raye is fired. Smith gets hurt and is replaced with Troy Smith because Singletary went with the hot hand even with Smith healthy, then he went all ADD with who he was adding at QB. Singletary is fired during the season, Raye’s replacement takes a college coaching job.

    2011: Harbaugh is hired and Smith leads the team to a 13-3 record despite losing the WR he is most comfortable with(Morgan) for the year early. On offense Smith has a better than he used to have O-Line, Crabtree across from the following WRs….Kyle Williams, Ted Ginn Jr, Brett Swain, Joe Hastings. Davis and Walker are a pretty good TE combo. Even with Brett Swain getting a lot of playing time the team almost makes the Super Bowl.

    I pretty much forgot why I wrote this novel in the first place. But people like to rip Smith and wonder why he has had so many chances but dude has been through hell. Seriously hasn’t he been spit on by you couch experts enough? If he can’t perform with this roster he won’t get another chance and SF will go with Kaepernick. Gore/Hunter/Jacobs/James is far better than his previous RB corps and Moss/Crabtree/Manningham/Williams/Jenkins/Ginn are by far his best WR corps. Jenkins would be the number 2 WR on last year’s team.

  79. vern1677 says: Sep 7, 2012 1:51 AM

    Rodgers is great, but matt flynn threw 6 td’s in one game and he was the next great qb in the offseason and couldn’t beat out russell martin in seattle.. Don’t know if it’s the system in green bay, but it sure benefited flynn.. I also think matt castle in kansas city fits this discussion.. Should be a great game, go niners!

  80. whoknowsnothing says: Sep 7, 2012 2:22 AM

    Smith had a 17TDs 5INTs 3144 Pyards, I say that’s a pretty good season. The 49ers were a balanced team last year…..Total passing TD’s 18…rushing TD’s 14.

  81. mistersmith22 says: Sep 7, 2012 3:05 AM

    This is, I think, Smith’s 8th year. It’s his first with a repeat Offensive Coordinator. That’s INSANE.

    Also, I was at the Niners win over the Saints in the playoffs last year. That performance wasn’t “game manager” performance, that was a QB taking the team on his back.

  82. pantysweat says: Sep 7, 2012 3:19 AM

    Thats nice of Rodgers to even acknowledge Alex Smith as a QB

  83. ronin36 says: Sep 7, 2012 9:02 AM

    I’d have to lean towards “more” as well.

    Like others have said, he’s had terrible coaching up to last year.

    Last year, because of the lock-out, there wasn’t much time to put in an offense, so, I think Harbaugh did the smart thing, he scaled the offense down, figured out what Smith could do well, and Smith started to show he has some ability.

    Now, with a full off-season, I’m expecting to see more out of Smith and the off-season (whether “more” is “better” is a different topic).

    For Smith, this is the year SanFran fans finally find out just where they stand.

  84. kev86 says: Sep 7, 2012 11:35 AM

    Why did they get so conservative in the NFC Championship game?

    Did anyone else see some of Smiths throws in the 2nd half and in OT?

    Take the game manager tag and run with it yuntil he proves otherwise.

  85. 4ever9er says: Sep 7, 2012 11:49 AM

    Game Manager or System QB they are both terms made up by media types who more than likely never played a down of football.

    The worse part is the so called knowledgeable fans who repeat these ridiculous terms to describe a player or team.

    All Offenses and Defenses have a system, all Offenses ask their QB’s to manage the game (do you really believe there are Coaches out there at any level are saying “hey go just out there and play”?)

    Would Bill Bellichick’s system be great w/o Tom Brady?

    Per your definition of a game manager her are a couple others.

    Troy Aikman-199 ypg/ 1TD pg
    Terry Bradshaw-166 ypg/ 1 TD pg

    They won with the same type of Offensive system and coaching philosophy Strong Running Game, Strong Defense and Controling the Clock.

    Aaron Rodgers is thanking the Football Gods for being drafted by the Packers who had (Stability, Good Coaching and Talented players around him) and not being drafted by my 9ers who were the exact opposite.

    Alex Smith is a soldier that’s why Jim Harbaugh likes him, he’s not a quitter and he’s gone through adversity like no other!

  86. 4ever9er says: Sep 7, 2012 12:18 PM

    humboldt420 says:
    Sep 6, 2012 6:42 PM
    I remember reading all the scouting reports about Alex Smith and several said he would fit into any scheme or system because of his arm and intelligence.

    So, I don’t buy into the “different system” argument used to defend his lackluster performance year-in, year-out early in his career.

    Yeah, but they didn’t mean a new system every year.
    And they also didn’t mean that he could flourish on a team with a group of #3 WR’s

  87. pa9erfan says: Sep 7, 2012 1:37 PM

    i can not wait to see how the final paragraph on alex’s career is written… everyone is so quick to determine alex’s fate based on the start of his career.. fact is, he was rushed into the starting job, endured the revolving o-coordinators, had a pretty good season under norv turner, injured a couple seasons after that, and was pretty dern impressive last season…. i think rodgers’ road was a bit smoother and he had significantly better talent around him…

    i say conversations are much different in 5-10yeqrs…

  88. hipstercagematch says: Sep 7, 2012 2:06 PM

    @humboldt420

    You need to do better research about Alex Smith. Here are quotes from Urban Meyer on Alex Smith that was stated in 2005 after the 49ers picked Smith….

    “It’s going to be interesting in San Francisco,” Meyer said. “Alex is an extremely quick learner. However, he’s a guy that, until he understands it, he is nonfunctional. He is a guy that — I keep hearing how Brett Favre kind of makes something out of nothing and is a person that runs around to make a play — Alex Smith is not that kind of player. Alex Smith is a person that, once he is taught, has to learn it all. He might struggle early, but once he gets it, he gets it.”

    …….

    “I’m going to be anxious to watch his development with the 49ers. Alex is so careful with the ball. His touchdown-to-interception ratio the last 2 years was phenomenal (47 touchdowns and seven interceptions). That’s because, unless he knows exactly what’s going on, he won’t throw it. He won’t just try to guess and take a shot. He has to know.

    “That’s why, early in his career, and early in our career with him at Utah, he was not an effective passer, because he really didn’t understand. Once he understood, there was no one better. He learns quickly, though. But he’s not a guy that you throw the ball out there and tell him, ‘Go play.’ He wants to know what is exactly expected of him and then he becomes a dynamite player.’

  89. hipstercagematch says: Sep 7, 2012 2:09 PM

    Also this is Alex Smith’s second time playing with the same OC two years in a row. The problem is the OC the first time around was Jimmy Raye and if Roman ever gets promoted the offense stays the same since it’s Harbaugh’s offense. That is why a new OC used to hurt Alex. The coach was defensive minded before Harbaugh and that meant a change in system and language.

  90. 15to12 says: Sep 7, 2012 4:10 PM

    Anyone who throws out the “system quarterback” label at #12 doesn’t know the slightest thing about athletics, throwing mechanics, arm strength or football for that matter. Just look up his figure 8 drill on you tube and then put down the hot wings and try it yourself. He is a gifted athlete. Or try throwing a ball 35 yards to the left boundary while running to the right and having a 260 lb linebacker chasing you. There are probably 3 quarterbacks on the planet that make that throw. 2 play in the NFC north and the other is a high school OC.

  91. 4ever9er says: Sep 8, 2012 1:04 PM

    @ Hipster….
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for the Urban Meyer quotes.
    I remember Meyer saying that during a draft preview and I’ve retold it to several so-called 9er fans and they said that I was just covering for Smith.
    Another fallacy is that Smith can’t throw deep, I’ve argued that there hasn’t been a Receiver on the 9ers who could go deep.

    There is a bias against Alex Smith with the Bay Area media and they purposely leave out the good things that Smith does.

    The guy can play and his next 2 years will be exceptional.

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