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.