Jerry Rice: 49ers should take diaper off Alex Smith

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The 49ers spent a lot of time this offseason upgrading elements of their passing game.

They signed wide receivers Randy Moss and Mario Manningham as free agents before drafting A.J. Jenkins, another wide receiver, in the first round. The 49ers wideouts failed to impress last season, so it made sense for the Niners to address the position. They also added Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James, though, and the addition of two new running backs suggests that the overhaul at the receiver spot doesn’t necessarily mean a change in offensive priorities.

As does the return of quarterback Alex Smith. Smith had a good season running an offense that asked him to avoid mistakes first and foremost and, at the risk of sounding like a diabolical doubter, their “evaluation” of Peyton Manning sent a pretty strong message that they wanted something more at the quarterback spot.

Former 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice likely agrees with that thought, although he doesn’t seem to have any problem with Smith being the guy asked to do more. Nate Davis of USA Today reports that Rice expressed that opinion in emphatic terms.

“I seriously think they got to take the diaper off this guy and let him play,” said Rice. “Let him be a grown man.”

Wes Welker takes serious issue with Rice’s belief that one can’t be a grown man and wear diapers.

The additions to the receiving corps, the presence of tight end Vernon Davis and the continuity of the offensive scheme combine to give Smith his best hand since coming to San Francisco as the first pick of the 2005 Draft. It will be interesting to see how the 49ers allow him to play it out and, if they do, Smith’s ability to lead an undiapered life will determine how far the 49ers go this season.

11 responses to “Jerry Rice: 49ers should take diaper off Alex Smith

  1. This has got to be his break out year. He had gone through a host of offensive coordinators, enough to really screw you up. I think last year was very good for him and this year could be better with continuity. If not, then he isn’t very good.

  2. They’ll take the diaper off once he stops messing all over himself with picks and bad reads. Harbaugh knew EXACTLY what he had to do, and he’ll do the same this year – despite the smack he ran at Cam Newton.

  3. I dont think J.H had a “diaper” on Alex Smith only. I think because it was a short offseason the offense in general were kept in a “diaper”. Like Smith college coach Urban Myer said … once Alex Smith knows the in’s & out’s of the playbook he will start playing with more confidents and playing like a top 10 QB. #Fact

  4. Are those the best words Rice could come up with? How about “take the handcuffs off”?? I don’t agree with him anyway, I just think the way he says it insults Smith further.

    If he executes then he’ll probably get more chances to throw… simple as that.

  5. @tatum064…. don’t rehash that Cam garbage. That was inflated media-hype and you know it. He merely stated FACTS! Try this.. Cam Newton put up monster numbers! Set the record for QB rushing TDs as a rookie. He had a TON of yards, however he threw a TON of INTs!. Was I also talking garbage about Cam? Nope. I like Cam and was pleasantly surprised by him and I truly hope he becomes the QB he showed flashes of last year.

  6. Wes Welker takes serious issue with Rice’s belief that one can’t be a grown man and wear diapers.
    What does that mean? Why is this even in the article? What’s so clever about it? …and if I’m missing something, why isn’t there a link?

  7. I strongly disagree Jerry. Having him do the very least is what got them close last year. He is Trent Dilfer Jr. With a D like the Ravens had with Trent and the D the whiners have now, you just want him to play error free and let the D win it. Weve already seen the Alex Smith that is let loose back there and its not good! What Harbaugh did with him last year is what they need to do to go to the SB just as Trent did.

  8. just be glad that harbaugh kept him diapered…..things would not have gone as well otherwise. alex is not comfortable pushing the ball deep downfield

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