Red roundup: Smith's status complicating 49ers' draft plans

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  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    April 30, 2011 8:55 a.m.

    Mormon Ute

    With the 49ers drafting Colin Kaepernick early in the 2nd round, it doesn't look like Harbaugh is convinced that Alex is the quarterback of the future for the 49ers.

    No team with a proven starter would waste the 36th overall pick in the draft for a back up QB.

  • che loco Springville, UT
    April 29, 2011 10:48 p.m.

    Oh, and I can't stand the Packers. I was cheering for Chris Kemoeatu and the Steelers!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 29, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    @Mormon Ute

    Well I suppose we'll find out eventually. We do know this, to this point Smith has been a huge bust, no other way to put it. He was the overall number one pick in the NFL draft and for the last 6 seasons has performed like anything but that. Yes you have made alot of good excuses for him, some might even be correct, but the overriding theme from most ute fans is that smith has been so bad in large part because of organizational incompetence and bumbling. That may be true.

    But if the organization has been so incompetent and made so many poor decisions might it not just be possible that one of those incompetent and poor decisions was making smith the #1 pick? If they couldn't evaluate any of the talent they put around him isn't it possible they made a mistake evaluating his talent as well?

    Like I said I don't wish ill on him but I just can't believe that his problems have all been the fault of others. At some point, and I would say 6 seasons is plenty, it becomes obvious a player isn't good.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 29, 2011 4:50 p.m.


    No matter how much you'd like to marginalize Harbaugh's career, he still has seen far more QB's in both college and the NFL than you have and has much more experience evaluating talent. And he did say that he watched a year's worth of film on Alex Smith within his first few weeks of being named the Head Coach of the 49ers. That's a lot of effort for someone you just want to keep around.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 29, 2011 4:07 p.m.

    @mormon ute

    Harbaugh is hardly a proven NFL coach and the 49ers are a joke of a franchise. I wouldn't predict much success yet. Also Harbaugh was not a "successful" NFL QB, he was a pretty mediocre NFL QB.

    Alex Smith is a marginal talent and if you want to go by harbaughs assesment that is fine but Harbaugh hasn't said anything to great about Smith, only that he'd keep him around.

    I think Smiths upside is probably a Harbaugh type career which you can google up if you want. I have no ill feelings toward Smith but he has never impressed me as much of a talent and I think his career thus far has shown us that. Certainly the situation a player is in has an affect on his performance but I have seen far to many awful throws and unforced fumbles from Smith to credit him with much of a chance.

    I don't think he'll ever amount to much but if he does I would be happy for him. He seems like a good person.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:37 p.m.


    With all due respect, I'll take Jim Harbaugh's evaluation of Alex Smith over yours. Given he was a successful QB in college and the pros and he has shown he knows how to coach QBs.

    At the same time, you are right about him not being as athletic as Steve Young, but he has had a similar road. How many years did Young flounder in TB without any real talent or solid coaching to help him succeed? It wasn't until he was pulled into the San Francisco with at Hall of Fame Coach and Hall of Fame mentor that he proved he could make it in the NFL.

    That proves two of my points. One, most QBs need good coaching and mentoring to succeed. Two, if a QB has what it takes, they can succeed even if they have struggled. Now the coach is in place, I just hope the rest falls into place for him. Of course he has to accept the offer.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:30 p.m.

    49er Fan,

    Rogers would not have faired any better under the circumstances. Neither would Tom Brady. Both of them were brought into the right situations where they didn't have to start right away. There are tons of draft analysts and NFL experts out there pointing this out leading up to the draft. Most QBs do best when they are not thrown into the starting roles right away. ESPN's Todd McShay is saying Blaine Gabbert has the best chance to succeed of all the QB's in the first round, because the team that drafted him is saying they are looking at him as the starter of the future. They want to develop him over the next couple of years, before they make him a starter. That is the ideal situation for young QBs and history has proven this over and over.

    I think Alex Smith is salvageable and I believe the 49ers have proven they want to do that by not taking a QB in the 1st round.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 29, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    Veritas Aequitas,

    Look at the history of QB's who have been taken early in the draft by bad teams and then thrown right into starting roles as rookies or second year players. It's easy to see the trend. Most of the QB's who have really made something of themselves have had a few years as a backup to develop. There are plenty of examples, not just Aaron Rogers. Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Jim McMahon, Steve Young. In fact Steve Young is a good example of why I think Alex Smith is still salvageable and can play. Steve went first to LA's USFL team and when the USFL folded wound up with Tampa Bay where he got beat up every game and never really accomplished anything. Finally the 49ers picked him up and with some solid coaching and a good starting QB to mentor him, he became a great QB.

    So, yes I believe he can play and will, if he accepts the 49ers offer and Harbaugh is allowed to really work with him.

  • Utes21 Salt Lake City, ut
    April 29, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    @che loco
    Yeah you sound like a bandwagon fan for sure. What NFL team are you a fan of this year? I can see you right now with your Green Bay Packer stuff on. I do agree with you on the firing of Mariucci was a very dumb move by management. The Yorks are the worst!
    @49er Fan
    Dude you know nothing about 49er football. Have you watched the franchise the last seven years? Smith was put in a terrible position with a very mediocre team and ever changing coaching staff. If Rodgers was drafted by them he would be in the same position. Granted he has to step up where he can but have you watched many games over the years? Smith has had a terrible O line and terrible receivers. It all starts with management, they have made dumb mistake after dumb mistake. Firing Steve Mariucci was very upsetting and then hiring Erickson was a huge mistake then Nolan, then Singletary. They finally have made a step in the right direction with Harbaugh. The talent has been there but never developed again that leads back to the Yorks and who they have hired.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 29, 2011 8:09 a.m.


    Alex Smith is no Steve Young. He isn't half the athlete Young was. I do think he could be better than he has been given a better situation but I doubt at this point anyone will give it to him. With good reason. But he is laughing all the way to the bank so I really don't think he needs any pity from us.

  • OU812 Layton, UT
    April 29, 2011 12:06 a.m.

    Sounds some of the same diatribe when Young was in Tampa Bay. How will it unfold?

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    April 28, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    Get rid of him - he is useless.

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    April 28, 2011 8:57 p.m.

    I only wish Alex could have landed with a stable organization. Three offensive coordinators in three years and there might be another this year if he stays with the Niners. There isn't a quarterback that would have flourished in that sort of system. Alex has also had to run for his life with poor lineman. I always wondered what would have happened if Aaron Rodgers would have been picked first. Would Alex be an All-pro learning from Brett Favre and being in a stable system. We'll never know. I wish him luck.

  • 49er Fan Provo, UT
    April 28, 2011 8:37 p.m.

    The 49er fan want Alex Smith gone, I knew it was the biggest mistake for taking him from the very beginning. I wanted Rogers, but everyone "the so called experts" said Alex had more of an upside to his game. Note to pros, never draft a kid who you "THINK" is going to have more of an upside.

    For what it's worth I want the Niners to draft Tom Brady in the day, but no they drafted a kid who never saw the field.

    At this point, here's to hoping the 49ers are in position to get Andrew Luck next year. Heck I think Carson Palmer still has some gas in his tank, and a change would do him good. A change could be good for Alex as well.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    April 28, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    Mormon Ute | 3:45 p.m. April 28, 2011
    Kaysville, UT
    If the 49ers do draft another QB, they need to let him develop over time in a consistent system. Look at Aaron Rogers. He came out the same year Alex did, but was allowed to develop while backing up Brett Favre and now has a Super Bowl win to show for it.

    Yep, it is all about being given the time doing nothing, not about playing the game.

    Suppose Rogers would have been "thrown to the wolves", would he be a timid lamb today?

    Is that your point?

    Alex Smith has been given plenty of chances, and scenarios...

    Mormon Ute... Do you think the guy can play, or should he just keep accepting paychecks for doing what he does... accepting paychecks.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 28, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    If the 49ers do draft another QB, they need to let him develop over time in a consistent system. Look at Aaron Rogers. He came out the same year Alex did, but was allowed to develop while backing up Brett Favre and now has a Super Bowl win to show for it. Rookie QB's who are basically thrown to the wolves as Alex was have a history of failing to develop properly. Hopefully Harbaugh can salvage Alex's career and put a consistent system in place to develop young players properly.

  • che loco Springville, UT
    April 28, 2011 3:25 p.m.


    Yes, but Brees was a Pro Bowler caliber player when he was in SD. Smith has not proven anything and he's had five years to do it. Time to cut ties, SF. The Alex Smith project has failed miserably. I don't care how many OCs you throw at him, Smith just does not have the talent & wherewithal to get it done in the League. I used to love SF, but once the Yorks took over, fired Mooch, then drafted Smith, I could tell it was a sinking ship, so I jumped off. The SF organization may have screwed Smith up, but the bottom line is he is damaged goods and they need to look in another direction.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    April 28, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    Alex's lack of success in SF is not his doing, it is the doing of a franchise which changes leadership and coaches yearly and has failed to get the necessary personnel in place. He can't succeed if the guy over him is changed every year and the plays keep changing. He also can't pass if he is being chased because his O line can't keep anyone out of his face and the receivers have no idea that they are supposed to catch the ball thrown to them.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    April 28, 2011 3:01 p.m.

    Plenty of teams need quarterbacks. No need for Alex to force it at San Francisco. Drew Brees had great success leaving San Diego. Sometimes a team just isn't the right place.

  • Skippy West Jordan, UT
    April 28, 2011 2:27 p.m.

    Nice article about Shakey. I know most Ute fans know this story but it is nice to see him get a little press outside of Utah. I had the chance to talk to Shakey at "The Man Show" and I have never met a nicer guy. He was kind, polite and very funny. He acted like he had all the time in the world to just talk. I hope Green Bay takes a serious look and him! And from what I have seen of his little brother, I hope he can stay in Utah and play for the Utes.
    Good Luck to both Smithson brothers!

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    April 28, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    The more things I read about Shakey Smithson, the more I am impressed by him. He seems to be a class act.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    April 28, 2011 2:03 p.m.

    newwest | 12:37 p.m. April 28, 2011
    Ferron, UT
    Nice article about Shakey Smithson.


    It would be nice to see if the Utes could talk his little brother into playing in-state.

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    April 28, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    The 49er's don't need to be looking for a new QB... Smith should be able to make the grade under Harbough. They instead should shore up one of their line positions such as getting a really good blocking OT or a bigger faster Defensive end. Besides there will be several relatively good QB's in the later rounds since QB's are not the key positions in highest demand right now. Despite his numbers for his Sr. Year Jake Locker should still be a good prospect. He should have gone in early last year. He hurt his market value by trying to help keep Washington alive. He may not...hmmm probably won't go as early as he was previously thought to go. Do the right thing 9er's and go for a A or A+ linesman. Cam isn't the answer and someone like Locker could be possibly just as good a fit to either help Alex step up or force him into the backup position.

  • Y4LYFE Lubbock, TX
    April 28, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    I'd like to see Shaky in SF, Smith...not so much, he's had too many chances as it is.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    April 28, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    As a Utah fan it would be nice to see Alex finally develop into a consistent starter. But at this point, I don't see that happening. Even with all of the turnover at the OC position, he just hasn't "got it" to this point. At best, I see him as a quality backup, who can serve as insurance. Could still be the best option for San Fran right now, unless they can go get Kolb, but now is the time for the 49ers to bring in a young QB and let him sit for a year or two while Smith competes. Problem is, no one this year at the QB spot is worth taking at #7. Maybe take a shot at the top of Round #2 with Dalton or Ponder and see if they can develop.

  • Utes21 Salt Lake City, ut
    April 28, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    I am huge 49ers fans and having Alex stay would help a lot. The franchise has suffered under bad management and coaching for almost a decade now. I am still a fan but its hard to watch my beloved Niners lately. Alex has not had the tools really to build around his whole duration there. Yeah they have Vernon Davis, Gore and now Crabtree but thats about it. They have had so many different offensive coordinators its not funny. I really hope Smith can redeem himself, if not time to move on to another team for Smith an new QB for SF.

  • newwest Ferron, UT
    April 28, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Nice article about Shakey Smithson. This Cougar fan's hat is off to him for stepping up to help his younger brother.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 28, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    Being a 49er's fan as well as a Ute fan, I'd love to see Alex Smith make it in San Fracisco. Maybe now that the lock out has been ordered over by the judge, they'll actually talk and get something done. If Harbaugh is as good with QBs as people say, he should be able to really help Alex.

    Nice little article on Andre Miller. Seems like he still hasn't forgotten where he came from. That's good. He's a better person for it.