The Alex Smith saga……

Alex Smith was just sitting there at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, when his name was called first at the 2005 NFL Draft. Smith made his way to the stage, put on the Niner cap, and stood there with that shy, boyish look, for the obligatory photo with the Commissioner. The number one overall pick in the 2005 was not a veontroversial one really. The Niners clearly needed a QB after they left Jeff Garcia walk, and no team wanted to trade into the number one slot for Smith, or any player for that matter, in the overall “soft” 2005 draft.  Smith was a fine college player in the Urban Meyer spread offense at Utah. He was smart, athletic, and ran Meyer’s offense with absolute precision. Utah finished 12-0 in Smith’s senior season and played in the school’s first ever BCS Bowl, where they demolished Pittsburgh 35-7, in the Fiesta Bowl. While Smith was not seen as an super elite NFL QB prospect, he was certainly projected to have the tools to be a very good one pretty soon, and perhaps a great one, someday.

Well, we all know what’s happened since Alex Smith has become a professional football player. It has not  been pretty, even if he’s gone through four offensive coordinators, and played on a team that has not been exactly amongst the best talent wise, since he’s been there. Smith has just never looked comfortable playing the quarterback position in the NFL.  He looks like he’s full of anxiety on every snap, trying overly hard to make something happen with the ball. All too often that “ball” has been received by a member of the opposing team, or sailed over, in front of, or in back of, the Niner receiver who was the intended target.

A few people have prognosticated that Smith’s shoulder is still not “right.” This continues to produce balls that sail, and the performance we all saw in the exhibition season could substantiate this?  Smith’s 2007 injury was a very serious one, and one that was exacerbated by him trying to play with it. Maybe he did rush back into the fray too soon this year?  Alex Smith will have continued time to rest and re-hab his shoulder now that J.T. O’Sullivan is the Niners starting quarterback. Coach Nolan vows that he will not start the QB carousel if O’Sullivan has some bad games. We’ll see about that.

One thing is for sure though. Alex Smith’s career is really on the precipice of the cliff right now. Oh, bye the way, the number three overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, QB Joey Harrigton, was released by the Atlanta Falcons, and is currently out of the NFL.

MN

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