Maybe I'm Just Stubborn
But I just have a really hard time believing that J.T. O'Sullivan is going to be the starting QB for the San Francisco Forty Niners. In all honesty, I haven't seen a down of Niners pre-season football, which shocks me, but I've been a bit busy.
And I know that he's the only QB that Mike Martz feels comfortable with, but this is symptomatic of why I cringed a bit when Martz - clearly a positive addition to the woeful offense - got hired. It's because the only thing I can say about Martz specifically is that he's not only sure he's the smartest guy in the stadium, he feels compelled to demonstrate it at all times. Sure, Frank Gore should have a great year running in the offense designed for uber-stud Marshall Faulk. But what I remember is in more recent years, Martz went out of his way to try to win without Faulk.
But it's not so much about Sullivan - Martz's guy - in that I still feel like Alex Smith still hasn't truly been given a fair chance to succeed.
Don't get me wrong, Smith absolutely sucked last year after a very promising 2006. At this point, his selection as the first pick overall in the 2005 draft is looking like a historically bad move.
But there's the thing -- this is a guy the Niners - and many others - agreed was the consensus #1 pick, and whose career has gone like this:
Year One: Not good. Came in halfway through the year and threw his first and only TD of the year in the last game of the season, against the equally woeful Titans. Had 1 TD, 11 INT
Year Two: Pretty solid - promising, even. Under a new Offensive Coordinator (Norv Turner). Tossed 16 TD, matched by 16 INT. Had three games with 2 or more TD, and generally played like a guy learning how to play an NFL game.
Year Three: Terrible. With his third offensive coordinator in three years - this time the apparently completely overmatched Jim Hostler. He played competently in a dreadful offense, then injured his shoulder in the fourth game. That injury pretty much derailed his season, which was marred by his attempt to play later on.
So, now he has his FOURTH offensive coordinator in four years with Martz, and we're suddenly sure that he can't play? Maybe there's something here - maybe in some way Smith is not coachable, but I have a hard time buying it.
I'm not saying Smith is the solution at QB, but if he's healthy, he should get another chance to try and prove that he is that guy. They are paying the kid a crapload of duckets for, presumably, a reason.