The 49ers Offseason: Alex, Lose The Tude
And if that isn't the dictionary definition of a "blog," I don't know what is.
But, it's true - and it was an amazing year, and one that positioned the 49ers so well for 2012, despite a much tougher schedule and improved division. I'm eager to see what they do in the draft, but I'm encouraged by the fact that they've re-signed their entire defense, and added Randy Moss and Mario Manningham to the receiver core, losing Josh Morgan for a much higher price than the two combined. I'll take it.
ANYHOW, it's left the team without a starting QB because Alex Smith never signed his contract, and reportedly feels slighted by the team. He flew to Miami, seemingly out of real interest but also to exercise some leverage over the team. Instead, the Dolphins chose DAVID GARRARD over him (yikes), and was reportedly headed to Seattle before they chose to sign a guy with two starts under his belt in Matt Flynn. There's probably one team aside from the 49ers who don't have a plan at QB, and it's the Cleveland Browns who don't even seem interested.
Look, he should be competitive and he should feel like he still has something to prove. He was mishandled by his coaches for years with the team and dealt with some truly incompetent head coaches in particular. But the team stuck with him, paid him millions and - while they didn't keep him always in the starting gig, they never cut bait.
Last year, Jim Harbaugh transformed Alex Smith; he knew he could make him successful, and he did - without the benefit of a true offseason. He barely unleashed his offense, both to minimize Alex's flaws but also to account for the lack of team preparation with the lockout.
Without Jim Harbaugh, and the faith of the team, Alex Smith is Tavaris Jackson, Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton. He wouldn't have a clear starting job this year and he'd be making even less money. I'm not saying he should be grovelling, but he certainly has very little right to feel disrespected. Peyton Manning is one of the all-time greats, a surefire Hall of Fame QB. Alex Smith is ... a competent QB who could potentially thrive in the right system, with the right coach.
I have all hope that he can and will lead the Niners to greatness this year. I'll be as happy for him as I was for Steve Young and of course Joe Montana when they won their titles. (And when Colin Kaepernick wins his.)
But ... lose the 'tude, Alex. It doesn't look good on you.