In Smith We Trust

Alex Smith, originally a #1 draft pick selected by the San Francisco 49ers, has revitalized his career this season.  We all were so sure of his departure by the season’s end last year, that a first round QB investment seemed fairly reasonable.

However, the newest member of the 49er’s Coach Jim Harbaugh, was not ready to give up on Alex.  After a controversial offseason, Alex Smith, shining with newborn confidence, re-signed with the 49ers and isn’t looking back.

Harbaugh was not ready to take over as the new Head Coach without meeting with the team’s, now free-agent, QB.  Before watching any film on Alex, Jim asked Alex to meet for the day with him.  Alex, most likely confused by this request, accepted the offer to meet with the new head coach.

Jim now says that he wanted to make sure Smith was still willing to compete as their QB, before he invested time in watching film.  It appeared that their meeting went well, once reporters had spotted Jim and Alex throwing the old pig skin around at the 49ers training facility.

Harbaugh, being an ex-NFL QB in the league for 15 seasons, knew the struggles it took for a QB to get into rhythm.  Taking himself 7 years to evolve into a Pro Bowl QB, he was aware that it was not time to quit on Smith.

Throughout the 2011 offseason, the NFL was in a nasty lockout, which lasted until July.  This meant that players and coaches could not meet, or contact each other.

This could of destroyed Harbaugh’s latest push to become best pals with Alex, but as we see throughout this current season, Jim had a trick up his sleeve.

Since Jim was not able to make comments about players ON his team’s roster,(Alex Smith was technically a free-agent).  Jim would constantly make interview appearances, giving praise to Alex Smith for his toughness, accuracy, and competitiveness.

Week after week, we would here how great Alex was, and were quick to judge Harbaugh as delusional.  Even the NFL became sick of Harbaugh’s consistent praise, and demanded that he speak no more about Smith, while the lockout remained.

NFL Analyst Paul Barker, speculates the 49ers QB situation a few days before the NFL draft in the video posted below.

Flash-forward to Day 1 of the NFL draft now, the 49ers are on the clock at #7 on the draft board.  The moment of truth to call Harbaugh’s bluff arises and the 49ers select Smith!… Aldon Smith, a defensive end out of Missouri.  However, with this defensive pick, it showed fans that the Niners had in fact gone with Alex Smith at QB as well.

By investing in the defense and not with a rookie first round QB, Alex remained in their QB picture.

Moving on to Day 2, Fox Sports news reporter, Alex Marvez, summarized; “A federal judge on Monday granted players an injunction to lift the NFL lockout. Judge grants injunction to lift NFL lockout; owners appeal.” This NFL lockout lift meant that players could now resume contact with their coaches.

(To follow the rest of the article by Alex Marvez, click this link.

Quickly jumping on this lift, Alex and a few current 49er players at the time, picked up Harbaugh’s playbook from the facility at Santa Clara.  Within hours after Smith picked up his playbook, the 49ers drafted QB Colin Kaeprnick, with their second round draft pick.

Now this really confused us 49er fans.  Smith just picked up a playbook, while we just drafted a QB to potentially start the 2011 for us.

Smith did not seem discouraged, as he conducted his own mini-camp, which reporters called “Camp Alex.”  With no coaching assistance for the team’s new West Coast style offensive playbook, Smith took over as an interim coach.  Conducting private offensive meetings, and on the field practices at San Jose State, Smith was starting to build confidence and respect of his fellow players.

This camp in late May, was a huge confidence booster for Alex as he showed his fellow future teammates, that he could lead them as their captain.  After a few weeks into his self-run training program, Smith’s teammates constantly praised his performance similarly, to what Harbaugh’s claims were.

At the end of the lockout, the Niners instantly offered Smith a new 1-year contract, and what seemed to be, the keys to the QB position.

Stay posted for my next blog, which will feature the 49er’s potential training camp QB controversy featuring Smith and Kaepernick.

Preview of next weeks blog topic:


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