Entries in Alex Smith (30)


SF Chronicle 49ers Insider: All for one: Harbaugh, Kaepernick joined at the lip

By Art Spander
San Francisco Chronicle 49ers Insider

His father, Jack Harbaugh, said it specifically a while back: “Loose lips sink ships.” Provide no information that will benefit the enemy. To Jim Harbaugh, that would be every other team in the NFL.
Also the media.
We’re never going to learn much from a Jim Harbaugh press conference other than what we already know.
Grass is green, rain is wet, and each game will be difficult.  
Hey, Jim, how are you going to prepare for Seattle, one of the loudest stadiums in the league?
“We’re going to prepare like we do for all our away games,” was the Harbaugh answer.
Thanks, that was informative.
Now and then, Harbaugh adds a fillip, as when asked about his quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, being voted NFC Offensive Player of the Week, for the four touchdown passes in the win over the Patriots.
“As always, we’re happy for the other guy’s success,” said Harbaugh. “And our team won a big game on the road. Great team victory. Sometimes a rising tide lifts all ships.”
Aye, aye, admiral.
Jim’s troops, well taught, are no more informative than their leader. You might say they are joined at the hip. Or the lip.
Kaepernick, asked if on the bus back to the airport in Boston, he thought to himself, “This was a pretty darn good game, worthy of that kind of award,” answered: “I was just happy we got the win.”
His predecessor, the now diminished Alex Smith, wasn’t much more outspoken – when he was starting. After he was benched, Alex came out with a legitimate gripe that he only thing he did wrong to lose his first-string spot was incur a concussion.
A coach’s first priority is to win games, of course, and as long as the Niners do so – ESPN’s Adam Schefter put them atop his NFL rankings this week – Harbaugh blithely will continue withholding what information he chooses.
Jim is a graduate, literally and symbolically, of the Bo Schembechler School, Michigan, where Bo coached Harbaugh – and Jack was an assistant – a place where both the opposition and the press were kept in the dark.
You want to learn about a Harbaugh team, watch the game. Bo was historically brief in his dealings with the press, which barely was allowed to do interviews after games. Harbaugh is brief, if not quite historically.
And while Harbaugh may quote from poets and poseurs, probably to tease, his own quotes are of little value.
What did (the 49er) defense do to succeed against QB Russell Wilson (of the Seahawks) the first time the teams played in October?
“Well, they made plays,” said Harbaugh, “We made plays.”
That’s usually what occurs in a football game.
For Harbaugh, as preached by Schembechler, “No man is more important than the team. No coach is more important than the team. The team. The team. The team.”
A fine concept, but obviously not entirely accurate. If Kaepernick were not more important, he wouldn’t be first string, having replaced Alex Smith. If Aldon Smith were not more important, the Niner defense wouldn’t be what it is.
Indeed, football is a team game, and a quarterback is nothing without an offensive line or receivers, while a linebacker requires other defenders to get his shots and his tackles. The Harbaugh argument – never given – would be with Kaepernick at QB, The Team is better than it was with the other guy, now consigned to stand and watch.
What, someone wondered, was Kaepernick’s reaction to being chosen the top NFC player? “Excited about it.”
Why? “I think it’s a great accolade for the team.”
No less an accolade for Kaepernick and Harbaugh.
“He’s crazy,” defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, said of Harbaugh last year. “Plus, he’s comfortable with the way he is.”
A way that perhaps makes others, such as sports writers and TV and radio journalists uncomfortable.
“Jim, are you expecting a higher-scoring game this time around against Seattle?”
“It’s possible,’’ said Harbaugh.
Anything is possible, except the coach or his players offering in-depth information.
“Colin, you and Michael Crabtree work well together. What do you like about him as a receiver?”
“He catches the ball and makes plays after he catches it,” said Kaepernick.
As they tell you in English 101, make it clear and simple. Kaepernick and his coach have done that, so apparently criticism be damned.
The Niners will do what they must; their players will say what they’re allowed. Maybe their football, wins over the Patriots, the Packers, the Saints, all on the road, are more eloquent than any words.
“But Colin, we have this job, as you have your job, and if you were standing in our spot, what would you ask you?”
“The same questions every week like you all do,” said Kaepernick, and then he laughed.
Presumably the joke’s on us.

Copyright 2012 San Francisco Chronicle


Newsday (N.Y.): 49ers humbled by Super Bowl champion Giants

By Art Spander
Special to Newsday

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers were waiting for this one. The Giants beat them in overtime in the NFC Championship Game last season on a field goal after a fumble, and the 49ers kept thinking they should have won that game and gone to the Super Bowl.

That's not what they're thinking now -- not after the Giants battered the 49ers, 26-3, at Candlestick Park, where by game's end, it seemed as if the only people left from the announced crowd of 69,732 were blue-shirted fans chanting "Let's go, Giants!''

Read the full story here.

Copyright © 2012 Newsday. All rights reserved.


Newsday (N.Y.): Jets should keep in mind: Niners QB Alex Smith is a survivor

By Art Spander
Special to Newsday

The man has taken a beating, physically and mentally. Since the beginning of last season, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has been sacked 54 times, the most in the NFL. Since the beginning of his career -- he was the first player picked in the 2005 draft -- he's been booed, criticized and briefly set free.

"But he's got a lot of fight in him," said Alex Boone, who as right guard has the responsibility of protecting Smith. "I love that about him."

Read the full story here.

Copyright © 2012 Newsday. All rights reserved.


SF Examiner: 49ers on same page during busy offseason

By Art Spander
Special to The Examiner

SANTA CLARA -- So the 49ers and Alex Smith will live happily ever after, and please don’t mention that dalliance with Peyton Manning. As far as Randy Moss, the only thing that matters, we’re told, is how Randy acts when he shows up, which presumably he’ll do in time.

Niners general manager Trent Baalke spoke with the media Wednesday about next week’s NFL draft, and because as usual...

Read the full story here.

Copyright 2012 SF Newspaper Company


RealClearSports: Peyton's World Becomes 49ers' Worry

By Art Spander

It all makes sense in a nonsensical sort of way, Peyton Manning deciding to join the Denver Broncos, the only team run by a man who as a quarterback won more Super Bowls than has Manning.

If you get recruited by John Elway, you have an offer you almost can't refuse, and Manning didn't refuse it. Tough luck, Mr. Tebow.

At last the Peyton saga has reached its conclusion...

Read the full story here.

© RealClearSports 2012