Alex Smith was placed on injured reserve today ending his season, his time as a 49er, and possibly his career. The latter is speculation but he injured his surgically repaired shoulder that ended his season last year in practice on Friday. Not from contact but from throwing. Blowing out a shoulder for QB is like a running back blowing out his knee which means if Smith does come back he will struggle physically and mentally. General Manager Scot McCloughan recently said the team cannot afford to bring back Smith unless he is a clear-cut starter. Good thing you gave him that contract extension earlier in the year.
So goodbye Smith and goodbye to your career. I cannot imagine Smith coming back to full strength and if he does he would be a third stringer at best. Good thing he received all of that guaranteed money.
When the 49ers made him their first pick in 2005 I was happy. I thought we had the franchise QB a team needs to win the Super Bowl. He was a runner, very cerebral, and did well in the NFL combine that year. But he may have been doomed from the start taking over for a team that had no talent on offense and was thrown out there to develop on the field than to wait 3-4 years developing as a back-up (think Aaron Rodgers, who now the 49ers should have picked in that draft). What also did not help is him having a different offensive coordinator each year he was with the 49ers. Smith thrived the most under Norv Turner who was hired away to San Diego the following season. But an offensive coordinator can only be about 25% of the problems Smith faced. The others were the already mentioned none existent offense and a battered and old O-Line for his short three years as a starter. Also Smith was fragile and prone to injury. Yes he had surgery on his shoulder that has put him out for this season, but to injury it in practice, come on.
The 49ers had already moved on from Smith when they had J.T. O’Sullivan start three of the four preseason games this year. Now Mike Nolan, McCloughan, and the Joke Family can move on officially without Smith avoiding an awkward year of having him as the number 2 QB possibly starting when O’Sullivan starts to fail this year. When O’Sullivan starts to show he is NOT a franchise QB nor someone the 49ers can win a division let alone a Super Bowl with, the team will find itself back to square one rebuilding and trying to find a QB who will lead the Red and Gold back to the playoffs and to ring number six. We cannot blame Smith for this. The blame lies with incompetent owners in the Joke Family for hiring a head coach in Mike Nolan and giving him free reign to make any personnel decision he wanted. Nolan had no previous experience making these decisions and it shows in his draft picks on offense the last four years. The Joke Family didn’t realize their mistake until this past off-season but they made another mistake in promoting McCloughan who was right there with Nolan making all of the personnel decisions with him. Can the Joke Family do anything right other than…let me think…well I can’t think of anything they have done right since they took over from legendary owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.
I feel bad for Smith and his time spent in San Francisco. I hope he will bounce back someday in the NFL to show Nolan, McCloughan, and the Joke Family how good he could have been. But I also hope one day the Joke Family sells the team. Let’s see which one happens first.