When the 49ers made Alex Smith the number one pick in the 2005 draft I was ecstatic. I thought we had our franchise quarterback the one we had been searching for since Steve Young. He was a cerebral quarterback along the lines of Peyton Manning and at the time the best QB available in the draft. Since then we have realized he might be cerebral like Manning but the comparisons end there and the other best QB available in the draft, Aaron Rogers, has proven so far to be a QB the Packers can rely on as a starter. Four years later we are still in search of that franchise quarterback and Smith is still on the team competing for the starting job vs. incumbent starter Shaun Hill. The reason why Smith is still being considered is he restructured his contract (the 49ers would have released him otherwise) and the 49ers are not quite ready to give up on him and officially label him a bust even though the rest of the NFL world has already done so. The 49ers need to move on from Smith or at least designate Hill the starter with Smith as the number two man. If Smith shows he is the better QB in training camp than make him the starter. But by not making Hill the starter outright leaves too many questions on a team that is trying to find its identity. The only reason why Hill is not being called the starter outright (he has a 7-3 record as a starter, Smith is 9-14) is because he is horrible at practice and sometimes does not show he has a grasp of the offense or the game plan for the week. Yet time and time again we have seen he is a gamer and he can lead the 49ers to victories even from behind and on the road. Remember last year when Hill had his helmet ripped off and he still ran for ten yards for the first down? I wonder if Smith would have done the same thing. Smith is considered soft or as I like to him fragile. I am not saying Hill is our franchise QB of the future or that he is one of the elite QB’s in the NFL. However he knows how to win games and with what we have available as far as QB market (get Michael Vick out of your mind that will never happen) he can lead this team to a winning record. Number ten draft pick WR Michael Crabtree will fit in well with Hill because Crabtree is best at running the short routes and making moves around a defender than flying by a defender for the long ball. Hill may not have the prettiest footwork but he is at his best when he takes three steps back and releases the football for the short route. Hill and Crabtree will connect many of time this year.
As much as I would love Smith to come out of nowhere and prove everyone wrong that he is not a bust and show he can be a successful QB in the NFL I doubt that will happen. Smith did gain new life and confidence with the firing of Mike Nolan because Nolan basically killed all of his confidence when he could him out about not being hurt in 2007. Hill is our man, Hill is a proven man who can compete. The 49ers cannot afford to make the same mistake Nolan and former offensive coordinator Mike Martz made when naming an unproven QB in J.T. Duh! Sullivan the starter because he looked better in practice. Unless Norv Turner is our offensive coordinator (Smith’s best year was the one year Turner was on the coaching staff) Smith is a back-up. Mike Singletary please name Hill the starter!
Tags: 49ers Quarterback Competition 49ers Quaterback Aaron Rogers J.T. O'Sullivan Michael Crabtree Michael Vick Mike Martz Mike Nolan Mike Singletary Norv Turner Peyton Manning Shaun Hill Shaun Hill Vs. Alex Smith Steve Young The Case Against Alex Smith