There have been several posts on Alex Smith over the last six years and especially in the last six months. Personally I think it’s time for the 49ers to part ways with Smith. No matter how the lockout plays, I would not bring him back. I have followed Smith’s career since he was drafted and not since that Monday night opener in 2007 against Arizona, has he shown anything indicating he is the quarterback to lead this team.
After a miserable first season in 2005 when he should never have played, Smith rebounded nicely, with some great coaching from Norv Turner in 2006. He carried that momentum in to 2007, unfortunately the 49ers lost Turner and it was the beginning of the end for Smith. Though the 49ers replaced Turner, his system was kept in place for Smith to succeed. Despite a slow start in the opener against Arizona, Smith carried the 49ers and led them to victory in the end. It was at that moment 49ers fans and media were deceived as we thought Smith was going to be a great one. We thought he would be the next Joe Montana or Steve Young. Unfortunately we were wrong. The 2007 season turned out to be a disaster which led to a public feud between then head coach Mike Nolan and Smith. In 2008 Smith didn’t even attempt a regular season pass as he was injured in the preseason. In 2009 and 2010 Smith had his chances to succeed; he had plenty of chances to put the team on his back and prove once and for all he is the guy and he failed. He did have decent statistics those years, but that’s all they are. When the games mattered, he choked.
People will say the coaching, most recently Mike Singletary, is to blame, but that has been the story which has followed him his whole career. Enough is enough; at some point great quarterbacks adapt and take control. Smith never did that. Sure he has shown flashes, but no consistency. From what I have seen, he’s never looked comfortable in the pocket; sure he’s played pretty well out of a spread offense, but he’s still never won anything. He does not take the chances necessary to win; he does not have that leadership quality or moxie.
Take a look at his statistics: He’s 19-30 in 50 career starts, which includes only one full season as a starter and one start in 2007 where he only attempted a pass before he left the game due to an injury. He has less touchdown passes than interceptions 51-53; a career completion percentage of 57 and a 72.1 career quarterback rating. Did I mention several balls thrown away when pressured; those stats you don’t see. That’s his signature move; roll out and throw it away.
In my opinion, it doesn’t matter where he plays, with questionable arm strength, terrible decision making and an inability to read defenses properly, he will never be a successful quarterback; he does not have what it takes. I know I don’t want to see anymore, 50 starts is enough. The 49ers should move on and cut ties with Alex Smith for good.