Recent headlines for the 49ers have been about free agent quarterback Alex Smith’s organized workouts that started on Monday. Smith is organizing the workouts with 49er players on the offense who are under contract. Smith is not under contact with the 49ers but we all know that Smith is coming back next season, for better or worse.
I am still on the skeptical side when it comes to Smith finally being able to turn around his career. I give Smith credit for organizing the workouts and showing leadership. If anything Smith will be a good mentor to rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick by teaching him Jim Harbaugh’s offense since Harbaugh cannot do it until the lockout is over. The only negative that will come out of workouts is if a player gets injured. But there are too many positives going for Smith and the rest of the 49ers on offense to get together and learn the new offense.
Most of the offensive rookies drafted by the 49ers were in attendance at Monday’s first practice. The most surprising player to show up was wide receiver Michael Crabtree who has not said much during the lockout. Crabtree is known as a diva and no one would have been surprised had he not shown up for Smith’s workouts. With Crabtree in attendance he and Smith can try to get on the same page on routes and get to know each other’s thinking and instincts on the field which was a huge reason for the QB and WR’s disconnect on many passes last season.
Smith has nothing to lose organizing the workouts. It is highly likely he will be the starting quarterback for Harbaugh’s offense even if Kaepernick does well in training camp and the preseason. Harbaugh is too smart of a coach to let Kaepernick start games in his first year in the NFL. Even under Harbaugh’s tutelage there is still skepticism of Smith being able to finally transform himself into a good quarterback. I won’t be convinced of Smith being a good starter until I see where the 49ers are with their record at the bye week this season and how much Smith did or did not contribute.