Jim Harbaugh lasted two weeks not talking about free agent quarterback Alex Smith after being warned by the NFL to keep mum about the QB. On Sunday during a broadcast of a San Diego Padres game Harbaugh was asked about Smith who grew up in San Diego. Instead of saying he was not at liberty to talk about a free agent player Harbaugh said,
“He’s a neat guy. I’m really interested in him, in just the character of Alex Smith. He’s been maligned by the hometown fans there. And his family’s had to read a lot of that on the Internet.
“And he’s really even been thrown under the bus by his own team more than once. And the kind of character of a guy that would want to come back, prove himself with that same football team, that’s rare kind of character. (It) probably falls somewhere in the endangered and extinct range. So we can win with that.”
Niner fans learn a lot hearing Harbaugh’s words on Smith. We all know Smith will be back with the team but you get an insight I think on what Smith and Harbaugh have talked about face-to-face in the past. Harbaugh is saying how Smith feels. I wouldn’t say Smith was thrown under the bus but more so burned by bad coaches and only having Frank Gore as an offensive weapon early in his career but that’s only half the story. Smith is a former number one draft pick who has shown to be a bust so far. It does not matter what the position but when a team wastes a first pick in the NFL draft the fans have the right to “malign” Smith. Half of Smith’s failure rests with himself. Greatness finds a way to get through bad coaches and makes mediocre players around him to overachieve which we have seen none from Smith in the past.
The 49er Faithful has a right to be skeptical of Smith and him still having a chance of turning a bust career into something of value. It’s great that Harbaugh gushes about Smith’s character but that does not translate to greatness on the football field.
Check out the video over at MLB.com