I feel like the only thing I've done to lose my job is to get a concussion. ~Alex Smith
Adam Rifkin stashed this in 49ers!
Stashed in: Jim Harbaugh
Poor Alex Smith:
"You state your case with your play," Smith said. "And I feel like I've done that. I feel like the only thing I've done to lose my job is to get a concussion."
It's a cruel fate. If the NFL followed a hero's-journey script, Smith would be rewarded in the end. He would be called on in a time of need - perhaps in the Super Bowl - and lead his team to victory.
That scenario could play out. Or Smith could be stuck holding a clipboard on the sideline, stripped of his job after winning 20 of his last 26 games.
Smith has been through so much in his eight-year career, since the 49ers made him the first overall pick of the 2005 draft. He's been vilified, booed, benched, mocked. He's played through injury - encouraged to by his coach at the time. He's learned seven different playbooks. He learned the seventh so well that he taught it to the rest of the offensive players, including rookie Colin Kaepernick, while the players were locked out.
That's when things changed. After years of incompetent coaches, Smith finally had a terrific coach and an innovative coordinator and he flourished. He went 13-3, had a playoff game for the ages against New Orleans and was one play away from the Super Bowl. He was Jim Harbaugh's "guy" - his reclamation project, his AT&T caddie, his pad-thumping partner.
This season, despite the red flag when Harbaugh considered Peyton Manning, Smith picked up where he left off. He went 6-2 and leads the league in completion percentage, is fifth in the league in quarterback rating. He received a hero's welcome at AT&T Park during the baseball playoffs. In his last full game, Smith completed 18 of 19 passes and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. Against St. Louis he took a brutal hit, but a few plays later threw a touchdown pass.
And then he reported that his vision was blurry. And now he's lost his job.
I feel for him. I really do.
That's a really tough thing on Alex... I wish he had more success with the previous coaches... His success made Harbaugh look great (which Harbaugh well deserves). Any chance another team wants him, given that Kaepernick pulls through?
Kaepernick is a young gun, who's seized an opportunity. I can relate to that, but it's not over till it's over. Hope he doesn't let it get to his head and keeps his focus. Being a QB in the NFL requires a lot of maturity. The next few games will be very interesting...