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The evidence is brutally clear as so many have been saying now for weeks as our beloved number one 2005 NFL Draft pick in quarterback Alex Smith self-destructs yet again right before our very eyes on Sunday Night Primetime football against a Philadelphia Eagles team that was absent of Michael Vick. When all the smoke and dust had cleared at Candlestick Park and Bill Walsh Field the 2010 San Francisco 49ers are still a winless pathetic team that cannot execute consistently on both sides of the ball from one week to the next as Mike Singletary stands by his convictions that Alex Smith is still the best quarterback on his present roster.
"He has all the tools to be a good quarterback," says Mike Singletary. Yet here we stand at (0-5) on the season and at the very bottom of our division even staring up at the lowly St. Louis Rams who were supposed to be in a rebuilding mode with a more star-studded first round draft quarterback in Sam Bradford. Now when you look at the offer we had on the table last year as then Philadelphia Eagles veteran All-Pro quarterback Donovan McNabb was being offered for but a second round draft pick the San Francisco 49ers balked at the notion believing good old Alex Smith would make us all proud for having believed in him and waited for him to become something special. As far as I am concerned and the majority of all San Francisco 49er faithful we are fed up with the long wait.
Screams from every seat within Candlestick Park spoke volumes for the ever building frustrations we have all been feeling watching Alex Smith play from one Sunday till the next. He has to be the most inconsistent and inaccurate quarterback I've ever seen in a long time as his tenure here as a quarterback has been beyond way too long because we have come away with barely scraps and pieces of promises that we can and will win our division one way or another.
Alex Smith is a product of then general manager Scot McCloughan and head coach Mike Nolan who chose to go with him out of Utah over then available Aaron Rodgers who has been nothing but a generous success story having taken the reins away from aging Super Bowl Champion quarterback Bret Favre in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His intelligent level according to Nolan back then was a deciding factor in choosing him along with his energy and enthusiasm. Looking back we now can say with all legitimacy we made a critical error because I can guarantee all of you that if Bill Walsh had still been with us and alive still that there would be no Alex Smith here today. Alex wasn't even a true blood West Coast Offense type of quarterback when we drafted him and decided to go with him.
He was simply the total opposite. That alone was a red flag to all 49er fans that something was wrong. The San Francisco 49er offense has been like a ship at seas without a rudder as the quarterback question simply has not been addressed with any sort of complete consciousness since the day we allowed Jeff Garcia to walk and chose to go with a no-name quarterback back then in Tim Rattay. Mike Singletary is not a great quarterback evaluator. I am beginning to wonder if Trent Baalke Vice President of Personnel is even a great quarterback evaluator as we now can see with all distinct clarity that Alex Smith simply is not the answer. The fans have seen enough, heard enough promises and eaten too many humble pies from one loss to the next.
Statistics and losses don't lie. We are (0-5) for a legitimate reason. We have shot ourselves in the feet over and over and over again. Coaching, quarterback ineffectiveness and a faulty vision of the future have contributed to our utter demise we see ourselves in now. President Jed York needs to not be phone-texting to ESPN that we will still win the division? What in the heck is he thinking? Former San Francisco 49er owner Eddie DeBartolo must be beside himself in hearing the chants for his return as most of us as fans look to him for moral guidance and as a symbol of what we were.
Nine interceptions so far into just this season and Smith leads the NFL in this category. I believe that is far too many as he accounted for three of the five turnovers in this 27-24 defeat against the Philadelphia Eagles that was without its starting quarterback and for most of the game due to injury their premier wide receiver. When you look at Alex Smith in the beginning drive in the fourth quarter and his utter incompetence in taking a sack and watching face first a stripping of the ball from his hands you sit and shake your head for any sort of real resolution as to why this is your quarterback?
"We want Carr," chants were more than warranted when you look at everything in the big picture and you try to understand why Mike Singletary has been so adamant in sticking with this guy who is so inconsistent with everything that he does. There comes a time and an obligation to do what your fans want and admit that there are real live issues that revolve around your offense and that starts with the quarterback.
Frank Gore of course accounted for the other two turnovers in this game and highlight the reason that we need to preach ball security even more as we see opposing teams go after the ball because they know that this is an opportunity that exists on this team. There has to be some sort of accountability with each player when it comes to excessive turnovers. Brian Westbrook is a premier weapon we are not nearly using enough of and making him a change of pace is something I think would be most useful in our offense if we had a quarterback that process that the right way.
Our offense cannot generate any kind of a running game either on a consistent basis as evidenced by the 74 total yards generated in this game with Frank Gore getting 52 of those yards averaging just 2.9-yards per carry while the Philadelphia Eagles put up 125 total yards and an average of 4.6-yards per carry. The San Francisco 49er defense was forced to be on the field for far too many occasions and were lit-up in passing situations to the tune of 253 total yards and a Philadelphia Eagle quarterback in Kevin Kolb running for 17 total yards and ending with a 103.3 quarterback rating on the day.
Is David Carr the answer to our Alex Smith season? Lord knows he has spent as much time on his back staring up into the sky as a Houston Texan than any quarterback I've ever known. But there comes a real time where you must bench your starting quarterback and admit defeat and try and salvage something from the ruined season. I think despite the comeback that Alex Smith mounted after a steady tongue-lashing from Mike Singletary on the sidelines he still threw that last interception at the end of the game verifying what he truly is. Alex could legitimately go down as the worst quarterback in the history of the San Francisco 49ers and one of the worst drafted in the entire NFL all together.
The San Francisco 49er defense is softening on the field from Aubrayo Franklin up front to the rookie mistakes of Taylor Mays and soft coverage skills of Shawntae Spencer. Patrick Willis is not able to get through the line as he used to be able to do and opposing teams are starting to feel more confident of wearing down our defense as our offense turns over the ball multiple times a game forcing them to be on the field for extended amounts of time. We must get the offense fixed before we can curse the defense that is utterly exhausted out on the field because of careless turnovers.
Evaluating Alex Smith from this game against the Oakland Raiders on out as Mike Singletary has said makes little sense. I think the decision is crystal clear that we allow someone else a shot and or even acquire a veteran if there be someone like a Jeff Garcia that wants back into the NFL. Mike has said: "He presses too much at times which causes him to be inconsistent." Well then maybe we address that accordingly with real face to face meetings on the sidelines like we saw this past game with still another game left on the line in a do or die frenzy of activity. I am losing faith that we are in control of our own destiny when the ownership condones the performance of the most coveted position on the team in quarterback Alex Smith. Until they turn that corner we will all be subject to relentless Sunday depressions.
Sources of Information: Mercury News.com, SF Gate.com, Inside Bay Area.com, NFL.com and my own personal analysis and opinion.