Originally posted by AkNiners:
I will say that Smiley has turned into a fine guard and I wish he were still with the team, He's a fair sight better than Baas.
It's not that Smiley has become a fine guard, it's just that he's in a blocking system that plays more to his strengths. Smiley is more athletic than a mauler, more quick than strong. He's a great pulling guard and can move well. The 49ers wanted a mauler - but drafted Smiley. Brilliant! Round hole meet square peg.
So it's not that Smiley was bad when he was here, and got better once he left - he was just never used properly here.