For the first time, yes first, in his career, Alex Smith is the unquestionable starting QB with the same OC. As a result, we see more confidence from he and his teammates. I see Alex blossoming and becoming more than "functional" in this O. Instead, I see him being able to use that intellect of his and become an OC on the field a la Manning. He did it at Utah and he's doing it here. Alex now has the resources to become successful in this offense:
He's matured physically, mentally and probably spiritually, believing in himself more
The same OC and QB coach second year running
The same digit system from Norv sprinkled w a lil WCO from McCarthy
More talent, beef and twinkle toes on the OL (Iupati and Davis)
Better coaching for said talent on OL in Solari and Brown
Faster, speedy an quicker WRs for the edge and slot (Ginn and Williams, maybe Vann)
More resources for short yardage success in Iupati and Dixon
That is why it is important to see this unit GEL in the OTAs. You want them to look crisp, expand on the offense, and be consistent with plays.
Progress is the word of the week...one hit at a time.