Originally posted by PTulini:
Cohn: Either Smith improves or he becomes Carr
He's at it again!!!
Alex Smith is heartbreakingly pleasant.
Why the adjective “heartbreakingly”? Because to know him is to root for him. Rarely has a more decent, normal professional athlete appeared in our midst. This is a make-or-break season for him and he answers all questions politely and cheerfully, even though the questions contain the not-so-hidden subtext, “You haven’t made it so far, and what makes you think you can make it now?”
He never takes offense when you subtly insinuate he may be a bust, and he never tells you to take a hike or spits in your eye — all justified reactions. He ignores the subtext, pretends it doesn’t exist. And he answers eagerly, earnestly, forthrightly. He wants to please you and he wants you to like him even though none of that matters. What matters are wins, pure and simple. If he wins, the 49ers will love him. If he loses, they will cast him off.
In case he forgets about the rock-bottom NFL reality, the 49ers have installed a living, breathing reality reminder on their team. The reality reminder is quarterback David Carr, himself a former first pick in the draft. Carr never will amount to anything more than a backup. It’s like the 49ers are telling Smith, “Get your act together. Be good, excel or you could be Carr, this man who plays second or third-banana to you. See him and learn. In literature you would call Carr Smith’s doppelganger.
Smith’s career teeters right now. He either will be a starter in the league after this season or he will be Carr. And that was the context of the questions I asked him Saturday after the morning practice. His answers were eager, earnest, forthright and heartbreakingly pleasant.
I asked if he sees himself as a game manager — the concept I believe the 49ers are pushing on him. It’s something like, “Just don’t lose the game, Alex. Don’t screw up.” In asking the question, I attached the adjective “mere” to game manager — a mere game manager — as if that is a lower order of quarterback. Is that what he is?
“No,” he (Alex Smith) said. “You look at any great quarterback and I think any great offense and this whole game manager thing, it’s not the quarterbacks. The quarterbacks that are in the Super Bowl, the quarterbacks that are in the Pro Bowl are not the quarterbacks that are doing the extraordinary things. They are the quarterbacks that are doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well.
“That sounds cliché, but they’re the ones going out there and they can throw dig routes and they can throw comebacks and they can throw out routes all day. You don’t see Drew Brees going out there and making crazy Michael Vick (type) plays, but you know he’s going to go out there and hit his targets, and same with Peyton Manning. It’s not always going to look great but they’re going to go out there and they’re going to do the ordinary things really, really well. And they’re going to be very consistent with that.
“That’s the role I take. I don’t take it as a game manager or anything like that, but we’re going to go out there and we’re going to be consistently good and we’re going to do all of the things, the detailed things, really well. That’s how you take it to the next level in my opinion.”
A long quote — a fascinating quote. Smith said he is not a game manager and then he defined a quarterback. I could be obtuse — I admit that — but I believe his definition is the essence of game manager. Don’t do the extraordinary things. Do the routine things, the basic and standard things efficiently, do them like clockwork and you will win. The big spectacular plays are beside the point.
Here again is Smith on how to be a quarterback:
“I think it’s going out there and making good decisions, throwing the ball accurately. I don’t think it’s going out there trying to do anything crazy, making big plays. It is going out there, seeing what the defense is giving you, making the decision, throwing the ball accurately and getting the ball out of your hands. I think that’s what good quarterbacks do. I think doing that, all of a sudden, you take it to the next level. You just go out there and do your job and all 11 guys do it and you’re doing it so fast and so well and you’ve done it so many times, you’re really that good then.”
I would remind Smith and you that a quarterback sometimes must do something extra. All hell is breaking loose on the field. The quarterback has to win the game right then and there. That’s why The Catch is so famous, because it seemed impossible at the time, because it took a football genius like Joe Montana to spot Dwight Clark and change NFL history forever, because that play was anything but routine. It was the extraordinary.
Coach Mike Singletary knows this extra quarterback dimension exists, at least he should. But he won’t impose that on Smith. Right now, it is too much for Smith and would overwhelm him. So Singletary and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye tell him quarterbacks master the routine. They don’t call this game managing because the concept has negative implications, but that’s what they mean. And Smith agrees with them, has bought into this concept as a form of self-preservation.
And that leads to a final question. If Smith is a game manager who does not call himself a game manager, is he a good game manager? Ahh, that’s the issue. He wants to do the ordinary things extraordinarily well. So, let him complete the pass to the flat on third down to keep the drive going. If he can do this — and we don’t know if he can consistently — he will fulfill the basic requirement.
After he proves himself at that basic level, the 49ers can gently introduce him to Advanced Quarterbacking, a required course in the curriculum. At this moment, the Niners won’t tell him that course exists.
lol Cohn acts like Michael Vick is a great QB because he makes exciting plays with his legs, and Peyton Manning doesn't pass to open guys because it's better if it looks cooler and he fits the ball inbetween 2 guys, and that Drew Brees makes an effort to not hit the open guy. What Smith said is pretty true, the question is whether he'll be able to do that or not. What Cohn said is retarded though, he makes it sound like Joe Montana or Steve Young(not that I'm comparing Smith to them, they're 2 of the greatest NFL players/QBs of all time) threw 40 yard passes all day just because they're great players. But a lot of what they did to be succesful was keeping drives alive. Yeah the catch was a flashy play, but that wasn't even that great of a throw, that's why it's called THE CATCH and not THE THROW, because Clark went up really high to grab that ball.
Whatever though, for the most part Cohn is a contrarian a*****e who likes to stir s**t up. Just like what he said that Jed will move the team to LA, and what Jed actually said is getting a NORCAL STADIUM is important SO THAT DOESN'T EVER HAPPEN. Then Cohn twisted it into how he's saying they'll move to LA which was a bunch of bulls**t. Now that Smith is looking pretty good he's trying to say "well even if he does good, if he's not shooting lightning bolts out of his ass, then he's David Carr junior!".