Originally posted by Shaj:
he's very good at working through his reads, I don't have concern with that. But he's overly cautious on making throws and is not good at throwing before his receivers are open, AND he has historically checked down excessively, so yes, I am worried about this.
In order to become less cautious good things have to happen. Success will help generate confidence and then risk can be weighed against potential outcomes. A game like Seattle is a step in that direction. Good intermediate throws to Edwards, VD and Morgan where two were caught and one drew a penalty help the chemistry. I would expect Harbaugh to keep a fairly simple game plan for Smith until his confidence is restored, though he may not be able to do so against the Cowboys.
If you watched the press conference after the game you would have noticed how carefully Smith answered questions about his running. He never criticizes past coaches but came close when saying that running was not something in the plan before. Why not? A guy with good wheels and running is not an option? How stupid is that. This is why he checked down, that's the only option if you aren't to run and your receivers are covered downfield. His legs punished Seattle Sunday and now the checkdowns can become more effective. I hope he continues to run three or four times a game, as Montana and Young did in their days with the 9ers.
I would love to know what Harbaugh sees when he watches Smith's decision making during games. He must see the patterns and strengths and weaknesses--and I'm sure he will be working on those.