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How much are Harbaugh, Edwards, West Coast Offense, etc. worth to Alex Smith's game?

  • mike
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 1,827
I'll just put it this way, we were 6-10 with:
-Singletary/raye's idiocy and bad play calling
-A hurt alex smith and horrible backups
-Injured frank gore the last 5 games of the season
-Starting center hurt beginning of the season(baas did improve eventually)

Games we could have won with alex+gore, even with the bad coaching remaining:

Panthers- Alex had a lead before he got hurt, david carr blew that lead.
Rams- Game that officially took us out of the playoff picture at the end of the year, troy had his meltdown and who knows whether or not alex could have won this for us. But Frank gore would have been a huge difference compared to westbrook(who hadn't played much and didn't seem to be an every down back) and dixon(just plain sucked).

Just those two games bring us to 8-8 and a playoff berth. I feel like last season was the "perfect storm" of absolutely everything wrong you possibly could ask to go wrong. Bring in a very talented coach like harbaugh and cross fingers that guys stay healthy and we could easily be 8-8 or better.
Originally posted by mike:
I'll just put it this way, we were 6-10 with:
-Singletary/raye's idiocy and bad play calling
-A hurt alex smith and horrible backups
-Injured frank gore the last 5 games of the season
-Starting center hurt beginning of the season(baas did improve eventually)

Games we could have won with alex+gore, even with the bad coaching remaining:

Panthers- Alex had a lead before he got hurt, david carr blew that lead.
Rams- Game that officially took us out of the playoff picture at the end of the year, troy had his meltdown and who knows whether or not alex could have won this for us. But Frank gore would have been a huge difference compared to westbrook(who hadn't played much and didn't seem to be an every down back) and dixon(just plain sucked).

Just those two games bring us to 8-8 and a playoff berth. I feel like last season was the "perfect storm" of absolutely everything wrong you possibly could ask to go wrong. Bring in a very talented coach like harbaugh and cross fingers that guys stay healthy and we could easily be 8-8 or better.

lets not forget the nate clements fumble after game clinching int
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
So, you're saying he only led us on one game-winning drive? I'm confused, because the numbers right there say six.

Noticed someone said if he had any "comebacks" they were all meaningless games. I think the Seattle and Denver games definitely weren't meaningless.

2006:
Week 15 @ SEATTLE (8-5) - With Seattle only needing a win to clinch the division, and the 49ers trailing in the second half, Smith threw for two touchdowns and ran for another en route to knocking off the division-leading Seahawks in their house 24-14. This win not only prevented Seattle from clinching, but it kept the 49ers alive in the race for the NFC West. http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2006121400/2006/REG15/49ers@seahawks#tab=recap&recap=fullstory

Week 17 @ DENVER (9-6) - Denver needed just a win at home in their season finale to clinch a playoff spot. They tied the game late with a touchdown to Scheffler, but Smith drove the 49ers down the field in OT, with a critical third down conversion to get the team into field goal range. Nedney would kick the game winner and Smith would have his 2nd comeback in three weeks. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d8011c0cc/49ers-26-Broncos-23

Two game winning drives on the road. Just giving credit where credit is due.

Thank you for pointing out facts to refute negative opinion.

The best one, in my opinion, was the opening game against Arizona in 07 when Alex drove the team about 80 yards (passing and scrambling) to win that game. He had not had a good game up to that point but that was a great drive to win it.
Originally posted by BHulman:
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
So, you're saying he only led us on one game-winning drive? I'm confused, because the numbers right there say six.

Noticed someone said if he had any "comebacks" they were all meaningless games. I think the Seattle and Denver games definitely weren't meaningless.

2006:
Week 15 @ SEATTLE (8-5) - With Seattle only needing a win to clinch the division, and the 49ers trailing in the second half, Smith threw for two touchdowns and ran for another en route to knocking off the division-leading Seahawks in their house 24-14. This win not only prevented Seattle from clinching, but it kept the 49ers alive in the race for the NFC West. http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2006121400/2006/REG15/49ers@seahawks#tab=recap&recap=fullstory

Week 17 @ DENVER (9-6) - Denver needed just a win at home in their season finale to clinch a playoff spot. They tied the game late with a touchdown to Scheffler, but Smith drove the 49ers down the field in OT, with a critical third down conversion to get the team into field goal range. Nedney would kick the game winner and Smith would have his 2nd comeback in three weeks. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d8011c0cc/49ers-26-Broncos-23

Two game winning drives on the road. Just giving credit where credit is due.

Thank you for pointing out facts to refute negative opinion.


The best one, in my opinion, was the opening game against Arizona in 07 when Alex drove the team about 80 yards (passing and scrambling) to win that game. He had not had a good game up to that point but that was a great drive to win it.

86 yards to be exact.

2007:
Week 1 vs. ARIZONA (0-0) - In the home opener, the 49ers trailed 13-17 late in the 4th quarter. Starting from their own 14-yard line, Smith led the 49ers down the field for the game-winning score in dramatic fashion, including a 25-yard scamper on 4th and 1, and overcoming near catastrophes when Darrell Jackson dropped a perfect pass in the endzone and then Arnaz Battle later fumbled a would-be touchdown reception at the one yard line. The 49ers would recover and score on the next play, going on to win 20-17. Dating back to the prior season, this would be Smith's 3rd comeback in 4 weeks of regular season play.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Sep 7, 2011 at 6:57 PM ]
Originally posted by BHulman:
The best one, in my opinion, was the opening game against Arizona in 07 when Alex drove the team about 80 yards (passing and scrambling) to win that game. He had not had a good game up to that point but that was a great drive to win it.

Well as they say brother, it isn't how you start, it's how you finish.

Originally posted by OnTheClock:
Originally posted by BHulman:
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
So, you're saying he only led us on one game-winning drive? I'm confused, because the numbers right there say six.

Noticed someone said if he had any "comebacks" they were all meaningless games. I think the Seattle and Denver games definitely weren't meaningless.

2006:
Week 15 @ SEATTLE (8-5) - With Seattle only needing a win to clinch the division, and the 49ers trailing in the second half, Smith threw for two touchdowns and ran for another en route to knocking off the division-leading Seahawks in their house 24-14. This win not only prevented Seattle from clinching, but it kept the 49ers alive in the race for the NFC West. http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2006121400/2006/REG15/49ers@seahawks#tab=recap&recap=fullstory

Week 17 @ DENVER (9-6) - Denver needed just a win at home in their season finale to clinch a playoff spot. They tied the game late with a touchdown to Scheffler, but Smith drove the 49ers down the field in OT, with a critical third down conversion to get the team into field goal range. Nedney would kick the game winner and Smith would have his 2nd comeback in three weeks. http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d8011c0cc/49ers-26-Broncos-23

Two game winning drives on the road. Just giving credit where credit is due.

Thank you for pointing out facts to refute negative opinion.


The best one, in my opinion, was the opening game against Arizona in 07 when Alex drove the team about 80 yards (passing and scrambling) to win that game. He had not had a good game up to that point but that was a great drive to win it.

86 yards to be exact.

2007:
Week 1 vs. ARIZONA (0-0) - In the home opener, the 49ers trailed 13-17 late in the 4th quarter. Starting from their own 14-yard line, Smith led the 49ers down the field for the game-winning score in dramatic fashion, including a 25-yard scamper on 4th and 1, and overcoming near catastrophes when Darrell Jackson dropped a perfect pass in the endzone and then Arnaz Battle later fumbled a would-be touchdown reception at the one yard line. The 49ers would recover and score on the next play, going on to win 20-17. Dating back to the prior season, this would be Smith's 3rd comeback in 4 weeks of regular season play.

Leads two game winning drives in the last three games of 06 and then again the first game of 07. Looking pretty good at that point. Soon after his shoulder gets severly separated and he is totally mishandled (in every way) by Nolan. Then enters Singletary. I am anxious to see what he does for Harbaugh.
[ Edited by BHulman on Sep 7, 2011 at 8:01 PM ]
It's everything to Smith, because he's a system type qb. Though he may be on the athletic, mobile side, he's not a gunslinger, zippy throws, let me gamble and make things happen, gone rogue type, i.e. Brett Favre. He's a system qb in every sense. His goal is to know the offense thoroughly in every detail. To operate within a structured system, methodical. That is not to say he can't make plays or improvised somewhat. He wants to start and finish a play within the system provided. It's really nothing new or profound. I think every team want that in there qb. They preached that to Young when he was too quick to scramble. To use the system and it's offensive players surrounding the qb, because of better chances of winning.

I feel for the first time in a long time, we have a structured offensive system in place with Harbaugh, that we can actually insert any NFL qb in place to have success within the system. We could have had that with Norv but I did not feel any of that with the rest of the other 'coaches'. It's one thing to ask your qb to win the game, and he would be responsible, but you would have to give him a stable offensive system and players to operate also.

It's no accident that in our offensive greatness in the 80's and 90's we could plug in Jeff Kemp, Steve Bono, Bill Musgrave, Elvis Grbac and did not missed a beat on offense. It's the system and players surrounding the qb. Those guys are not ProBowlers, they are qb that knew and operate within a good offensive system.
[ Edited by qnnhan7 on Sep 7, 2011 at 8:12 PM ]
This thread reminds me a lot of many discussions about Joe Montana and whether or not he was truly a HOF talent, or just an average talent who found himself in a very good system that fit his playing personality perfectly. In the end it didn't matter, he is in the hall, however, there are still many good football people that contend that Joe would have been a failure in Don Coryell's system or Norv Turner or Al Davis, blah, blah, blah. What cannot be dismissed is that Montana was never a gun-slinger, throw-it-up-and-pray guy, nor did he have the big arm that a vertical game demands. No matter a person's POV, he was a major beneficiary of the genius of Bill Walsh. As I noted in an earlier thread, when Joe was injured, a backup stepped in and got winning results. That says a lot about the overall effectiveness of WCO.

So here is why I firmly believe the WCO will be a game-changer for Smith, and in turn, the 49ers:

Smith is the same mental type as Montana. He depends on everyone around him doing their job. That is WCO football.

Timing is everything. WRs must not only run the correct route, they must do it on time.
The OL must also time their blocks to create passing lanes and keep the defenses hands down.
OL must pull on precise routes to create room for not only the running game but for the moving pocket the WCO often employs.
Timing is the key structure of the WCO.

Harbaugh and company fully understand the offense and WHY it makes it easier for not only the QB, but the entire team.

Harbaugh is a no BS guy who will not tolerate players who do not perform in games AND in practice - those are Walshian principles though not often talked about. The result is that Smith does not have to take on a bad guy role when a teammate does not perform. That is a role that is not an integral part of Smith, nor was it a part of Montana's personality either. Montana benefitted from Keith Fahnhorst, then Harris Barton and Guy McIntyre being the bad cop to keep teammates in line. Harbaugh will make sure that the players are putting out the effort so Smith can concentrate on playing the game.

Finally, like Montana, Smith is a cerebral guy who functions best within structure, and that is what the WCO does more than any other style of play.

My prediction, assuming Smith stays healthy, is for 3,000 yds, 18 TDs, 9 INTs, 61 % completions, 88 QBR. The offense will be well balanced between runs and passes and the team will win 8 games. Those are the kind of numbers Montana averaged in non conference championship years.

How about THAT crystal ball, huh?
dj, you've managed to coherently bring the immortal Joe Montana down to Alex Smith-ian levels.

I is disappoint.
Originally posted by dj43:
This thread reminds me a lot of many discussions about Joe Montana and whether or not he was truly a HOF talent, or just an average talent who found himself in a very good system that fit his playing personality perfectly. In the end it didn't matter, he is in the hall, however, there are still many good football people that contend that Joe would have been a failure in Don Coryell's system or Norv Turner or Al Davis, blah, blah, blah. What cannot be dismissed is that Montana was never a gun-slinger, throw-it-up-and-pray guy, nor did he have the big arm that a vertical game demands. No matter a person's POV, he was a major beneficiary of the genius of Bill Walsh. As I noted in an earlier thread, when Joe was injured, a backup stepped in and got winning results. That says a lot about the overall effectiveness of WCO.

So here is why I firmly believe the WCO will be a game-changer for Smith, and in turn, the 49ers:

Smith is the same mental type as Montana. He depends on everyone around him doing their job. That is WCO football.

Timing is everything. WRs must not only run the correct route, they must do it on time.
The OL must also time their blocks to create passing lanes and keep the defenses hands down.
OL must pull on precise routes to create room for not only the running game but for the moving pocket the WCO often employs.
Timing is the key structure of the WCO.

Harbaugh and company fully understand the offense and WHY it makes it easier for not only the QB, but the entire team.

Harbaugh is a no BS guy who will not tolerate players who do not perform in games AND in practice - those are Walshian principles though not often talked about. The result is that Smith does not have to take on a bad guy role when a teammate does not perform. That is a role that is not an integral part of Smith, nor was it a part of Montana's personality either. Montana benefitted from Keith Fahnhorst, then Harris Barton and Guy McIntyre being the bad cop to keep teammates in line. Harbaugh will make sure that the players are putting out the effort so Smith can concentrate on playing the game.

Finally, like Montana, Smith is a cerebral guy who functions best within structure, and that is what the WCO does more than any other style of play.

My prediction, assuming Smith stays healthy, is for 3,000 yds, 18 TDs, 9 INTs, 61 % completions, 88 QBR. The offense will be well balanced between runs and passes and the team will win 8 games. Those are the kind of numbers Montana averaged in non conference championship years.

How about THAT crystal ball, huh?

Stop drinking all the Harbaugh coolaid. Leave some for the rest of us please
Originally posted by Bluefalcon61:
dj, you've managed to coherently bring the immortal Joe Montana down to Alex Smith-ian levels.

I is disappoint.

eh, my intent was to show how the WCO could bring Alex Smith up to the more moderate years of the greatest WCO QB of all.
Originally posted by dj43:
eh, my intent was to show how the WCO could bring Alex Smith up to the more moderate years of the greatest WCO QB of all.


Saw that point and appreciate the post. The WCO is a system that requires consistency and precision, not excessive athleticism. Although physical ability always helps, it is more important to be a seriously dedicated and well rehearsed offense. Many coaches did not believe Walsh would succeed because the offense had to use so many plays to get down the field and that multiplied the chances for errors. A fumble, Int. or just 3 and outs would be killers, and with the short passes chipping away coaches did not see anyone being able to be that precise. They were wrong.

I see Smith as this type of QB, if he gets the help from WRs and line. Gore is there already, with very necessary pass blocking but the rest has been suspect. Harbaugh will get what he wants, or there will be major personel changes during or after the season. I actually see Smith being a very effective type player in this system...with a QB rating ceiling much higher than the 80s.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Sep 7, 2011 at 9:35 PM ]
Alex Smith's stats over final 7 games played last season:

cmp/att: 111/191 Yards: 1450 yards/comp: 13 TD's: 11 Int's: 3 QB Rating: 94.5

These numbers can be looked at as skewed statistics due to our only difficult opponents being the Eagles and the Chargers, but considering the horrible system he was playing under with Singletary and that 4 of these 7 teams were ranked in the top half of the league in regards to pass defense I believe they are at least somewhat credible. Alongside a healthy Gore, B. Edwards, and Harbaugh I think we can expect a QB rating of around 90 this season from Smith, with the O-line as the biggest X-factor in just how well he does. ( Ex. Preseason O-line from OAK or S.D. games = >90 QBR, N.O. or HOU = much <90 QBR)
Assuming the o-line is adequate I think we have the front line offensive weapons in Gore, Davis, Crabtree and now Edwards for Smith to do some damage (in a good way). The missing ingredient is time. Unfortunately like as Steve Young said in an interview this afternoon on KNBR, the early part of the season will be dangerous for both Harbaugh and Smith simply due to the fans short fuse with Alex. Hopefully the offense (staff and players included) can put it all together in time to put Smith in a position to earn some equity from the fan base. In that respect the home opener is almost a must win for this, the final Alex Smith reclamation project. From my view Alex Smith is like an underwater mortgage. He has negative equity. He's going to need to succeed for a while just to get back to zero. If they can make it to 3-3 at the bye and Smith looks at least serviceable getting us there I think the reclamation project will eventually succeed.
Originally posted by NinerPrideinNJ:
This. When it matters most, this guy sh!ts the bed.

Saints game?? Eagles game AFTER the big mistake and every pass got booed... Atlanta game was costly but lets not act like he was losing games last year. Alot of those INTs were coming off the hands of Crabs. (1st half of the season)