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

Harbaugh and Edwards should help a lot but the biggest problem is the O Line. And without it we can't do anything.
  • mayo49
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 21,410
Championship.
worth a pro bowl selection
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
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.

This part still gets me. Man, he had some poor offensive weapons around him those first few years.
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?

Very nice post.

Really like the analytical discussion going on in the thread by multiple people - keep it up!
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,648
We should change the question. The team, not an individual player, is the priority.

So maybe a better question would be: What does Alex have to bring to the team?

I can think of four things.

1. He has to start 16 games.

Last year, Alex played in only 11 games. He started 10 of them.
The team needs him to play well enough and stay healthy enough to start all 16 games.
For him to stay healthy and play well, the team will have to protect him.

2. His touchdown to interception ratio needs to improve.

Last year, he threw 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Critical elements that will lead to this improvement: better ball placement and no stupid throws.

But, in all honestly, some of the picks were not his responsibility. The receivers must also step up. If the ball hits their hands, they have to catch it. If the throw is close but not on target, the receivers have to go get it. To some degree they may have to carry Alex—and yes good receivers do that.

3. He has to throw for more 1st downs.

Last year, only 30.1 % of his passes resulted in first downs. Last year, the team was 25th in time of possession. More first down throws, will improve our time of possession. Gore will get more touches and the receivers will get more attempts—the offensive skill players will be more productive and a lot happier.

4. Alex needs to improve his completion %.

Last year, he completed 59.6 on his passes. Last year, the play-off quarterbacks completed 63.2% of their passes in the regular season.

If Alex can do these four things, we might surprise a lot of people.

This season, or any season, is not just about Alex Smith or any individual player. It is about the team.

We need to ask: What does a player bring to the team? How each player and each unit contribute to the team and its success?
[ Edited by buck on Sep 8, 2011 at 2:38 AM ]
Originally posted by Shaj:
he'll have an average year. He'll beat 1 - 2 good teams and lose to the rest and he'll beat some bad teams handily. He'll pile up stats in garbage time and against bad teams. I'm guessing he throws for 2,800 yards, 16 TDs, 20 INTs, 60% passing efficiency (completion rating), and that's if he makes it to the end of the year.

When's the last time he's thrown more picks thanks touchdowns? Injury-riddled 07?
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
We'll just have to wait and see. I have heard Harbaugh is a qb guru, but think Smith might be his biggest challenge considering the damage done by former coaching. I have always believed that Smith could be a decent qb with the proper coaching, and that he was best suited for the WCO. Walsh used to say that to see how good a qb can be you takes his ten best plays. Then you coach that player into being consistently that good. During the Walsh years if a play was sloppy in practice, Walsh would make the team line up and run it until they could execute it without having to think about it. When I saw that under Nolan they would just move on if the play was ragged, I just could not believe it. Needless to say, this terrible practice continued under Singletary. With Harbaugh and the return of the WCO, I expect the consistency to go up not just with Smith, but with the team in general. I feel better about this team now than at any point in the past decade. We might not be playoff bound this year, but I fully expect to field a more competitive team this year.

Originally posted by dj43:
Smith is the same mental type as Montana.

Championship!!!
  • dmax
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 6,520
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.

dont forget the saints game when the defense let the saints march down the field for a game winning fg
or the falcons...where once again after a great then bonehead play by nate clements...THE DEFENSE LET THE FALCONS MARCH DOWN THE FIELD FOR A GAME WINNING FG.. We really should have been at least 9-7 lastyear and thats the truth
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.

All of the pluses not having Singletary brings us, there's also negatives that come with installing a new defense and a new offense with no minicamps.

I would give us 3-4 more wins getting to 10-6 on coaching alone. But, I have to take away 2 wins for getting acclimated to new systems on both sides of the ball that could result in blown plays.

8-8. At best.
Originally posted by buck:
We should change the question. The team, not an individual player, is the priority.

So maybe a better question would be: What does Alex have to bring to the team?

I can think of four things.

1. He has to start 16 games.

Last year, Alex played in only 11 games. He started 10 of them.
The team needs him to play well enough and stay healthy enough to start all 16 games.
For him to stay healthy and play well, the team will have to protect him.

2. His touchdown to interception ratio needs to improve.

Last year, he threw 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Critical elements that will lead to this improvement: better ball placement and no stupid throws.

But, in all honestly, some of the picks were not his responsibility. The receivers must also step up. If the ball hits their hands, they have to catch it. If the throw is close but not on target, the receivers have to go get it. To some degree they may have to carry Alex—and yes good receivers do that.

3. He has to throw for more 1st downs.

Last year, only 30.1 % of his passes resulted in first downs. Last year, the team was 25th in time of possession. More first down throws, will improve our time of possession. Gore will get more touches and the receivers will get more attempts—the offensive skill players will be more productive and a lot happier.

4. Alex needs to improve his completion %.

Last year, he completed 59.6 on his passes. Last year, the play-off quarterbacks completed 63.2% of their passes in the regular season.

If Alex can do these four things, we might surprise a lot of people.

This season, or any season, is not just about Alex Smith or any individual player. It is about the team.

We need to ask: What does a player bring to the team? How each player and each unit contribute to the team and its success?

Nice post.

In regards to #3, the WCO will certainly help here by default. It's much easier to convert passes for 1st downs when you aren't 3rd and long or behind in the 2nd half of the game as SF often was under Singletary when they decided to pass the ball.
Originally posted by captveg:
Originally posted by buck:
We should change the question. The team, not an individual player, is the priority.

So maybe a better question would be: What does Alex have to bring to the team?

I can think of four things.

1. He has to start 16 games.

Last year, Alex played in only 11 games. He started 10 of them.
The team needs him to play well enough and stay healthy enough to start all 16 games.
For him to stay healthy and play well, the team will have to protect him.

2. His touchdown to interception ratio needs to improve.

Last year, he threw 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Critical elements that will lead to this improvement: better ball placement and no stupid throws.

But, in all honestly, some of the picks were not his responsibility. The receivers must also step up. If the ball hits their hands, they have to catch it. If the throw is close but not on target, the receivers have to go get it. To some degree they may have to carry Alex—and yes good receivers do that.

3. He has to throw for more 1st downs.

Last year, only 30.1 % of his passes resulted in first downs. Last year, the team was 25th in time of possession. More first down throws, will improve our time of possession. Gore will get more touches and the receivers will get more attempts—the offensive skill players will be more productive and a lot happier.

4. Alex needs to improve his completion %.

Last year, he completed 59.6 on his passes. Last year, the play-off quarterbacks completed 63.2% of their passes in the regular season.

If Alex can do these four things, we might surprise a lot of people.

This season, or any season, is not just about Alex Smith or any individual player. It is about the team.

We need to ask: What does a player bring to the team? How each player and each unit contribute to the team and its success?

Nice post.

In regards to #3, the WCO will certainly help here by default. It's much easier to convert passes for 1st downs when you aren't 3rd and long or behind in the 2nd half of the game as SF often was under Singletary when they decided to pass the ball.

Yes but it relies more on timing and trust. Alex was quoted a few years ago saying the Digit System is easier because he can see the throw and has an immediate checkdown. WCO is progressions first and the last (not the 2nd) option is the checkdown. We will see.
Originally posted by Godsleftsock:
Originally posted by dj43:
Smith is the same mental type as Montana.

Championship!!!

Smith isnt anywhere near having the kind of mentality that Joe had
Originally posted by captveg:
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
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.

This part still gets me. Man, he had some poor offensive weapons around him those first few years.

LOL @ Darrell Jackson & Arnaz Battle being our #1 and #2 WRs. Wow.