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2011 Alex Smith vs. 1995 Troy Aikman

  • titan
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,686
I live and bleed 49ers and can't stand the Cowboys, but to compare Alex Smith to Troy Aikman is insane and for someone to call Micael Irvin overrated just doesn't make sense!
Originally posted by titan:
I live and bleed 49ers and can't stand the Cowboys, but to compare Alex Smith to Troy Aikman is insane and for someone to call Micael Irvin overrated just doesn't make sense!



Yeah, the feeling I get is that some Niner fans are trying to bring down the level of greatness that Aikman and Irvin had to the level of Alex Smith. In other words, cant really say Alex was as good as a 3 time champion QB / perennial probowler / HOFer, so it's easier to say he was just over-rated and in today's game would be no better than Alex.

Kind of reaching, IMO.
Originally posted by HudsonValley:
Originally posted by titan:
I live and bleed 49ers and can't stand the Cowboys, but to compare Alex Smith to Troy Aikman is insane and for someone to call Micael Irvin overrated just doesn't make sense!



Yeah, the feeling I get is that some Niner fans are trying to bring down the level of greatness that Aikman and Irvin had to the level of Alex Smith. In other words, cant really say Alex was as good as a 3 time champion QB / perennial probowler / HOFer, so it's easier to say he was just over-rated and in today's game would be no better than Alex.

Kind of reaching, IMO.

Don't read something into posts that is not there. Anyone I have ever heard or read talk about that Cowboy team with Aikman at QB, has recognized that GROUP as one of the best assortment of offensive talent ever on the field at the same time. Imagine the current 49er OL with Jerry Rice and John Taylor at their prime and Brent Jones at TE. Now add a healthy Frank Gore of three years ago when he was admittedly faster than now. Oh, and put Tom Rathman in at FB. With all that, pick your QB. Only then are we comparing equals.
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by verb1der:
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by verb1der:
I disagree with this comparison. I've watched make Aikman make accurate deep throws to Michael Irvin.

You rarely see that with Alex.

Furthermore, there's a reason why Michael Irvin is a HOF right? I think Aikman played a good role in that. How many WRs has Alex put in the Hall?

But if this comparison makes you feel better, so be it.

RE:Irvin and Aikman. One complimented the other. Aikman had a strong arm and Irvin (and especially Harper) had burner speed. Harper's deep speed enabled Irvin to run free on the mid-range routes and that led to safeties having to pick which one to double. They couldn't double them both. That allowed Aikman easy wide open targets.

Even now, the 49ers do not have anything like that. Crabtree has shown signs of being able to do some of the things Irvin did (no small compliment) but lacking a true Harperesque deep threat, Crabtree does not have the freedom Irvin enjoyed. Smith never had that combination. Only this season was Crabtree beginning to show the moves on a consistent basis that Irvin ran. Without a deep threat, Crabtree has to work a lot harder than Irvin did to get open. Crab and Kaep will be much more effective next season if Baalke can find the deep threat every good offense needs.


Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by verb1der:
I disagree with this comparison. I've watched make Aikman make accurate deep throws to Michael Irvin.

You rarely see that with Alex.

Furthermore, there's a reason why Michael Irvin is a HOF right? I think Aikman played a good role in that. How many WRs has Alex put in the Hall?

But if this comparison makes you feel better, so be it.

RE:Irvin and Aikman. One complimented the other. Aikman had a strong arm and Irvin (and especially Harper) had burner speed. Harper's deep speed enabled Irvin to run free on the mid-range routes and that led to safeties having to pick which one to double. They couldn't double them both. That allowed Aikman easy wide open targets.

Even now, the 49ers do not have anything like that. Crabtree has shown signs of being able to do some of the things Irvin did (no small compliment) but lacking a true Harperesque deep threat, Crabtree does not have the freedom Irvin enjoyed. Smith never had that combination. Only this season was Crabtree beginning to show the moves on a consistent basis that Irvin ran. Without a deep threat, Crabtree has to work a lot harder than Irvin did to get open. Crab and Kaep will be much more effective next season if Baalke can find the deep threat every good offense needs.

Yeah I agree the team was different. But I'm specifically speaking of the "style of play" because of Aikman's deep ball accuracy". Aikman possessed the attribute, Alex did not.

Just watch Aikman highlights, his style of QB'ing is not even remotely close to Alex Smith's. So I have no clue why people think the two are similar unless they're strictly comparing "stats".

Only in NT will you read this comparison, c'mon yall.

The point being that each position needs the other in order to reach max potential. Aikman had deep threats to go with his strong arm. In games when Harper or Irvin were not able to play, the passing game became much shorter. Aikman, without Irvin, would not have been HOF. Aikman, perhaps more than just about any QB in recent times, was a true product of the system. He had arguably the best OL ever (some say the current 49ers OL may achieve similar status), one of the top 5 RBs of all time, AND quality and depth in the WR corp and a very good TE. Even I could have completed a few passes in that setup. Still, Aikman deserves credit for taking advantage of the situation.

We don't know that Alex Smith cannot throw the long ball. He never had a true deep threat anywhere near the level of those Dallas receivers. He had to make due with a bunch of re-treads and has beens and a highly regarded college receiver who never showed for TC. Even now the 49ers do not have that deep threat. The very fact that Baalke spent the #1 pick on a fast (?) wide receiver AND signed Moss and Manningham is proof positive that management recognized the weakness in this offense. Yes, Crabtree has improved as the season has gone along but he still is not the threat that Irvin was in Dallas. Not even close.

I get your first paragraph, and I agree, especially with the last sentence! That's where the argument should end.

I disagree with the bolded. I understand your perspective but how about we take your logic and look at it this way...

Say you're an NFL scout or GM heading for the off-season, and your main priority is finding a QB. You're given this list of potential players, and there you see Alex Smith. Would you really say to yourself "Gee...I'm just not quite sure of Alex Smith's long-ball accuracy, because he's never played in a perfect system with a perfect supporting cast like Troy Aikman." Of course not!

Because it doesn't take a perfect system to determine a QB's deep ball accuracy. Countless QB's display it at the college and pro-level regardless of the quality of their system.

Look at the Seahawks game in Candlestick this year. Alex missed TWO deep passes where the WR was wiiiiide open. You can bet GM's around the league will look at those plays and draw their conclusions. They will not be like "naaah...I still need to see Alex have the luxury of Troy Aikman to determine how good Alex is."

I love Alex Smith and would love to believe in all these theories to strengthen my faith in him becoming great, but I just really feel like it's grasping at straws.
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by HudsonValley:
Originally posted by titan:
I live and bleed 49ers and can't stand the Cowboys, but to compare Alex Smith to Troy Aikman is insane and for someone to call Micael Irvin overrated just doesn't make sense!



Yeah, the feeling I get is that some Niner fans are trying to bring down the level of greatness that Aikman and Irvin had to the level of Alex Smith. In other words, cant really say Alex was as good as a 3 time champion QB / perennial probowler / HOFer, so it's easier to say he was just over-rated and in today's game would be no better than Alex.

Kind of reaching, IMO.

Don't read something into posts that is not there. Anyone I have ever heard or read talk about that Cowboy team with Aikman at QB, has recognized that GROUP as one of the best assortment of offensive talent ever on the field at the same time. Imagine the current 49er OL with Jerry Rice and John Taylor at their prime and Brent Jones at TE. Now add a healthy Frank Gore of three years ago when he was admittedly faster than now. Oh, and put Tom Rathman in at FB. With all that, pick your QB. Only then are we comparing equals.


With that logic, you could downplay Montana's greatness on most of his SB teams, as he was surrounded by some the greatest offensive talent in NFL history on many of those squads. Im not reading into anything more than I should. Just baffled that anyone could compare Aikman to Alex. From what I remember in 95, I can only think of 2 teams that had QBing comparable to Aikman. And that was the 49ers and maybe the Packers.

If this is indeed out peak, I can think of at least 10 teams we'd be willing to trade Alex for midseason, and that was when he was tearing it up.

Just not a realistic comparison IMO, and I dont think anyone outside this forum would even ponder this scenario.
This knocking on Aikman and Irvin is getting ridiculous. I don't believe in falling into this player didn't have this or that debates. As 49ers fans, we should be well aware of that weak argument because we have heard that about Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, etc. As far as the comparisons are concerned, a better ranking would be to look where Aikman ranked it TD, yards, completions, and competion percentage compared to other QBs in 1995.
This is ridiculous. Are we really going to compare numbers from different eras? Alex is Alex and Aikman is Aikman. Its one thing to be a fan of Smith but some try so hard to prop him up while diminishing others.
[ Edited by InHarbsWeTrust on Feb 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM ]
Originally posted by InHarbsWeTrust:
This is ridiculous. Are we really going to compare numbers from different eras? Alex is Alex and Aikman is Aikman. Its one thing to be a fan of Smith but some try so hard to prop him up while diminishing others.

Pot...please meet Kettle.
Originally posted by Jakemall:
Pot...please meet Kettle.

That's how you feel.
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
This knocking on Aikman and Irvin is getting ridiculous. I don't believe in falling into this player didn't have this or that debates. As 49ers fans, we should be well aware of that weak argument because we have heard that about Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, etc. As far as the comparisons are concerned, a better ranking would be to look where Aikman ranked it TD, yards, completions, and competion percentage compared to other QBs in 1995.

No one is knocking Aikman and Irvin. My very first post on this said that they benefitted from each other. One made the other better. That was true of Marino and Clayton/Duper. Montana and Rice. Young and Rice. OTOH, you can look at a Larry Fitzgerald and how he struggled with Kolb/Skelton after the glory years with Warner. You can't have one without the other.

It takes time for those combinations to work. It wasn't like it just magically happened for any of those great combinations. Steve Young has noted how meticulous Bill Walsh was when Montana/Young were throwing the ball to Roger Craig and Jerry Rice. Not only did the ball have to be delivered to the exact spot on time but the receiver had to run a very precise route. It took hours and literally hundreds of reps to make those things work. Montana/Rice was a long way from automatic in Rice's first year. Joe overthrew him, underthrew him, Jerry took the wrong angle at times...and on and on. You can't look at a couple of throws one way or the other and say this guy can do something but this guy cannot. Until players have sufficient practice time and game time to develop all those things, the best you can say is "incomplete information."
  • Jcool
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 14,063
Thing about those 90's Cowboys teams was they would kill us every year and I always thought they were this explosive team and then you go back and look at Troy Aikman's numbers and kind of blows your mind. I get that Emit Smith took production away from Aikman, but only one season with over 20 TD's??? That 94 season he had 13 TD's and 12 INT's and they could of easily got to the Super Bowl... Not sure we will ever see that again.
Originally posted by Marvin49:
I posted something similar over a month ago and was told by many that "the game has changed...you need big offense to win". How'd that work out for the Pack and the Saints?

Alex is like Aikman. Once DAL began to get old or got thin on the talent, Aikmans play went to crap. Aikman did have a stronger arm but that was about it. Both required everything to be perfect around them. Aikman sucked whenever his line didn't give him more than 3 seconds and so did Alex.
Originally posted by dj43:
No one is knocking Aikman and Irvin. My very first post on this said that they benefitted from each other. One made the other better. That was true of Marino and Clayton/Duper. Montana and Rice. Young and Rice. OTOH, you can look at a Larry Fitzgerald and how he struggled with Kolb/Skelton after the glory years with Warner. You can't have one without the other.

It takes time for those combinations to work. It wasn't like it just magically happened for any of those great combinations. Steve Young has noted how meticulous Bill Walsh was when Montana/Young were throwing the ball to Roger Craig and Jerry Rice. Not only did the ball have to be delivered to the exact spot on time but the receiver had to run a very precise route. It took hours and literally hundreds of reps to make those things work. Montana/Rice was a long way from automatic in Rice's first year. Joe overthrew him, underthrew him, Jerry took the wrong angle at times...and on and on. You can't look at a couple of throws one way or the other and say this guy can do something but this guy cannot. Until players have sufficient practice time and game time to develop all those things, the best you can say is "incomplete information."

You haven't read all the posts if you think no one here is knocking Aikman and Irvin. One poster gave his opinion and stated he always felt Aikman was overrated. Another wondered why Michael Irvin was called the playmaker considering his low TD numbers. And I fully get how players complement each other and help make one another. With that being said, I don't believe in going into that if Alex Smith had this or that debate. If we are going to go there, then any fan can throw that right back at us when a 49er fan states that Montana was the best QB of all time. They can fire back with well Brady is better because he didn't have HOF receivers to throw to or some other excuse. All we have is what actually happened. We can debate facts. Not if/then statements. And the fact is Aikman had a pretty nice run in the early to mid 90s. If anyone could've done the job then Jerry Jones would've dumped Aikman and gone with the much cheaper Jason Garrett or Bernie Kosar even. I hate the Cowboys, but I'll give them their props for what they were able to do for a short period of time.
Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Originally posted by dj43:
No one is knocking Aikman and Irvin. My very first post on this said that they benefitted from each other. One made the other better. That was true of Marino and Clayton/Duper. Montana and Rice. Young and Rice. OTOH, you can look at a Larry Fitzgerald and how he struggled with Kolb/Skelton after the glory years with Warner. You can't have one without the other.

It takes time for those combinations to work. It wasn't like it just magically happened for any of those great combinations. Steve Young has noted how meticulous Bill Walsh was when Montana/Young were throwing the ball to Roger Craig and Jerry Rice. Not only did the ball have to be delivered to the exact spot on time but the receiver had to run a very precise route. It took hours and literally hundreds of reps to make those things work. Montana/Rice was a long way from automatic in Rice's first year. Joe overthrew him, underthrew him, Jerry took the wrong angle at times...and on and on. You can't look at a couple of throws one way or the other and say this guy can do something but this guy cannot. Until players have sufficient practice time and game time to develop all those things, the best you can say is "incomplete information."

You haven't read all the posts if you think no one here is knocking Aikman and Irvin. One poster gave his opinion and stated he always felt Aikman was overrated. Another wondered why Michael Irvin was called the playmaker considering his low TD numbers. And I fully get how players complement each other and help make one another. With that being said, I don't believe in going into that if Alex Smith had this or that debate. If we are going to go there, then any fan can throw that right back at us when a 49er fan states that Montana was the best QB of all time. They can fire back with well Brady is better because he didn't have HOF receivers to throw to or some other excuse. All we have is what actually happened. We can debate facts. Not if/then statements. And the fact is Aikman had a pretty nice run in the early to mid 90s. If anyone could've done the job then Jerry Jones would've dumped Aikman and gone with the much cheaper Jason Garrett or Bernie Kosar even. I hate the Cowboys, but I'll give them their props for what they were able to do for a short period of time.


Good post.