Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by dj43:
It's a team game. When we know that Crabtree has run the wrong routes in the past and that Vernon Davis did not know what he was doing in the offense for the first 2/3s of the season, it is impossible to know if Smith is inaccurate or if he threw the ball where he was supposed to based on the route but the receiver was in the wrong place. QB play is interdependent on the play of the receivers. If all the receivers run the routes the same way, it doesn't really matter who is #1 and who is #4. However, when the two are not on the same page, it doesn't work.
I base all this on multiple stories from Steve Young and others who told of how fanatical Walsh was about receivers running the PRECISE route on time and how all that effected where the QB threw the ball. That is why I say that we don't know the extent of any purported limitations Alex may have until we get receivers that are doing their job correctly.
Alex isn't the only QB who deals with this.
When Tom Brady loses Wes Welker for a couple of weeks, he can rely on Hernandez and Gronk and Branch.
When Drew Brees loses Colston, he has Graham and Meachem and Henderson.
When Aaron Rodgers loses Jennings he still has Nelson and Jones and Finley and Driver.
In each case, they had multiple options to go to. They were not left with one or none.
OTOH, in Atlanta when Julio Jones was restricted due to injury between games 6 and 11, opposing teams, no longer concerned with an aging Tony Gonzales, doubled Roddy White, the only remaining quality receiver, and Matt Ryan's number dropped way off.
When AJ Green was unable to play in games 10 and 11, Andy Dalton was left with nothing and he struggled.
When Braylon Edwards and Joshua Morgan went down, and Michael Crabtree could not practice due to his foot, and Vernon Davis had not yet learned the offense, Alex Smith had a punt returner and a raw 2nd year guy that started the season on the bottom of the depth chart, and the passing offense was less than spectacular.
There are other examples I could bring but time prevents it.
The point is, and I think you know this, "next man up" is a nice saying but when you lose a starter, the "next man up" is NOT as good as the starter and performance suffers. The result is that the QB, and the team, struggles.