Originally posted by dj43:
I was typing in a hurry. What I should have said was that Crabtree did not begin practicing regularly until during week 12. Even then, he was on the "limited participation" list through week 14. In order for a passing offense to run effectively the QB and the receivers MUST have practice time together so they can settle the patterns and timing of the routes. There was NEVER a time when the 49ers went through a full week from training camp on, when they had the full compliment of WRs healthy enough to accomplish that. They were virtually play pick-up games with kids off the streets as far as building the confidence and rapport needed to develop the passing game.
Look. It is clearly evident that the 49ers need WRs in a big way. Every draft pundit has recognized it in their mocks. You can knock Alex Smith all you want but the facts are that Harbaugh never trusted him even once in a significant game to come in and play. Smith, with all the limitations imposed on the offense, still finished with quality work and a very solid rating. So while that certainly does not put him on the same level as PM but to say that Colin Kaepernick was capable then of doing what Smith did is to ignore reality.
But we come back to the question: What did Alex Smith do that was irreplaceable? Maybe you're right, maybe instead of handing off the ball, Kaepernick will fall down. Maybe instead of checking down, Kaepernick will crap his pants. This could all happen.
Are you trying tell me though, if not Kaepernick, we can't find a QB that could do what Alex Smith did last year, in a passing league? We can't find a QB that will not throw risky passes, that if the first guy is not open, he'll immediately check down? We can't find another guy that can throw for less than 200 yards a game? We can't find another guy that can lead an offense that was 30th in the red zone? Sure, we can blame some of that on the wideouts but come on, the wideouts are not exactly getting a lot of help from their quarterback either. It goes both ways.
I thank Alex forever for his service. I thank him for last year, especially. But what the hell have you been watching?