Originally posted by LifelongNiner:
Jim Plunkett is a name I left off (really before my time). The goal really was to compare skill sets and see how he measured up to other QBs with a similar skill set. It would be like Philly fans having a discussion comparing the skill set of Michael Vick to Steve Young (or even Randall Cunningham for that matter), to determine what is missing from said player for them to take their game to the next level. The misconception is that Alex Smith has to be a top 5 passer in order to lead this team to the promised land, but this thread shows that there are many guys (and now you added Jim Plunkett) that have won championships without being a big numbers guy compared to other QBs in their era.
What I have learned is that certain things, Smith just isn't going to have, like the ability to get the ball out quickly. But there are things that he can do that will allow him to play within himself and get more consistency out of his own game and the passing offense.
Hey! This thread is fun and comparing doesn't have to be insulting unless folks want to be insulted. For instance, Rodgers release is similar to Marino's in that the ball seems to just take off with very little effort, traveling at the speed of light. I think Marino was better on the release but Rodgers obviously has better mobility. Marino had great pocket awareness though and moved very effectively...just couldn't outrun the hot dog vendor.
Plunkett had a really good arm and was a really good QB...so glad he wasn't totally destroyed in NE! Came close, as Smith was almost destroyed in SF.
I think you have identified a trait that doesn't have to be a weakness for Smith...the release. He has to play more like Montana did, knowing where the receivers were going to be so he could establish a rhythm. CK has a bit of a hitch in bringing the ball back but his release is much quicker once the ball is back. Both players have NFL quality motions so that is not the separating factor.
Those who try to compare Young's situation with CK are forgetting Young's time in SoCal and TB. Then he sat behind Montana. He had eight years pro football experience before starting for SF (being kind to the old USFL here!).
The number one trait I want to see in Smith is the one he demonstrated against NO last year--the ability to win the big games. Some really great (?)
QBs did not have the clutch gene.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Oct 28, 2012 at 09:01:46 ]