I got in touch with Eric Melendez of Niner Noise to get a little insight on tonight’s match-up against the niners. It seems that I was HATING on Alex Smith with my questioning this week. Oh well, I am sure that the niner fans are frustrated with him anyway and I was allowing Eric to vent!
Anyway, here is the Q&A:
1. Why do you guys still keep trotting Alex Smith out as the starting quarterback? Aren’t the Niner fans sick and tired of it?
When Jim Harbaugh was hired as head coach of the 49ers he spoke glowingly of Alex Smith and that he would like to have him back on the team. At the time I thought Harbaugh was being diplomatic talking about Smith and didn’t want to tip his hand as to what the team wanted to do at quarterback. As the lockout went on it become apparent Harbaugh actually wantEd Smith back on the team as the number one quarterback. Most 49er fans, including myself, jumped off the Alex Smith bandwagon after last season’s disappointing play by Smith. For some reason the 49ers still believe Smith can be an adequate starting quarterback which if you have seen the preseason games so far that is not the case. When new head coaches come into the league they try to make a splash by doing something different or by picking up a player that everyone else discarded. Harbaugh is a quarterback guru and has history of developing quarterbacks but for him to think he can turn Smith around is ridiculous. Niner fans are over Smith and there will be plenty of booing at Candlestick this season.
2. What do you think that Greg Manusky and the linebackers he brought over (Takeo Spikes and Travis LaBoy) will bring for our defense?
Manusky was a good defensive coordinator for the 49ers who knows how to run a solid 3-4 defense. Manusky was hamstrung with the 49ers offense which never stayed on the field for long and that tired out the defense. Also Manusky’s defenses never had shut down any corners and that was exploited by opponents. Manusky finds himself in an ideal place in San Diego as the Chargers have one of the best offenses in the NFL that stays on the field for more than three-downs. There is also more talent in the Chargers secondary than the 49ers had in Manusky’s years. The Chargers defense is in good hands.
Don’t be worried about Takeo Spikes’ age. The way he played last season for the 49ers made him look like he was ten years younger. Spikes still has a lot left in the tank and will be a great leader for the Chargers defense. Travis LaBoy has a lot of potential and could become a good pass rushing outside linebacker for the Chargers. LaBoy had five sacks for the 49ers last season and he should surpass that number with Chargers if he can get into the starting lineup. LaBoy is quick off the end and with the Chargers excellent pass rushing front-seven he will get to the quarterback often. LaBoy may be in a new place but he has a familiar face in coach Manusky who helped him develop last season.
3. Who is more frustrating, Alex Smith or Michael Crabtree?
Ha, this is great question I have never been asked or thought about. Both are frustrating for different reasons but I have to go with Alex Smith. Anytime a number one draft pick is still not getting it done six seasons later you have to call it a bust and move on. The 49ers are giving Smith one last time to show he is not a bust so maybe seventh time’s a charm. It is also more frustrating with Smith because of the decisions by the front office since they drafted him in 2005. They have hired two bad coaches, never brought in any help for the offense and had him go through six different offensive coordinators.
4. How is rookie AlDon Smith doing this year?
AlDon Smith is flying under the radar this preseason just like he was during the NFL draft. The 49ers faced criticism for selecting Smith so high with the seventh overall pick in the draft. Smith was projected for the middle of the first round but the 49ers saw the player they wanted and went after him. Smith has shown in training camp and the preseason he can use his length, he is 6-4, and speed to get to the quarterback by quickly getting on the outside of the offensive line. Hopefully Smith will say hello to Philip Rivers with a sack.
5. Name one player that you would CUT off the niner roster that will probably be there on opening day. Why?
Alex Smith, see reasons above…Smith will improve his techniques under Harbaugh but he does not have the confidence to produce on the field on a consistent basis. One game Smith will play well and lead the offense to a few scores that wins the game but he also has a knack for reverting back to playing bad and losing the game with turnovers. Smith will slow down the 49ers passing even with all the talent on offense.