Smith Wants to Compete

In the San Jose Mercury News today, Alex Smith said he is looking forward to the quarterback competition between him and Shaun Hill.

Smith mentions in the article that he and Hill “are really good friends.” He takes the diplomatic stance of acknowledging that both players will work hard and “let the chips fall where they may.” Maybe Smith is just trying not to embarrass his buddy in public view, but I’d rather my former number overall choice, who is entering a career crossroads, state that he would flat out win the job. Smith’s comments just strike me as very passive.

The young quarterback also insinuates that age is on his side and that he is thrilled to have Isaac Bruce as a passing target…

Gary Peterson of the Contra Costa Times says that the quarterback battle isn’t as open as the 49ers would like everyone to believe. He states the team has too much invested in Alex Smith – financially, emotionally and in personnel decisions – to give Shaun Hill an honest 50/50 shot at winning the starting quarterback position.

I can’t say I disagree with Peterson on this. Most teams want to give their top draft choices every chance to succeed so that they don’t look like buffoons for drafting them.

High draft picks, especially quarterbacks picked number one overall, offer hope to a franchise and its fan base, so it’s not like the team’s salary cap is the only thing sullied when a highly drafted player doesn’t play to his potential.

Smith also has an inordinate amount of pressure when you consider the team for which he plays. The 49ers had a Hall-of-Fame quarterback for about 20 years (Montana, Young) and another very good player after that (Garcia), so the franchise and fan base is spoiled.

There is no doubt the 49ers would rather see Smith win the job. They are in a precarious position…

Here is a long story full of quotes about the signing of defensive end Justin Smith. What we learn from the article: My boy Scott McCloughan (remember the one who has claimed in past articles that he is not very intelligent) says that Justin Smith is “the whole package.” What else would you expect him to say!?

Mike Nolan says Smith “plays the game very much like Bryant Young did in that he goes all out every down, plays hard and makes lots of plays.”

Nolan took Smith and his wife on a helicopter ride around the Bay Area peninsula, around the Golden Gate Bridge to give the couple a look at the natural beauty of the area. I want to be a NFL free agent!

Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle has a pessimistic view on the 49ers changing their stadium name back to Candlestick Park

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