49ers Training Camp: QB Alex Smith last week and this week

INDIANAPOLIS IN - AUGUST 15: Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers jumps in the air during the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 15 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

After yesterday's practice 49ers OC Jimmy Raye and QB Alex Smith both spoke to the media. We posted Jimmy Raye's transcript yesterday afternoon and I thought I'd post Smith's today. It's after the jump.

A little over a week ago I put together a post looking at what we might want to see from Smith in the preseason games to give folks some level of confidence heading into the 2010 regular season. I mentioned the idea of closing out some scoring drives, among other things. Obviously we didn't see that this past Sunday as Smith struggled a bit with some inaccuracy. I'm willing to blame it on rust in that first game. Smith recognized the struggles in his discussions with the media today:

On looking back at the game film from the first preseason game:

"I guess I look back on all our plays with the first group, 14, 15 plays. Didn't finish, didn't finish anything is kind of what I looked at. We turned over the ball, didn't finish plays, had a penalty, didn't finish throws or catches, kind of off. We missed opportunities because of that and I think in the NFL you don't get a lot of second chances in games like that. Obviously, it was an exhibition game and we didn't game plan at all for them. We didn't even look at one piece of film or anything. But with that said, obviously you'd love to go out there and I think you look to be in a good frame of mind as an offense, an offense that's communicating well. I don't put any crazy expectations as far as points or anything like that. I think you look for us to go out there and execute obviously at a decent level. I don't think we did that."

Heading into this Sunday's battle with the Vikings, we're all expecting improvement and hopefully some of that rust will be cleaned up. The Vikings bring a solid defense to the table, which should provide a stiff test for Smith and the 49ers offense.

One issue that affects accuracy and the offense as a whole is the timing between a QB and his wide receivers. Michael Crabtree hurt his neck and sat out this past Sunday. It sounds like he's been practicing on a limited basis so I'm not sure what that means for Sunday. Crabtree obviously can step in and make the necessary plays without a ton of preparation, as we learned last season. And yet, the timing between a QB and arguably his #1 receiver (Vernon Davis will have something to say about that) will be essential for this offense to be able to take it to "the next level." Obviously if a healthy Crabtree requires him to sit out another game, so be it. But let's hope he can get back on the field this Sunday.

QB Alex Smith
Post- Practice - August 18, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

On looking back at the game film from the first preseason game:

"I guess I look back on all our plays with the first group, 14, 15 plays. Didn't finish, didn't finish anything is kind of what I looked at. We turned over the ball, didn't finish plays, had a penalty, didn't finish throws or catches, kind of off. We missed opportunities because of that and I think in the NFL you don't get a lot of second chances in games like that. Obviously, it was an exhibition game and we didn't game plan at all for them. We didn't even look at one piece of film or anything. But with that said, obviously you'd love to go out there and I think you look to be in a good frame of mind as an offense, an offense that's communicating well. I don't put any crazy expectations as far as points or anything like that. I think you look for us to go out there and execute obviously at a decent level. I don't think we did that."

On what happened when he missed TE Vernon Davis on the pass at Indianapolis:

"Well, we've talked about it. I was kind of telling myself going into the game that I just really wanted to push it. You know, first preseason game go out there and cut it loose. I think oftentimes you get into preseason games and just try to get through it, get however many series and get out, think about stats and this and that. I just wanted to go out there and try to push the time and push that envelope a little bit. You don't get many opportunities to do things like that, so I did that. Just a matter of it sped up a little bit in there. Got the ball out early, real early and it was just a matter of 18 inches-two feet off. That's the difference between a touchdown and an incompletion. Got to hit that though. That's something that we've hit all camp and feel good about, but obviously you have to do that in a game."

On whether there was a new wrinkle in the play:

"No, it was something that I thought I saw out there during the game, but looking at the film, no. I thought he ran a really good route."

On Smith saying after the game he threw it where he wanted to:

"During the time, I threw it where I wanted it. It wasn't miss-thrown, if that makes sense. I threw it where I saw, I think just a little off from what I was seeing maybe. We're talking here a matter of a foot and a half probably. You know, looking at the film it was on his back hip versus on his front."

On how important it will be to have all of the starters play together:

"It's very important. We've had a tough camp, but we've got to be out here. We've got to get the work in. If we just think we have these names or we're going to show up on gameday and get it done, that's crazy, it's totally crazy. We've got to get out here and get the work in and continue to take strides and get better otherwise you're just hoping. You're just hoping that it shows up on gameday, you're going to hope it shows up come regular season. It's important."

On whether he has given any thought to what RB Brian Westbrook can add in receptions:

"A little bit. Obviously it's early, he just got here. I think he's a nice little mix. I think if you look at our running back corps, there's a lot of versatility back there. A lot of different guys that can do different things. I think it's kind of exciting to see what he'll bring."

On how much it sets him back timing wise when WR Michael Crabtree is not practicing:

"Timing is obviously important, but I think it's just a matter of being out there and everybody executing it, getting comfortable with it, getting confidence with it. That's all important along with the timing obviously. To get out there and get that going, I think that's all that it brings."

On him feeling comfortable in the game:

"I felt really good. It's funny, for as good as I felt, it's probably as good as you could ever feel with a QB rating of seven or something. I felt really good. It didn't necessarily equate to anything. I saw things really well. I think the one pass is obviously the one we're all talking about, the Vernon one. But everything else I saw clearly. So I felt like I was, I was relaxed out there, knew what I was getting and reacted to it throwing the ball. Just a matter, like I said, of finishing it on all of us. I've got to finish, we've all got to finish in order to really take that to the next level of consistency. Otherwise, you're going to have these ups and downs like we had last year."

On it being something to build on:

"Absolutely, yeah I felt good, no question. I think just a matter of doing it. We've all got to go out there and do it and continue to build on that."

On whether it is a challenge for offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye to use the weapons on offense and adding Westbrook :

"I don't know, maybe a little bit. At the same time, at the other end if you don't have the pieces, then you're thinking and worrying about what position you're putting guys in because they can't do this or they can't do that. I think this is the opposite problem, it's a good problem. He's got to find a way to get a lot of different guys of a lot of different talents touches. So in that sense, yeah, but like I said I think it's a good problem."

On the guys competing for the backup wide receiver positions:

"Those are obviously crucial spots because it's a long season, you have injuries and those guys have to be able to step in and play. It's crucial to have the depth there. Guys that I guess really standout to me are Dominique Zeigler. I think he's having a great camp; Jason Hill, Brandon Jones. A young guy, Kyle Williams, I know he's banged up but when he gets back out... All of those guys, there's a lot of competition there and they're going to be fighting for spots. When their numbers get called they have to step in and not miss a beat."

On what he has seen from Zeigler:

"I just think he's done that, exactly what I just said. We've moved him around a bunch in there playing a lot of different positions. Every time he goes in he knows what he's doing. He doesn't let the game get too big, he just goes in and executes. He's a guy that everyone in the huddle feels good about when he steps in. I think everyone has confidence in him. He just continues to do it."

On what kind of target Zeigler is out of the slot:

"He's a tall kid. I think he's got a big range as far as wing span and arms go. I think a guy, if you'd ask all of the quarterbacks, all feel good about throwing the ball to him in traffic because he is so strong handed. So, this is something that I think is new for him. He's done a little slot in the past, but doing way more now. I think we're all liking what we're seeing, everybody."

On Zeigler being strong-handed:

"In his hands, not a guy who lets the ball get up on him. A lot of time you can see him catching the ball with his hands, coming back to the ball. Things like that."

On Vikings QB Brett Favre and how he's able to continue playing:

"I was doing the math and it would be 14-15 more years for me. A guy like that, what does he do necessarily when he leaves and the game's done? If he had one year, two more years in him a few years from now, is he going to regret that that he could have kept trying to play? I think that's what it looks like. You don't want to give up that opportunity. Looking at last year and looking at what he did, why not? He came in and played competitive, more than competitive, it was his best season in a few years  He's been in a long, long time. Why not? I think it's great for the game. I think the statistic, 285 games is probably the most remarkable statistic in all of sports. Hat's off to [former Orioles SS] Cal Ripken [Jr.], but I don't think there's anything close to it. It's great to see. It's great for the NFL."

On C David Baas:

"I feel really good with him. He's been working really hard to get ready and I think there's nothing better than going against our defense. That's for sure. As many looks and as fast as those guys play, as fast as that d-line is, that front seven for that matter, you've got to be on the ball in making calls there.  I think it's a good thing to help slow down things come game time. I certainly haven't noticed. He stepped right in has done really well."

On the rookie offensive linemen T Anthony Davis and G Mike Iupati:

"As far as those guys in there, that's not something you can think about come game time. They've got to come in and play. As a quarterback, if you're ever really thinking about your protection, you're in trouble. They've got to step up and play. They're getting a lot of reps right now. Same type of deal, they're getting great looks from our defense, a lot thrown at them. They've got to take advantage of it. At the same time they have to prove they're ready. This is the preseason and they've got to prove that. We're only a few weeks away from stepping on the field up in Seattle."

On his relationship with QB David Carr after being close with Shaun Hill:

"It's good. Obviously [Detroit Lions QB] Shaun [Hill] and I are still close. As quarterbacks you spend so much time together. You tend to either get close or you don't. But Dave's a good guy, we obviously have a lot in common. We both grew up in California, both number one picks, gone through some similar stuff. But he is a good guy. The quarterback room has been great."

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