2010 NFL season: 49ers QB Alex Smith and his offensive weapons

OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 28: Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers passes against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 28 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

One of the injury-related issues that has arisen in the preseason is the fact that 49ers QB Alex Smith hasn't had much of a chance in games to throw to some of his bigger weapons. He had Vernon Davis week one and Frank Gore in week 3, but that's about it. Davis has missed the last two games, Crabtree has sat out all three, and Gore sat out the first two. We obviously want to see a team that is healthy come week one, but the lack of playing time has to be a bit of a concern.

Alex Smith spoke with the media after today's walk through and was asked specifically about Crabtree:

On the importance of having WR Michael Crabtree on the field:

"I don't know about Thursday. Now it's almost time to get healthy and get ready to go. I think that was the precaution we took this last week with those guys that - I mean, if you're borderline, let's go ahead and get the mindset of playing back and getting healthy for the regular season. So this week, I don't know, I think that's probably a better question for the coaches, but I guess I've always used this as a pretty minimal week of work as far as game goes, really. I think you really try to get healthy for the opening week."

Will we see some rustiness week one, or given that Smith has at least had his expected share of snaps, should we not be all that concerned about the offense when the season starts? Obviously folks have other concerns, but I'm speaking specifically to the potential issue of lack of playing time together in actual games.

I've posted Smith's transcript after the jump, with a link to the audio.

QB Alex Smith
Post- Walk-through - August 31, 2010
San Francisco 49ers

Listen to Audio | Media Center

On the importance of having WR Michael Crabtree on the field:

"I don't know about Thursday. Now it's almost time to get healthy and get ready to go. I think that was the precaution we took this last week with those guys that - I mean, if you're borderline, let's go ahead and get the mindset of playing back and getting healthy for the regular season. So this week, I don't know, I think that's probably a better question for the coaches, but I guess I've always used this as a pretty minimal week of work as far as game goes, really. I think you really try to get healthy for the opening week."

On whether they have reached the level where they won't play any of the starters this week:

"I don't know, I guess once again, Coach Singletary would probably be a better guy to ask, but yeah certainly some of our guys, like [RB] Frank [Gore] hasn't played. He just got the one series last week of work, and it may be getting to that point. The line's gotten a ton of work these first three games; I'm not sure what's going to happen with them. I'm kind of waiting to see and hear what the plan is going to be. But who knows? There are different philosophies; some people think you need to get out there and get a couple of series and get a little rhythm, but some, you look at the Chargers and not many of those guys play at all."

On whether there is anything that could happen on Thursday that would make him feel more ready for the season:

"I'm not sure. Like I said, you're not going to be playing against - you're not preparing for the game really. You're not playing against guys that are really going to be out there. They're not going to be running any of their stuff and you're not really going to be running any of your stuff, for that matter. So, I don't know. But at the same time, do you want to get out there for a couple of series and get a little rhythm and get a little work so you're not away from it that long? I don't know. Like I said, it's kind of up to the coaches and what they decide."

On whether he would personally like to play in the last preseason game:

"Either way, it doesn't matter. I mean, get out there and get some plays in? No question. But like I said, I think everyone's attention around the whole NFL is the next week. It's getting the roster finalized, getting healthy, getting fresh, getting ready to go."

On whether this year feels different for him:

"Yeah, oh for sure, definitely different. It's obvious to say that every year is different but no question, this year is different for me, where I'm at, how comfortable I am, my expectations, like you said, anxiety, things like that. I feel like I'm in a good place right now."

On whether Gore adds an element when he is in the huddle:

"Yeah, he was really rusty, you know - first run, 50 yards. Absolutely without a doubt, I think I walked out of there saying the first thing, the same thing, that there was a different feel that first drive with him in there. There just was. I think the line got a little more energy from him in there. He brings a different energy, in a good way. So no question, it was fun."    

On handling the play clock issues against the Raiders:

"Yeah, you know what it was. Fortunately, it was a preseason game, so any mistakes you make aren't totally blown out. You can learn from them, there's kind of no harm. But yeah, I think it was a little bit that we have to get going. It definitely was a quick clock. I think it was good procedure on when to take time outs and when not to take timeouts. You love to save them and then you go through certain scenarios on film of hey, we probably should have taken on here, it's third and two, let's preserve the third and two and not go to third and seven, we've got a real chance here, depending on field position, score of the game, things like that. But, obviously you like to not even put yourself in those positions. Yeah, I think you take all this stuff and have to learn from it. If you're not, then you're not doing your job. So us as quarterbacks, I looked at every single scenario I had where there's a clock problem and looked and them and did I do the right thing or should I have done something different."

On showing emotion during the last game and whether he will show more emotion this season:

"Maybe, I guess. I don't know. I'm not sure what situations are going to come along but I definitely was then, I felt like we were moving the ball and we had great tempo and it was really something that was hurting us at the time and it really - yeah, I think you could see it was really frustrating for me. I was really upset about it. As far as going down, yeah, maybe. It's tough to say I guess."

On whether he feels he has earned the right to get in people's faces more:

"Yeah, absolutely. I think what I was saying out there and was demanding wasn't anything that I couldn't, I guess. Whereas, maybe if I was younger, I just wouldn't know what to do.  I would have just been out there and tried to work through it.

On whether he can be more demanding of his teammates:

"Yeah, absolutely, no question."

On his evolution in the last year:

I think for me, I guess I look at myself and don't see it that much. I see little things, but I don't see it and I guess someone else looking at snapshots from a year ago to now might see a lot more change. For me, I guess I've continued to do the things I've always done, but I think it does go to what Matt [Maiocco] was saying a little bit. A little bit, for me at least, the personality type that you feel like you've earned the right to do that stuff. And when I was young and kind of thrown out there, I felt like I still had to earn it, even though I was the starting quarterback I still felt like I had to earn that. There's no hesitation for me now. I've gone through a lot. This is the opportunity I've been waiting for and I'm going to take advantage of it."

On being vocal:

"That's something I guess I think I've learned. Leadership comes in lots of different forms. I've talked to a lot, especially that perimeter group, and I think the biggest thing that comes in for us is communication. And it's communication, getting things figured out, getting things right, getting on the same page. And it never ends. You're constantly always trying to work towards that and you never get there. It's kind of that mindset and I think as a perimeter, we have to have that in order to be - in order for us to take that next step, we have to have that. There has to be that open communication, guys can't be afraid to say what's on their mind, what they're thinking. They can't be afraid out there to say the wrong thing or make a mistake, because the whole goal, especially on the practice field, is to get it all ironed out. So that's something I've emphasized with them out here on the practice field and in the meeting rooms that we all have to speak up."

On what was going on when the perimeter group met after practice Thursday:

"I want to leave that between us. Basically, to summarize a little bit, just us coming together. Camp kind of was closing down, something that we wanted to do. I talked with all those guys individually but I think we all wanted to kind of come together and make sure we were all on the same page as a perimeter group. That we had the right attitude, the right mindset going forward, and we were going to set some things straight with all of us to make sure we were all thinking the same thing."

On the tone of that meeting:

"It was good, all positive. Kind of between us, something that I think has been building and was good for us to do."

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