It has been brought to my attention that this transcript may or may not be genuine. Read at your own risk.
Q: What are your thoughts on the 49ers offense at this point in the season?
COSELL: I gotta tell you - I think Harbaugh is doing as good a job as there is in this league with what he has. And you know how I feel about Alex Smith. It's not personal knock on Alex Smith. It’s not because he spurned my invitation to the ice cream social I hosted in 2005. Why do you think Jim Harbaugh is doing what he's doing? He's telling you - I don't have to tell you - he's telling you what he thinks of Alex Smith. He's managing him. He's manipulating him so he can be successful. You want some real football jargon? We expert analyst film guru’s call Alex Smith a "non elite-arm talent." It some serious f%$*ing jargon. I came up with it myself. Basically, anytime you have a quarterback who can’t throw the ball 95 yards in the air from his knees, he’s a "non elite-arm talent." The talent meaning he’s a game manager talent.
Q: Do you see the Ravens defense posing multiple problems to a 49ers offense which you have said is not an explosive unit?
COSELL: And they’re not. They’re not explosive. They don’t blow up into a million f%*#ing pieces. I think Jim Harbaugh knows this about Alex Smith, he knows it but he’s protecting him. He’s being his guardian angel; watching over him at all times, keeping bad spirits away. But Jim is a smart guy, he’s realized what all of us experts know and that is you have to be able to throw the football at least 75 times in a game to win in the playoffs. I think he’s trying to have Alex throw it more to be prepared for that.
Q: What does the eye in the sky say about Alex Smith?
COSELL: Look, I’m going to tell you exactly what I see: He’s not a great passer. The ball does not come out with a lot of juice. I mean when I compare him to guys like Aaron Rodgers, who has extremely juicy balls, he just falls short. You wouldn’t call him an elite-arm talent by any means. His arm, it’s really not in that upper echelon of limbs. Guys like Jay Cutler, when they get that arm motion going, the big muscles glistening with sweat, it just really gets me revved up, you know?
Q: Some 49ers fans are angry with you for what they perceive as your denigration of Alex Smith. Is he changing your perception of him?
COSELL: No, because his arm. It’s not elite. If his arm were an Xbox, it would be the regular one that my mommy got me for Christmas a few years ago, which, by the way, is how I learned so much about football--playing the Madden games. But I think Alex Smith is an improved player. He’s making better decisions ever since Jim Harbaugh began manipulating him to some degree. Playing filthy, nasty head games with him. But there’s no question he’s an improving player. Is he a top 20, 25 quarterback in the league? No. But we all know that. His balls don’t come out with enough juice, they don’t pack the kind of wallop I am used to.
Q: Speaking of quarterbacks, how dangerous is Joe Flacco?
COSELL: This kid is an elite-arm talent in the NFL. Can make all the throws. Short, medium and long and the ball comes out like a flaming wad of pigskin, a glorious football-shaped meteorite, hurling through the air. His accuracy is questionable at times, but because of his elite-arm status, it really doesn’t matter. That’s just what the film shows. I can only tell you what the film is saying. He’s dangerous. Sometimes his decision making is slow and he makes bone-headed mistakes that put his team in 3rd and 30, 3rd and 45, but with that mega-elite-cannon-arm, it doesn’t matter because he will just missile it down the field for a first down, or heck, even a touchdown.