One of the most underappreciated aspects of Alex Smith's game is his ability to move in the pocket and scramble when a play breaks down. There have been times in the past where he seemed to get happy feet and bad things happened. This season, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Greg Roman and QB coach Geep Chryst seem to have sufficiently worked with Smith to help him become a more effective runner.
Smith has made some really impressive runs throughout the year, but it just seems more effective. He is three yards from surpassing his single-season career high in rushing yards (147 yards). Once we get into the offseason, I'm planning on breaking down all his scrambles just to see if there is anything in common with all of them. Alex Smith is not the fastest person in the world, but he displays athleticism that is a rare quality for a lot of quarterbacks in the NFL.
While the yards are great, one of the double-edged swords has been his ability to extend plays. We have seen Alex scramble left and right to try and make more plays in the passing game. One problem that sometimes comes up is that he ends up getting sacked before he can throw the ball away. It seems like he could improve a bit in throwing the ball away a bit more frequently.
Other than throwing the ball away, however, Smith has been an extremely solid scrambler in the NFL. He might not have the speed of a Vick or the crazy athleticism of Cam Newton, but he handles his business efficiently. I bring all this up in part due to a video linked earlier by HighFive. I've embedded it after the jump and strongly encourage you to mute your computer as the music used is fairly awful. The quality isn't great, but it features some solid runs, as well as a few of his big blocks.