In an offseason in which the San Francisco 49ers drafted what many to believe as their quarterback of the future, there seems to be an awful lot of talk about Alex Smith. The team traded up
eleven spots some crazy amount of spots I can't even begin to count and made Colin Kaepernick the 34th 30-somethingth overall pick in the 2011 draft, and everyone exploded with all manner of emotions. Most folks were happy, whether it be for the fact that they like Kaepernick, or the fact that the team was finally moving on from the failed experiment that is Alex Smith.
Or ... is it a failed experiment? After the initial excitement about Kaepernick, everybody shifted their focus right back on Alex Smith. It wasn't about how quickly Kapernnick could pick up the offense or the adjustments he needs to make for the pro game, it was about Alex Smith getting his hands on a playbook. Obviously, the situation that Jim Harbaugh likely envisions is that Smith is the guy for a season while Kaepernick learns, but that doesn't even seem like the situation people are exploring right now. Everyone is literally fixated on Alex Smith.
Maybe they have high hopes that Smith will suddenly be what he was supposed to be, or maybe it's because they just want to be proven wrong. Maybe they get a sick, masochistic satisfaction from the self-inflicted punishment of having Alex Smith under center. Perhaps folks are just hoping that Smith has himself a pretty good year and the 49ers have him inked to a deal longer than one season and they can float some trade ideas around. I don't really know what it is, but I assure you I do have a point...
The point is that any team that drafts a rookie quarterback is at least discussing said rookie's transition and potential for starting in year one. Perhaps it's not ideal for us, but there's a stunning lack of Kaepernick and an awful lot of Alex Smith. Instead of talking about potential adjustments to Kaepernick's throwing motion or how he'll pick up the timing of Greg Roman's offense, we're discussing how Smith will do, being overly critical.
Smith is likely to sign a one-year deal with the 49ers, does he have a future beyond that? Is Kaepernick the choice because the 49ers liked him well enough, but they might prefer Smith to be the guy to blossom into a franchise quarterback? It's rare that you talk about a stopgap as much as we're talking about Alex Smith. All I know is, as 49ers fans ...
We can't quit you, Alex Smith.