SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 20: Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park on August 20, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
49ers quarterback Alex Smith (as if you'd confuse him with former Bucs TE Alex Smith) spoke with the media in the locker room and focused in on his work with wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Thanks to Grant Cohn for the transcript.
As we've seen several times from offensive players, there's a different dynamic at this point with an offensive-minded head coach. Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary brought certain positives to the table, but mostly that related to the defensive side of the ball. For the first time since Steve Mariucci (we're purposely choosing to overlook the Dennis Erickson era), the 49ers have a coach who is not only offensive-minded, but also quarterback-focused.
Q: Has Jim Harbaugh been everything that you thought he would be?
ALEX SMITH: You know, meeting with him this offseason, what I was really excited about was to get coached like that, to get coached hands on. He knew what he was talking about, the things he was talking about, how he was talking about the quarterback position and the offense, and no question, you guys can see it out there, we sure do every day. The detail, the coaching on every level, not just in the film room but on the field. It never ends. And that's what I wanted. So, no question. It's intense at times and it can be a lot but that's what you want as a player.
I have no idea if this will be a difference-maker for Alex Smith, although I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed (that seems to be a growing theme for me). This Saturday is considered by some to be a "dress-rehearsal" for week one and the team seems to be treating it like that. The Houston Texans have done some solid work improving their team, particularly the addition of Johnathan Joseph, which will hopefully create the optimal challenge for the 49ers and Alex Smith in particular at this point in the preseason. Joseph has missed the first two preseason games but is back on the practice field and will hopefully play on Saturday.
It's hard to say what we each would consider a "solid performace" this Saturday. However, in general terms, would a solid performance by #11 against the Texans first team defense give you some optimism heading into the start of the regular season?
I realize some folks have no interest in anything to do with Alex Smith ever again. I get that. However, he's going to be the starting quarterback on September 11 against Seattle. It's just how it's going to be. Are people open to getting sucked back in, even with the threat of another stomach punch not too far off?