Footballoutsiders.com did an analysis or 'short sacks' vs 'long sacks'. 'short sacks' are those that occur in under 2.4 seconds, while long sacks are those that are 3+ seconds. Based on the data, only 2 of Smith's 12 sacks were short sacks - short sacks are usually the result of missed blocks or a blown hot read. That's 13th Best in the NFL - a bit above average. Kevin Kolb is demolishing short sack record books with a short sack % of 6.1%.
With long sacks, however, Alex Smith is 31st in the NFL with a long sack percentage of 4.7%. Mobile quarterbacks dominate the bottom of the long sack percentage list (Vick, Ponder, Cutler, Smith, Rodgers, Cam Newton, Dalton) - they get 'sacked' running for yardage. The players surrounding Smith are more athletic than he is (not saying smith is un-athletic), with the Exception of Dalton. Everyone knows that Dalton is holding the ball waaay too long this year, but let's look at smith.
Long sacks are either the result of (1) a mobile QB attempting to run, (2) great coverage, (3) a botched play-call, or (4) holding the ball to long. With the 49ers, we can screen out #1 and #3 -- Smith seems to pick up positive yardage when he runs and play-calls go in smoothly. #2 can also be eliminated -- Alex has no problem chucking the ball out of bounds if the coverage is perfect...he's always done that. So that leaves holding the ball too long.
But I think this is a good thing - it means we're not getting beat up front much, and our WRs aren't getting shut down (like last year). Alex is taking too long to process plays, but its something he's getting better at, and something I expect him to continually improve at as he gets more time in this system and with this group of receivers.
...Maybe he has too many weapons, which causes him to be undecided over the best choice? I don't know...