San Francisco's starting quarterback Alex Smith spoke to the media this week and had some encouraging things to say about his team. Smith spoke about his new weapons, some returning ones as well as a bit about 2012. After dissecting the chat posted on CSN Bay Area (embedded after the jump), I strung together some interesting quotes made by Smith in regard to the 49ers.
Smith opened up the conversation by talking about the competition at the wide receiver position. He seemed very enthused about the amount of talent and depth at a position group that once lacked both. "It's like waking up on Christmas, you got a lot of new toys out there, a lot of new presents -it's competitive...A lot of talented guys out there, it's exciting," Smith commented.
He drifted into talking about Michael Crabtree, and how people have seemed to have forgotten about him with all of the new additions. But the feedback from Smith regarding Crabtree seemed very positive.
"Especially for Michael [Crabtree] and me, we're a little further along. I feel good about body language and things like that and really trying to take it to the next level. The thing I'm excited for him, not only is it his first offseason, but he's healthy. And I think he's excited about that," said Smith.
With new receivers in the picture to alleviate some of the pressure from Crabtree, and considering his development and first real offseason, the receiver could blossom. He'll be getting a great deal of support from new addition Randy Moss, who will demand the attention of the No. 1 cornerbacks.
Smith spoke about Moss:
"The first day, definitely surreal. The physical skills I think everybody knows, I mean I don't need to talk about that. This guy's a true pro; he's played a lot of football, incredibly smart, incredibly smart out there. Seeing the defense, knowing what he's doing - and his tools to beat whatever he's facing."
After a follow up question from the media, Smith went on to discuss his rapidly developing chemistry with the future Hall of Famer. "He's easy to throw to, a guy that big that catches everything. He's easy to throw to, he makes you look good," Smith added. From the team captain's mouth, it's encouraging to know him and Moss have gotten off to a great start.
But giving credit where credit is due, Smith wanted to mention all the receivers. Speaking highly of their full-go mentality and on-the-field flow, the 49ers quarterback likes what he's seen from the receiving group thus far. "They all work hard and they all communicate well," said Smith. He likes the energy and willingness from everyone to improve the passing game.
Something that seemed to be on Smith's mind was the red zone and third down issues. "Red zone, same thing, I felt that last year we didn't do a great job on first and second down in the red zone and really got behind the chains in the red zone...just better execution is the main thing," said the veteran quarterback. The consistent theme with Smith seems to be centered around working hard and improving a lot of little things every day.
By no means has the 13-3 record he posted as a starter in 2011 make him complacent. Smith feels he still has to prove himself and is currently going through the self-improvement process to make it happen. "Last year is over and we've got to start all over. We have to re-prove everything. The great thing about the NFL year in and year out is that there are no givens. If anything, we've got a bigger target on us now," Smith factually declared.
The 49ers quarterback seems focused and more enthusiastic than ever about the potential success of this team - especially the passing game - in 2012. It will be interesting to measure Smith's predictions for the offense with their eventual performance this coming season. If half of what is coming out of 49ers OTA's is true, there should be some very visual improvement in San Francisco's passing attack in 2012.
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