Consider this post inspired by a couple of links. First off, howtheyscored put up a great FanShot that linked to the Pro Football Reference website of a Rex Grossman who was a kicker in the late 1940s. The timing on that worked out well because I finally got a chance to check out the Scouts Inc. preseason rankings of quarterback situations around the league. It's Insider protected, but they had the following to say about the 49ers:
Alex Smith seemed to be coming into his own in 2006 but took massive steps backward last season. His offense was very little help, and he suffered a shoulder injury from which he returned too early. He simply played poorly, which allowed opposing defenses to key heavily on the run. Smith could come back very strong this season with Martz as San Francisco's new offensive coordinator....While Smith has been a poor deep passer, that deficiency might not cripple him in this new offense, which is predicated on timing, touch and trusting the receivers. Smith is very bright and is a decent decision-maker who should only improve with his assessment of where to go with the ball. He also is athletic enough to make plays on the move and create when the play breaks down....
Smith still is only 24 years old, and he does have some pedigree as the first overall selection in the 2005 draft. It is tough to overlook last year's dismal 48.7 completion percentage. He also holds the ball far too long, thinks instead of reacts and looks frenetic in the pocket. His arm strength wasn't great to begin with, and now he is coming off shoulder surgery.
Shaun Hill was a pleasant surprise in 2007. He didn't rush, took what was given to him and seized his opportunity. He lacks special qualities but has the look of a competent backup who can hold down the fort for short stretches...
What teams are ranked behind the 49ers fine stable of young guns? The Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. Just for balance, the three teams ranked ahead of the 49ers are the Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.
So really, what quarterback situation would you most want to have out of all of those? We know enough about the 49ers situation so we'll just move on to the 6 teams around the 49ers (3 above and 3 below):
26. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, Chris Redman, Joey Harrington - It sounds Redman will start until Ryan is "ready" and then the keys will be turned over to the BC star. I'd imagine he should become fast friends with Michael Turner now.
27. New York Jets: Chad Pennington, Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge - It sounds like Pennington and Clemens will be duking it out for the starting job. From what I recall, Jts fans wanted Clemens starting and after getting a crack when Pennington got hurt (I think), he was a little less than impressive.
28. Minnesota Vikings: Tarvaris Jackson, Gus Frerotte, John David Booty - Considering the Vikings defense and Adrian Peterson, Jackson just needs to avoid stupid mistakes. If he can calmly manage the game and not try to do to much they'll be fine. I plan on doing a little more research into Jackson as I just don't know what to think of him long term.
30. Chicago Bears: Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Caleb Hanie - Words cannot describe the godawfulness of this situation. I'd back up a dump truck filled with cash in front of Brett Favre's home.
31. Miami Dolphins: Josh McCown, John Beck, Chad Henne - Beck went from QB of the future to a rather troublesome future the second Bill Parcells came on board. I'd imagine the front office would like to see Henne step up, but hopefully Dolphins fans are not holding their breath.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Brodie Coryle, Damon Huard, Tyler Thigpen - Croyle was supposed to be the man going forward, only somebody forgot to tell Huard, who was halfway decent at times. I'd imagine the Chiefs will throw Croyle out there this season and pray for something good to happen.
Of all those situations (along with San Francisco's), I might almost prefer Atlanta's. They've got their QB of the future, although I still wonder how good Ryan will be. I'll take his 4,500 yards as a senior, but those 19 interceptions don't help. The 49ers situation doesn't look quite as godawful in the light of what's around them though.