So I guess in less than 24 hours I'm managing to just continue the obsession with Alex Smith. My apologies for those that are thoroughly disgusted with it, but the ton of some articles yesterday have me continuing to ponder this subject. In fact, it has me reliving that line from The Godfather 3. Alex Smith spoke to the press yesterday afternoon and I've embedded the video of his comments after the jump.
Earlier in the week Steve Young made some comments about Smith, specifically pointing to his need to take more risks. This post-practice interview would generally make you think Alex Smith realizes this. He's vowed to play more fearlessly and cut loose. While we haven't really heard this specific line of thought before, we've certainly heard a million and one reasons why things might finally work out for our young quarterback. But as is often asked, can a leopard truly change his spots? Can I got brought in as a relatively safe option just flip on the gunslinger switch outside of the times he's being threatened with benching?
I read some interesting comments from drummer I believe (and others have echoed similar thoughts) in which he stated that at least with the interceptions we saw from Smith we were at least seeing a guy opening things up a bit more and not just dinking and dunking his way down the field (drummer, feel free to correct me if it wasn't you or if I'm not posting your thoughts correctly). Frank Gore has a ton of yards from scrimmage in large part because for much of the season he's been a safety valve for Alex Smith in the flats and a few yards past the line of scrimmage. While Smith had some struggles deep, he was taking more chances and moving the team at different points in time. Whether Alex Smith is any kind of answer can really best be determined when he opens things up, not when he's dinking and dunking.
The question then grows to whether Mike Singletary really is getting too involved in the offensive game-planning. Maybe he's not setting the plays to be called or anything like that, but he's certainly involved in some aspects of it based on what he said in his press conference yesterday. Would it be in Mike Singletary's best interest to tell Mike Johnson to do what he needs to do and just stay out of it? Obviously Singletary needs to know what's going on and what to expect, but as far as scheming, maybe it's just time for Mike Johnson to have total control of the offense?
Of course, maybe none of this matters. I'm sure some folks will view this as a creation of new excuses for Alex Smith. At this point I don't really know what to view it as. The team has not given up on the season (well at least on the surface) and if that's the case, Alex Smith gives the team the best opportunity to win at this point. The objectives of this season could certainly change with further losses. But for now we'll get another week to see if this leopard really can change his spots.
Alex Smith Monday Media Session