Football is the ultimate team game. Three different groups that come together as one and form the nastiest, strongest, smartest team. There’s little time for individual problems or anything that takes away from the betterment of the team.
Well the San Francisco 49ers may have stumbled across that problem. As the 49ers offense takes the field tonight, the man who was once it’s leader will be watching the biggest game of his life from the sideline.
See the story of Alex Smith is a complex one to the say the least. The franchise’s number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Smith would have a rocky start to his career. Never throwing for more than 2,500 passing yards or completing over 61% of his passes.
Though struggling as a player, the 49ers organization may have been just as much to blame as Smith. Five offense coordinators in his first five years and three different head coaches, stability didn’t seem to be apart of the organizations focus.
In 2011 the 49ers would hire Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh to the same position in San Francisco. Under Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback, Alex Smith would have his best season as a pro (3,114 passing yds, 17 TD,5 INT & 61.3% Comp Pct) and the 49ers as a team would have the most success they had in a season since 1997.
For many people beginning this NFL season the 49ers were front runners to represent the NFC in this years Super Bowl. Alex Smith through nine games had been doing a great job of insuring San Francisco’s projected success. With the best passer rating at the time and a completion percentage of 70. What could stop Alex Smith?
How about a concussion in a week ten tie against the St. Louis Rams. Where Colin Kaepernick came in the game in back up duty. A week later Kaepernick would start again and play so well that he was given the keys to the team.
For the last two months Alex Smith has put the team first. He hasn’t complained excessively to the media about the situation. He hasn’t tried to divide the team to any of our knowledge. He has even been seen as being somewhat of a mentor and helper to the second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
So if the confetti falls later on tonight and it happens to be crimson and gold. Alex Smith will probably have a mixed set of emotions. But when free agency starts the 49ers shouldn’t, they should release Smith and let him get the chance to win a Super Bowl too. No matter how good it feels to be apart of the team, there’s something special about being the man too.