Immediately after Alex Smith's Wednesday admission that his shoulder/forearm has been the root of his struggles, two of the more astute 49ers followers, AP's Greg Beacham and, of course, MM, said they suspected Smith's agent, Tom Condon, was pulling the strings. They were right. Condon has been talking to the ESPN gang about the damage done to Smith's forearm as he tried to come back from the shoulder injury.
Apparently, Smith overworked the forearm to such a degree that it developed tendonitis that never went away. It has caused the forearm to shrink and has been so painful that Smith reportedly has had to have a pain-killing injection in that area.
Why would Condon make this move? Because, like all of you, he probably watched his client being thrown to the wolves on national television Monday night. Everyone from Ron Jaworski to Steve Young was taking whacks at Smith and wondering -- albeit indirectly -- whether he had "it", whether he was quarterback-of-the-future material.
And, of course, Smith wasn't getting any defense from his head coach, who routinely said that Smith's health was the fine, the implication being that it was Smith's poor play, not his injured shoulder and enervated forearm that were causing problems. Condon probably felt that if the 49ers weren't going to stick up for his guy, he would have to.
-- Matt Barrows