49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

August 26, 2008
Alex Smith: I trust what Nolan's telling me ...

Alex Smith didn't read yesterday's Peter King item in which Mike Nolan seemed to imply that J.T. O'Sullivan's preseason has been better than two and half regular seasons of work by Smith. But he heard about it. And he and Nolan discussed it. And he's not angry. And he and agent Tom Condon aren't fashioning an escape plan. (That'll come after the season...)

"Coach Nolan and I are beyond that," Smith said when asked about the comments. "I think we've been through enough with the media and different things. But I trust in what he's telling me, so ..."

Smith had a long conversation with Tim Kawakami and me. Here are some of the exerpts:.

About whether his shoulder has played a role in his accuracy issues this offseason:

AS: I think if there's anything, it's just getting back the length of throws. I think when you're talking about really letting it go downfield, I think there are some lasting effects as far as not having the strength that I used to maybe.

Does it come into your mind before the throw?

AS: It's not as easy as it was. It used to be pretty effortless to get the ball downfield. I think the last little thing is just building that back up

Are you confident the long ball eventually will return?

AS: Absolutely. It's the throwing progression as far as coming back.

Was that discussed when you had the surgery?

AS: Never talked about it. But ... It will be something I have to continue to work on. Even working on in the offseason, throwing some long balls and different things.

What about the short and intermediate throws?

AS: I don't feel a difference, at all. It's sort of a minute game. But the other thing, that's where I notice a difference.

Is the accuracy ever shoulder-related?

AS: There's a lot that goes into accuracy, I think, and a lot of it having to do with making sure you know you're going with the football. I think there are times when I do feel good that I know where I'm going with the ball and the ball comes out accurately. I think that happens to every quarterback. When you do second guess and things, like that. That's when the ball tends to not go where you want it to.

Would an 'Angry Alex' be a more effective Alex?

AS: I think I get angry just as much as the next person. I think I really thought about it and (concluded) what good is it going to do? You know, it's not going to do anything for me and it's not going to do anything for this team.

At some point do you have to think, 'This coaching staff may not want me to be the qaurterback?'

AS: Yeah, that's definitely a possibility. But I'm not thinking about that right now. When the time comes, in the offseason or something like that, we'll deal with it. But right now, I'm taking on this new role, and it is what it is.


Still no sign of Keith Lewis and Josh Morgan. I think they're being quarantined so they don't infect the rest of the squad. You've seen the movie "Outbreak," right?

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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