The tale of Alex Smith is like a Peanuts cartoon. I've used this analogy before, but I think it's too good not to revisit from time to time. Smith is like the Great Pumpkin in the Halloween episode. The believers are like Linus, patiently - and faithfully - waiting for the Great Pumpkin to finally make a triumphant arrival. The doubters are like Sally, who start to wonder what they're doing in that damn pumpkin patch all night while all the other kids are having fun. The subtext, of course, is religion: Are you a believer or a skeptic?
Count tight end Vernon Davis as a Linus. Yesterday on KNBR radio, Davis preached faith. "I believe he will (succeed) because he's a hard worker, he's tough mentally and physically," Davis said of Smith. "And I say that because I've been here with Alex since Day 1. I know he can do it, he just has to come around. And I think this is going to be the year for him." (Notice how no one is saying "if" Smith returns in 2011. It's become a foregone conclusion.)
One reason for optimism, Davis said, is that Smith and the rest of the offensive players finally have an offensive-minded coach guiding them. Davis, in fact, used a word once associated with Bill Walsh to describe Jim Harbaugh. "I look at him as a genius," Davis told host Tom Tolbert. "Since I've been with the 49ers, I've never had an offensive head coach. So this is going to be great, especially for the offense."
Davis has been spanning the globe since the season ended. He's been to Africa as part of the Pros for Africa tour. Davis and younger brother Vontae, a cornerback for the Dolphins, traveled to two of the continent's most troubled countries, Uganda and Rwanda. Davis has recently been in his native Washington, D.C. but will be back in the Bay Area today to announce the winner of his art scholarship at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco. I wrote about the topic last year.
Questions about Smith, Davis, Michael Crabtree or anything 49ers? Hit me on Twitter - handle @mattbarrows - and I will turn it into a blog. Top four questions not only get answered, the questioner will receiver a Bee T-shirt*.
* Bee T-shirts do not exist and questioners will not be rewarded with one.
-- Matt Barrows