49ers Blog and Q&A

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September 12, 2012
Smart Alex: Schwartz lauds 49ers QB's intelligence

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Just a "game manager"? For the second straight week, an upcoming 49ers opponent has praised Alex Smith for the very thing for which he was derided last year - his care of the football. Asked about the fact that the 49ers haven't committed a turnover in six straight regular season games, Detroit head coach Jim Schwartz cited Smith's smarts.

"Gotta have a really smart quarterback to do it, and Alex Smith is a smart quarterback," Schwartz said.

Added Schwartz: "Turnovers are a big, big part of the NFL. Last week, we were minus-three in turnovers and we came out with a win. That's incredibly hard to do. You can't make a living being minus in the turnover category. I don't think it's any coincidence that the 49ers went 13-3 last year and also led the NFL in turnover margin. I mean, those two go hand in hand." (Schwartz's quarterback, Matthew Stafford, threw three interceptions in Detroit's win over the Rams Sunday).

A week ago, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers cited Smith's five interceptions from last year, and he said that the term "game manager" was "condescending" toward Smith.

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For the record, Schwartz was just as resistant to "handshake" questions as Jim Harbaugh has been. "We've moved on," he said. "It was last year, and I think I've commented enough."

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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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