49ers Blog and Q&A

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January 10, 2013
Reunited? Alex Smith's take on 'head coach' Greg Roman


What would Alex Smith think about a reunion with head-coach Greg Roman? That possibility grew a bit stronger today, which was new Jaguars general manager David Caldwell's first day on the job. Caldwell did two things: 1.) He fired Mike Mularkey and 2.) He made it as clear as humanly possible that Tim Tebow - you may have heard of him; played some ball down the road in Gainesville? - was not coming to Jacksonville.

"I can't imagine a scenario where he would be a Jacksonville Jaguar," Caldwell said at his introductory news conference.

So you're saying there's no chance?

Those two moves left opening for Roman, who is a former roommate of Caldwell's, to be the head coach and for Smith to perhaps join him in Jacksonville. The Jaguars went 2-14 this season and their quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, averaged a league-low 5.98 yards per pass attempt.

But would the two want to be reunited? After all, Roman is part of the coaching staff that passed over Smith this season in favor of Colin Kaepernick. While Roman has not been asked this question, Smith certainly didn't sound like he held a grudge.

I asked Smith about Roman's qualifications for being a head coach. Here's what he said:

"He's someone I have tremendous respect for in both his work ethic and as a coach. No question, I can see that about him. Everyone has respect for Greg and the way he carries himself."

On Roman's gifts as an offensive coach:

"I don't think it's just an offensive thing. I think it's the game of football. I think the thing that jumps out at me is his understanding of football, offensively and defensively because he's coached on both sides. He has such great knowledge of the game; I know I've learned a tremendous amount in the last year and half, two years with him because he knows so much about the game of football.

"It's not like he's coached only skill-position players. I mean, he's coached the offensive line, he's coached quarterbacks. He's been on the other side of the ball. He's coached d-line, linebackers. He's been in the DB room. He's a guy that has a vast amount of knowledge, and it's not restricted to one area. A lot of offensive minds, they're either o-line guys or they're quarterback guys. So that said, he has a ton of knowledge. I think everybody enjoys working for him and respect how hard he works."

Of course, I had to ask Smith if he could see himself joining Roman in another NFL city.

"That's for down the line," he said. "Right now we're in the middle of it. I'm not going to get into the ifs and whats. Right now I'm just focused on beating Green Bay."

- 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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