49ers Blog and Q&A

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

February 6, 2014
Alex Smith at Pebble Beach. But where's his caddy?


Jim Harbaugh will not be carrying Alex Smith's bags in the rain this weekend. Two years ago, the quarterback caddied for his head coach at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am with Harbaugh saying he would reciprocate for Smith at a future event.

Smith today, however, confirmed on KNBR radio that a couple of buddies, not Harbaugh, would perform caddie duties for him at the famous course. Reminded of Harbaugh's pledge, Smith said, "There was some talk of something like that, that's right."

Smith's and Harbaugh's golf partnership two years ago was interpreted as a sign of a tight bond between the two. Smith was a pending free agent at the time, but Harbaugh said at the event that the 49ers decision makers were "in lockstep" that "Alex Smith is our guy." A month later, however, Harbaugh was in North Carolina checking out another free agent quarterback, Peyton Manning. And several months after that, Harbaugh decided that Colin Kaepernick, not Smith, was the 49ers' "guy" for the future.

Smith was traded to the Chiefs in a deal that was agreed upon last February.

Smith today was his usual gracious self. Later in the interview, he was asked to compare his current coach, Andy Reid, with Harbaugh and said that they were both great coaches. He also took part in a 49ers- vs.-San Francisco Giants charity event at Pebble Beach earlier this week. Was that weird, host Brian Murphy asked?

"You know, when (Harris Barton) first asked me, it was, 'of course,'" he said. "It's a great deal, a great event, it raises a bunch of money for local charities. Hey, you've got to play five holes at Pebble. Twist my arm, you know? Then we got up there and we were getting announced, ... and it's like, that's a little different I guess. I wonder what the people back in K.C. are going to think. But it was fine though. It's a great event for charity. I was happy to fill in. A little unexpected."

Other items from Smith:

* In discussing the Super bowl champion Seahawks, Murphy asked whether the 49ers' nemeses pump noise into their stadium.

"Sometimes I wonder," Smith said. "I'd be lying if I didn't say sometimes you're wondering. When the guy's a foot from you - you're screaming - can't hear you. And it's outdoors. You don't expect it. Like I said, you combine that environment with that defense - it's tough."

* Like Kaepernick last week, Smith also noted that the 49ers had an excellent call against the Ravens at the end of the 2013 Super Bowl.

"We did have a call on there as the clock was running down and it's close," he said. "It could have been a delay of game, which you don't want to take there inside the 10 (yard line) with the game on the line. We ended up taking a timeout. That's tough to say. If we had gotten it off, who knows what would have happened. They (the Ravens) rolled the dice down there. They were bringing the house and the ball's got to come out quick in that case. Split-second precision that it takes to execute, and it was off just a touch on some of that stuff. It's tough."

Editor's note. If the 49ers had not called a time out, it definitely would have been a delay-of-game penalty. The officials threw flags on the play because the play clock had expired. Those flags were picked up when it was determined that Harbaugh had called time out.

* Smith will be paired with actor Lucas Black, who played a quarterback in the film version of Friday Night Lights. Editor's note: Black also stars in the underrated All the Pretty Horses, which is adapted from perhaps the best book written in the last quarter century.

-- 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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