Whither the Offense? (or, As the Quarterback Turns . . . )

You’d think that after the incredible turnaround by the 49ers this last season, there would be a lot more general happiness and excitement for the upcoming season. Seeing as the team turned around its fortunes as a perennial doormat to a bona fide Super Bowl contender in one short year. All the more spectacular seeing as there was precious little training camp, an abbreviated free agent period, and a quick preseason to implement the new offense and incorprate new systems and players. What was seen as a debacle in not wading into the free agent frenzy instead yielded gold at just about every turn.

So, here we are at the cusp of the new season, and once again, there is a general mistrust of the guy who everyone was completely blown away by in the divisional playoff game. One Alex Smith. After years of improvement, injuries, inept play-calling, yoyoing in and out of the line up, and fan fury, Alex Smith put together a season that was almost perfect. 22 TDs to 5 picks, and the amazing 2 TDs in the last 2:20 of the New Orleans game to rocket the team into the NFC Championship game. One in which he outdueled Eli Manning in a defensive battle that was decided by the 49ers special teams gaffes (yes, KW goes down in history in the same breath as PR. Players whose names shall not pass my lips. PR still hurts more for whatever reason). The front office didn’t do much to assuage these feelings by low-balling Alex, and basically giving him a make-good contract that the Niners can bail on after this season.

Smith, for his part, blows this off as just another step on his way to greatness (or even goodness?) as the once and future QB of the team. Smith and the Niners seem inexorably intertwined as partners who can’t seem to quit each other. Jim Harbaugh gets about 99% of the credit for what went down last year. Good, bad, or indifferent, Harbaugh does deserve credit for being the right coach for Alex Smith. This after 5 Mr. Wrongs in Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jimmy-Hat Raye, Mike Hostler, and Mike Martz. The Teflon Mike/Aluminum Mike strategy of ‘hanging around’ til the 4th quarter, and trying to pull out wins then was grossly inadequate as the team struggled through season after season of Gore left, Gore right, Gore up the middle.  All that strategy allowed was a lot of close losses. Harbaugh, for all his offensive wizardry with QBs pretty much ran the same kind of offense, albeit one that actually had balance and flow. Yes, there were struggles with 3rd down conversions, and yes, there were consistency issues, but there were also six 4th quarter comebacks for wins. As the season went on, the team improved, and the offense had longer stretches of god rather than bad.

So, here we sit, on the edge of the unknown. Was last year an abberation? For the team as well as Alex Smith? Is this team  a flash in the pan, as Seattle and AZ proved to be with their recent Super Bowl visits followed by loud hard crashes into the dregs of the NFL? In a word, no. I suppose it could happen, but this team has a monster defense that stands to be a little better than last year (their TO ratio will be nigh impossible to match, though). The special teams unit should be fine with the swap-out of Costanzo for Rock Cartwright. New CB Perrish Cox can spell Ted Ginn for KRs. The offense has added some needed WR help in the enigma that is Randy Moss, and the recent Super Bowl hero, Super Mario Manningham. If anything, this should hopefully get Mr. Krabs to actually participate in a preseason to see if he can figure out what a hot-read is. The team is again built for a deep playoff run. The big question being, can this offense gain more consistency? Can they sustain drives better than they have? Is the recent low output of the WRs due to Alex Smith, or despite Alex Smith?

These questions, and more, will be answered, As The Quarterback Turns . . .


About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers and SF Giants fan
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27 Responses to Whither the Offense? (or, As the Quarterback Turns . . . )

  1. irishman5574 says:

    Yeah Chuck, it is rarely ever about anything else except Alex. He has been the head line for the last 7 years. That is why with Moss, Manningham, and what ever other WR they draft, Smith will be the focus of can he get them the ball? When really with those two passes in the NO game there should be no doubt. But because it was only one year there are still some ??? marks about Smiths abilities. Sad but true

  2. irishman5574 says:

    Just received an email for the Draft Party Tickets at the Santa Clare Convention Center. $5 to get in. not bad. attached to the Email was the Live Gold Rush Auditions final Round April 6. Dennis are you a judge there and that is why you have not been around? Or are Horses still your top priority?

  3. unca_chuck says:

    The funny thing is, people have pointed out ad nauseum that Alex has been the ‘coach killer’ his whole career. Now that he gets GOOD coaching, it’s their doing and not his. The weird thing is that the front office seemed to buy into this as well. I’ve said it before, and I still feel that they shouldn’t have low-balled him like they did. But in the end it doesn’t matter. It’s again up to him to have a strong year and improve on his recent success. I’m sure Alex would have it no other way. He seems fa8irly adept at deflecting criticism and not worrying about fan sentiments.

  4. phil fan says:

    Per Barrows the new stadium is on schedule for games in 2014. That’s nice…couple more good seasons that place will be packed at a premium

    Smith will be the QB and on his way to several years more playing before working/coaching the Offense.

  5. unca_chuck says:

    The only pisser here is ticket prices likely double. I haven’t taken my whole family to a game since 2000.

  6. philippinefan says:

    That’s tough and would seem to hurt the fan base a lot but attendance still holds up? I don’t get it. But taking a family of four, say, that rules a lot of families out. Not good. Buncha a single guys I guess, huh?

  7. unca_chuck says:

    Well, there are a lot of rich folks in the bay area these days, so i don’t see a problem there, but it’ll likely just be me and my son when we go. We’ll see . . .

  8. Nipper says:

    In the end it always comes down to blocking and tackling. Reputations are so fleeting. Past deeds are but a memory.

  9. Nipper says:

    Remember when you watch the games at home, the Fridge is never far away.

  10. irishman5574 says:

    Per my experience, a family of 4 will spend about $700 just on a game. that does not include gas, and other outside costs.

    • philippinefan says:

      Damn. That’s. A. Bunch. Football, the rich man’s game. Who’d of thunk?

      Being retired over here that’s a big chunk of the monthly budget. Guess I’ll have to stick to watching from a distance on Chuck’s, video streaming and audio from NFL.com.

      Still the best entertainment going tho

  11. unca_chuck says:

    Yeah. When I took the whole gang of 5 to a Giants game for my 50th b-day last year, the total was around $550.00. Good seats, a beer or 3, and a few dogs. I’m sure a football game would be in the $800.00 neighborhood.

    Shit ain’t cheap anymore.

    • philippinefan says:

      Dang I kinda lost track being out of the country for four years and not going to any games in awhile.

      Over here people say “you make so much money in the US (Europe, etc)”. I always say “But everything is very expensive”. Perfect example = going to a game.

      • Nipper says:

        Go to a park instead. Green grass is cheaper.

      • philippinefan says:

        Good advice Nip. Nothing like mellow nature huh? Then if I want info on 9ers, NFL or anything else it’s all right here.

        With Reggie Smith going to Panthers we got Larry Grant left from the ’08 draft, that’s it. 2008 draft, bottom of the barrel about the time old Scottie was hitting the bottom of the bottle.

  12. philippinefan says:

    Think things are expensive for us? Consider Deuce Lutui and his hamburger bill: If as Chuck believes he’s gonna weigh 420 lbs when Carroll starts him on the line then that’s gotta be a thousand bucks a month right?

  13. irishman5574 says:

    anyone listening to KNBR this morning, they are playing clips of the Saints locker room before the Niner game. The coach clearly states take out Crabtrees LCS!! wow

  14. twinfan1 says:

    I tried to post about the tape on the new thread. Won’t post. Maybe I’m banned.

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