Of course, this last chance was in 2010. Alex Smith has had more Niner lives than John Brodie and Steve DeBerg put together.
Might as well change the name of this blog to Alex Smith Forever. Some people just can’t get enough. Anyhow, in Alex Smith news, he participated in a limited practice again on Thursday, and seems to be on schedule to start Monday night vs the Bears. All he needs to do now is make it through a full-contact practice and he’s good to go. Apparently, though, the airwaves are abuzz over the performance of erstwhile #2 and heir apparent, Colin Kaepernick. I don’t listen to those airwaves, so I’m not down with what’s being put out there, but it ain’t too hard to guess what’s being said. Bench Alex! Start Cappy! Cappy throws a better deep ball! Better pocket awareness! better chance of winning with him!
Be that as it may, Harbaugh and Alex (among others) have managed to garner a 20-6-1 record together, if you include the playoffs. Not too shabby. Would Cappy help or hinder this going forward? For all the good Cappy did last week in emergency duty, and he did look good (11-17, 117 yds), he still looks baffled at times at the speed of the game. He first few drives were pretty shakey, but he started the 4th quarter with a nice 11 play drive, throwing for 61 yards, going 4 for 4, and overcoming a 3rd and 18 after getting sacked and fumbling. He finished off the drive with a nice 7 yard run to the right pylon on a gift call from the refs. He then ‘engineered’ a one-play 20 yard TD handoff to Frank Gore after the fumble on the kickoff. There were a few times where he was unsure whether to run or pass, and forced things.
Cappy fumbled 2 times, and luckily didn’t complete a pass to KW as time was running out. He did drive the team 63 yards for the game-tying FG, but I dodn’t like the play call on the last play. If Cappy completes the pass to KW, time runs out, and the Niners lose. Not sure if Cappy missed it on purpose, but it looked like Moss was supposed to drag all 3 DBs into the end zone while KW would catch and run into the end zone. It didn’t work that way, but luckily they didn’t connect and Akers did kick FG. In OT, Cappy got the Niners to the 23 only to see Akers miss a 41 yard FG, anf Zuerline made a 53 yarder only to have it called back for delay of game. He missed the 58 yarder, although it had the distance. To close out the game, Cappy took a sack on 3rd down in a spot that may have taken the Niners out of FG range. Although a long kick from there (~58 yards) would have been a big risk.
So, while Cappy had a good day, I think the QB controversy won’t be this year. If at all, it’ll be next year. The good news is Cappy held his own under game conditions. It’s good to know he at least looks like he can do the job should Smith go down again. In the words of George HW Bush, the prudent thing to do is stay the course, thousand points of light, no new taxes . . .