We wouldn’t expect anyone within the 49ers organization to say anything other than they’re very excited about QB Alex Smith this season. Still, the list that Smith keeps landing on in discussions around the NFL newsroom is of the make-or-break variety, one of the latest breakdowns courtesy of NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche.
Along with praise comes high expectations. Smith seems to have everything in place this season — something Solomon Wilcots sees as a deciding factor — putting the onus squarely his shoulders as a true X-factor.
As for those pieces being in place, 49ers owner Jed York told Sirius NFL Radio on Wednesday that the team was to blame for not previously surrounding Smith with better talent, something York believes has been remedied.
“[Smith] is here working his tail off every day, and when I look at Alex and some of the things maybe we as an organization didn’t do as well as we could have from the beginning,” York told The Sirius Blitz. ”We kind of threw him out there early as a rookie. He didn’t have a great team to work with. I think now we have addressed some of the holes by addressing the offensive line, by putting playmakers around him. Vernon [Davis] stepped up very, very big for last year, leading the league in touchdown receptions. Michael Crabtree is coming on, Josh Morgan, go out and get Teddy Ginn, who can stretch the field for you. Obviously Frank Gore is one of the best running backs in the league. I think that helps Alex become a much better player.”
With no hint of any quarterback competition, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, it is indeed all on Smith.