This is obviously not on the level of ‘Favre Watch,’ but one of the other rites of training camp is the popular refrain, “This is the year Alex Smith puts it all together.”
We’re on the sixth year of the “Alex Smith Experience,” but this is going to be the year that he puts it all together. And yeah, we at NFL.com have been a little guilty of this, too, believing that Smith is going to thrive under second-year offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye.
A quick search of our blogs shows that there have been more words written on Smith during this offseason than he has career passing yards.
So there has to be some disappointment when Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports that Smith is having just a “so-so” training camp. But Maiocco is quick to point out that we are just a week into camp, and there is no reason to panic.
“I don’t think Smith’s accuracy is where it needs to be on the short throws,” Maiocco wrote. “On the other hand, his deep passes have been pretty good. Right now, I’d say he has been a lot more impressive than he’s ever been from whistle to snap. That is, he’s doing all the things you’d want your quarterback to do in the huddle, pre-snap, etc.
“But he has not been particularly sharp with the ball in his hand. But, again, it’s early. I’ll stand by the numerous statements I’ve made that I’d expect him to improve, production-wise, this season over the 10 1/2 games he played last season.”
Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me five times?
I was hoping for more encouraging news heading into the first preseason game. However, the luxury of holding your fantasy draft in September is that you can wait until most of the questions have been answered.
So call me guardedly optimistic right now. I still like Michael Crabtree as a potential Top 15 guy, but would not touch Smith at this point.
— Adam Rank