Is 49ers’ Smith looking for a way out?

By Mike Young  |   Thursday, November 15, 2007  |  Comments( 17 )

San Francisco 49ers
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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith surprisingly sat out Wednesday's practice with lingering soreness in his right shoulder and forearm. This comes on the heels of head coach Mike Nolan going out of his way to tell reporters his signal-caller was healthy.

"He's fine," Nolan said of Smith. "It's the same player; the shoulder and the quarterback are the same person. He's not playing well. I wouldn't put it on the shoulder. Accuracy doesn't just come from the shoulder. It comes from the technical aspects of your game."

Nolan also failed to back Smith as his quarterback of the future, saying he would "let the season dictate that at the very end."

Smith admitted Wednesday he has never been completely healthy after being pancaked on Sept. 30, the first time San Francisco played Seattle.

"I thought I could play through it and help the team get back on track," Smith said. "Definitely, Monday night I did not feel good throwing."

Smith went on to say he was frustrated with the team reporting him to be 100 percent, comments that for the first time shed light on the former No. 1 pick's unhappiness with the coaching staff.

What should the fans make of this back and forth in the press from the 49ers' leader on the field and leader on the sideline? Has Smith been keeping his pain from the staff? Did Nolan and his coaches really not know Smith was still hurt? Is Smith's discomfort really bad enough to explain his putrid play?

This is getting interesting, much more entertaining than the games have been this season for the 2-7 Niners.

Depending on how you look at it, this is either the best time or the worst for Smith to come out and say his shoulder is still bothering him. On one hand, it gives Nolan the perfect excuse to sit Smith and give third-string quarterback Shaun Hill his first shot at running the Niners' offense. On the other, the injury gives Smith an excuse for his QB rating of 57.2 and his completion percentage of 48.7.

Reading between the lines, it looks as if Smith has had enough of being battered and beaten this year and he wants out, at least for the short term.

"I have to sit down with the coaches and doctors and see what's best," he said.

While Smith might tough it out against 1-8 St. Louis this weekend, don't be surprised if Nolan decides to sit the banged-up third-year man and gives Hill a chance.
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CommentsComments: 17  |  Sign Up  View all comments
08:35 AM
What a warrior! Give me a break, this guy is looking for an escape hatch. What is with all these qb injuries?? Can't anyone tough...
10:40 AM
It's so obvious that smith is a bust and is making excuses so he can have another off season filled with hope! With the money,...
11:27 AM
Not only does Alex Smith suck, he's a pussy also!!! I will not watch another game or buy any 9ers merchandise until Smith and...
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