Third string quarterback B.J. Daniels orchastrated a 13-play 90 yard game winning drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Chuck Jacobs as the San Francisco 49ers edged out the Kansas City Chiefs 15-13 in week two of the preseason. The game itself took a backseat to what became the Alex Smith show however, as the former number 1 overall pick played against his former team for the first team since his trade.
Before the game Smith was all smiles visiting with his former teammates and coaches. Jim Harbaugh characterized the feeling as similar to the one he gets when he faces his brother which illustrates the level of respect the coach has for his former quarterback.
In the game, Smith struggled against a very good, and very aggressive 49er defense. He was only 7-16 for 62 yards and was sacked three times. It’s interesting to note those three sacks because during the week leading up to the game, 49er linebacker Navarro Bowman said that he couldn’t wait to hit his former teammate. This is almost certainly just smack talk as there is absolutely no reason to feel anything other than love and respect for Smith.
To say that Smith had a disappointing career in San Francisco is an understatement. There is an absurd amount of pressure with being the number one overall pick and although Smith would tell you that he didn’t do enough in those early years, the organization didn’t make it any easier for him. In his first six years, Smith had six different offensive coordinators. Learning all these different offenses in consecutive seasons may have stunted his growth as a quarterback. The success of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay (who the 49ers passed on) increased tension between Smith and the 49er faithful as he was booed at home on more than one occasion.
It all changed with the hiring of Jim Harbaugh. What previous coaches wanted was the guy that was the number one pick in the draft. They wanted a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady. Harbaugh knew that Smith wasn’t any those guys but that certainly did not mean that he couldn’t be a good quarterback in the NFL. In 2011, the 49ers instantly became one of the biggest surprises in the NFL with their stout defense and great running attack. The niners finished that season going 13-3 but critics still referred to Smith as a “game manager.” Those same critics were silenced after Smith had an amazing game winning drive in a playoff game against the New Orleans Saints that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis.
Even with the success his teammates will always remember how graceful he was with his benching the following year. He did nothing to loose his job, but did he complain? did he demand to play? did he distance himself from the team? No. Like any good teammate, he did anything he could for the team and that is the lasting impression that will stay with the organization forever.
The Kansas City Chiefs got a very good quarterback who will not loose games for you . He is not top tier level quarterback but he is a good leader that has been through it all. His addition has only improved the Chiefs and I look for them to be in the playoffs this upcoming season.