The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Time is a healer for Alex Smith

S.F. QB is overcoming injury, conflict
By Matthew Barrows - The Sacramento Bee

SANTA CLARA – When we last left Alex Smith, the 49ers quarterback was a broken man. It was mid-December, and Smith was on his way to Alabama for a surgical procedure few NFL quarterbacks had undergone.His relationship with his head coach was in tatters. His throwing shoulder was mangled so badly that he heard clicking noises whenever he threw. He was weary, said he felt burned by the media and was stuck on the sideline as third-stringer Shaun Hill led the 49ers on a late-season revival.

Fast forward three and a half months, and, well, everything appears to be on the mend. The shoulder surgery was a success. Smith is out of the sling he wore for six weeks, and he is throwing 40-yard passes as he continues his rehabilitation.He also has spoken with coach Mike Nolan several times and says their 2007 feud, which revolved around Smith's shoulder injury, has been smoothed over. "That wasn't a reflection of either of us," Smith said Thursday in his first group interview since last season. "We're both better than that, and I think we're looking forward to obviously erasing that and proving not only to the people in this building, but everywhere, that we're going to move on and we're going to do better than that and we expect better." The coach-quarterback relationship deteriorated last year when a struggling Smith said he felt Nolan was minimizing his shoulder injury. Nolan, in turn, grew frustrated with Smith for taking his problems to the media. At the time, both men acknowledged a communication gap.

"We've talked and continue to talk about it, kind of understanding what happened last year, and (we're) moving on," Smith said. "I think we both understand each other, and there are definitely things I look back at and wish I could do over again. You learn from it and don't want to let it happen again." Smith said he hopes offensive problems that plagued the 49ers last season also are being fixed. He said he already has begun learning the new offense from coordinator Mike Martz – learning plays and working on drop-backs – and that he was excited to get on the field with new wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson. Just as Martz is Smith's fourth offensive coordinator in four seasons, Bruce is his fourth No. 1 receiver over the same span."It's more competition, like I said, and I think it's something that's going to help this team," Smith said. "The better players you have in here that push each other, we're all going to get better from it. You talk about a guy like Isaac Bruce coming in with that much experience, not only in the NFL, but with coach Martz's system. I'm excited to have a guy like that in here."

Another difference is that Smith will not begin the offseason atop the team's depth chart at quarterback. Coaches have promised an open competition at the spot, and that battle will begin in early May with the team's first minicamp. Smith said he expects to be close to 100 percent when it begins. He said his right shoulder is almost at full strength and that his weight-room routine is back to normal save for a few over-the-head exercises.

As for throwing a football, Smith said trainers are regulating how much he throws each day as if he were a major-league pitcher. He recently has been throwing three times a week, starting with light tosses and gradually building to 40-yard throws.

Smith said a typical session includes 60 to 80 passes.

"They're decent," Smith said of the zip. "I'm definitely not out here gunning these things. But to throw the ball 40 yards, you've got to be throwing it decent."

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