For quarterback Alex Smith, Monday’s organized team activity at 49ers headquarters, the first of four this week, are as vital as any other snaps he’ll take this summer. “As a quarterback, these are a little more meaningful for us,” Smith said after the team’s morning practice. “We’re not hitting, but for us, we get a lot of looks out of it. You’re working on your reads, your timing, because things change a bit. We need to be efficient in our thought process, from the huddle to the end result, making sure everything is sound.”
For Smith personally, working off of last year’s playbook has only increased his play-making ability. “I feel absolutely confident about what we’re doing, protections, all of our route concepts, what I’m expected to do and I feel good about coming in and doing it,” Smith said. “I understand the system, where I can take shots, where I can gamble a little bit and when not to. I think you understand all of that. I’m just really comfortable right now.”
Equally comfortable with Smith’s progression are two of his primary targets, Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis and third-year wideout Josh Morgan. Ten of Davis’ NFL-record 13 touchdown receptions by a tight end were thrown from Smith last season, including three in the first half at Houston. Not bad, considering it was the first time they played football together in a regular-season NFL game since Nov, 12, 2007. The duo continued their growing connection down the home stretch of the season, as Smith found Davis in the end zone in six of the final seven games of the season. “He looks awesome,” Davis said praising his signal caller. “I’m excited about Alex. I’m with him 100 percent and I can’t wait to see him out there this year. He’s going to do a fantastic job.” Morgan also flourished with increased playing time, catching 22 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the final five games of the season. Morgan said he anticipates great things with a full offseason to work on timing with Smith and the rest of the 49ers offense.