The Saints were Sacktastic against the 49ers

I honestly don’t blame the horrible quarterback play of Alex Smith for the decimation of the first 49ers preseason game against the Saints this past weekend. I blame that first-round-pick offensive line. I couldn’t help but hold my hand over my eyes as I watched the game. How many sacks? Six? Ouch.

Can we blame the NFL lockout for lack of practice these guys have together? I am not sure, but after the 24-3 preseason-opening loss to the Saints, it’s safe to say all eyes will be on San Francisco’s front five when it returns to Candlestick to host the Raiders on Saturday. Center Adam Snyder conceded the obvious after the line allowed six sacks against the Saints’ relentless blitzing: Such a performance could not be repeated. “There’s no excuse for it,” Snyder said. “We just have to get better. A lot of it just comes down to us executing our job.” Snyder said the game left a “bitter taste in his mouth,” and it probably left a few bruises on the back of quarterback Alex Smith, who took two vicious blindside hits during San Francisco’s first five offensive plays.  Continue reading “The Saints were Sacktastic against the 49ers” The Saints were Sacktasti…

Will Alex Smith have another chance at being a 49er?

Alex Smith was the No. 1 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL draft. With that selection came huge expectations that Smith has been unable to meet. Simply put, Smith has never measured up to his high draft status and has been a big disappointment.

Following the 2010 season, the odds for Smith returning to the 49ers were astronomical. The 49ers’ management didn’t want him back, Smith had no desire to continue playing in San Francisco and the fans despised him. Somehow, when team owner Jed York and GM Trent Baalke brought Jim Harbaugh aboard as the new head coach, the thick block of ice between the team and Smith melted.

Although Smith is not officially a 49er due to the lockout, it is a virtual certainty that when the labor impasse ends, he will be signed and start the year as Jim Harbaugh’s quarterback. Harbaugh has frequently praised Smith and even given him a copy of the playbook, even though he was unsigned.

Continue reading “Will Alex Smith have another chance at being a 49er?” Will Alex Smith have anot…

49ers draft 4 years ago

Two of the team’s best entertainers were selected on this day in 49ers draft history.

With the No. 11 overall pick, the 49ers strengthened their defense for the long haul by selecting Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis. Shortly after, the team traded back into the first round to take Central Michigan tackle Joe Staley with the No. 28 overall selection.

Since then, both players have become solid performers for the team and have been rewarded with contract extensions. Willis signed a five-year extension through 2016; Staley signed a six-year extension through 2017. And both have become leaders on their respective sides of the ball.

Willis, a four-time Pro Bowler, was recently named the NFL’s best linebacker by a panel of ESPN’s pro football writers. Furthermore, he’s the first 49ers player to make four consecutive Pro Bowls to start his career since Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott. In four seasons, Willis has an astounding 737 tackles, 15 sacks, eight forced fumbles and four interceptions.

With Willis in the fold, the 49ers traded back into the first round with the New England Patriots to acquire Staley’s services. The team packaged the No. 110 overall pick and a 2008 first-round pick to get New England’s No. 28 overall pick. Staley started all 16 games at right tackle as a rookie, becoming the first 49ers rookie offensive lineman to start every game in a season since Cas Banaszek started all 14 contests in 1968. Staley and Willis were two of three 2007 draft class members to start every game as rookies.

Staley has been a leader on the 49ers offensive line, starting all 50 of the games he’s appeared in. He’s also one of the team’s most engaging performers on and off the field as witnessed by the show he hosts on, aptly named, “The Joe Show.”