Tag Archive: Alex Smith


By:  Raymond “Big Play” Miller

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Before the season started I saw these two match ups on the NFL Week 3 schedule and said to myself that this could be called “Revenge of the Fallen” with Andy Reid going back to Philly and Ed Reed going back to Baltimore, so here’s the advantages I see in these match ups and who will win and why:

Kansas City @ PHILADELPHIA (-3 51)

 

Chiefs advantage: a balanced ball control attack with a QB in Smith that doesn’t turn the ball over.  Smith will make the checkdowns to get Charles out in space and the fact that they want to win this game badly for Reid.

andy

 

Eagles advantage: tempo, TEMpo, and more TEMPO!  The Eagles can run a multitude of plays which won’t allow the Chiefs to sub in and out.  Facing Shady McCoy and DJax (his play this year lets us know he didn’t give a damn last year) that won’t be an easy task for the Chiefs.

shady

 

Who will win and why: Chiefs +3 and the over, in two games the Eagles haven’t stopped anyone and J. Charles and D. Bowe will be the best skill players at their respective positions that the Eagles have faced thus far. The fact McNabb’s number is being retired will just make it an awful night for the fans of Philly. Kansas City wins 31-27

 

Houston (-2 1/2) @ Baltimore

 

Texans advantage: The passing game!  Schaub already had Johnson and Daniels, but with the sudden emergence of Hopkins to go along with Foster on check downs;  it could be a long day for Baltimore’s secondary.

Texan

 

Ravens advantage: Physicality!  The Texans are a team that doesn’t like to play physical offensively.  Flacco should be able to stretch the field with Smith for some huge gains, and the combo of Dumervil and T-Sizzle (Ball So Hard University) can wreck any teams game plan.

Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers AFC Championship

Who will win and why: Texans -2.5 and the over.  Normally, I would take the Ravens, but I just don’t think they can score right now to keep up with the Texans.  Plus J.J. Watt!!!!! is due for a big game. Texans 31-17

Raymond "Big Play" Miller @bprunsportsmenm

Raymond “Big Play” Miller
@bprunsportsmenm

 

Slow Down With the Kaepernicking

By: Jason “Big J” Allen Don’t forget to follow me @UnsportsmenBigJ

Now that the Super Bowl is in the books, I want to take the time to take on Kaepernick or Kaepernicking.  Now I’m a die hard 49er fan, and I have suffered for so long. so count me in as excited about the movement the last two years.  I earlier wrote an article about Alex Smith being the “New Hope” to our franchise with the direction of Jim Harbaugh, his Yoda.  Now maybe I was overzealous and Alex Smith was more Obi-Wan and Kaepernick is more Anakin.  Regardless of the Star Wars references watching Kaepernick has gotten everyone in a Frenzy, but I’m here to say SLOW DOWN! 49ers and NFL Nation.

First thing first, most coaches will tell you they need at least 16 games of tape on you.  Why?  Just ask Cam Newton, they need this to break down what you do or don’t do well.  We hear about sophomore slumps and a lot has to do with teams being better prepared from watching tape, and extending the playbooks on offense.  I still expect Kaep to be amazing and dynamic next year, but he will have THOSE games (Rams, Seahawks, first half of the Super Bowl) that remind you of his youth.

Secondly, Kaepernick has had a lot of success ala RG III with running his college offense.  Now we are still not sure if the Pistol/Read option is here to stay yet.  Or will it WildCat itself out of the league.  Also what happens when age kicks in?  Will it still be effective?  You watched in the Super Bowl a lot of the Ravens edge rushers still tee’ed off on Kaepernick after he handed the ball off on the read option (which is legal, because how do you know if he has the ball or not, and the QB is considered a runner at that point).  What happens when a player decides to go DIRTY! And take a couple of cheap shots at the Kid Kaep.

Third, Pump your brakes a moment, how much is Harbaugh and how much is Kaepernick?  We have a short memory as a football and sports family, but Harbaugh was the same guy that resurrected Alex Smith career.  Before Alex Sith, I mean Smith went down he was third in QBR, and the conservative offense allowed Smith to throw 18 for 19 in a game, and lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship last year.  If Harbaugh can do that with the average ceiling of Smith potential, imagine Harbaugh’s eye twinkle when he sees the limitless ability of Kaepernick.  With that being said can Harbaugh’s control of the offense ever get to the point of stifling Kaepernick’s growth? Or could they blossom ala Brady and Belichick.

Fourth are things I noticed, and I know he is young and can correct or get better but just observations.  First most running QBs rather have pressure from the outside instead of in the middle.  Well the biggest plays of the Super Bowl the Ravens sent pressure from the outside (even if one time Ed Reed was extremely offsides, but I’m not bitter…  Really I AM NOT!).  They ran that three times that game and every time, Kaepernick threw an errant pass off his back foot (Eli Manning style without the Manning results).  Another observation is the way Kaepernick holds the ball when he scrambles.  When he is in run mode he tucks it away, but when he scrambles he holds the ball like a loaf of bread away from his body.  Ask Kurt Warner how well that stops fumbles.  Eventually the memo will be to swipe at the ball behind the line of scrimmage.  Now if you can get a QB thinking about ball security, he will second guess his pocket or feel imagined pressure.

Lastly this is minor but should be accounted for, the growing EGO of a young player.  The week before the Super Bowl his agent went to patent Kaepernicking (the bicep kiss) for promotion and etc.  Now I don’t know if this was a Kaepernick thing or a agent business thing, but Kaepernick still has to sign off on that.  With an inflated ego and NOT being the leader of a team (Gore, Davis, Willis, and Justin Smith are leaders) it may ruffle some feathers.  Now we have had no instance, again NO instance of seeing a diva in Kaepernick, but we will see.

I’m saying all this to say, don’t be surprised if the whole season is not great for Kaeptain Marvel (I’m still trying out nicknames Kaep Gun, Kaeptain America, or Kid Kaep).  He is still a work in progress and early success sometimes leads players to tons of pressure, ask Marino how many more Super Bowls he went to after going his second season.  I do know one thing though he is exciting to watch and just might be “The One”.  How does Montana, Young, and Kaepernick sound?  Even better hoisting the Lombardi.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

For a few years now, well specifically after the 2007 Monday Night Football game, Cardinals vs 49ers, I made a bet saying if Alex Smith led us back to win this game I would never call him a bum, or insult him playfully again.  Well the unlikely became likely and Alex Smith did it.   Ever since then I started calling Alex Smith “The New Hope,”  being a huge Star Wars fan I thought it was a funny reference, but when I started to look at it; it was telling.  So here is the Alex Smith story told through Star Wars.  Queue the Music.

Episode I:  New Hope, sorry I mean Episode IV

     A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away…  The West Coast.  Alex Smith “Luke Skywalker” went to Utah which it might as well be Tatooine.  Urban Meyer -“Old Ben Kenobi” – was Alex Smith’s college coach in Utah.  As an Ute, Smith showed immense promise with The Force – his Junior year he posted 67% completion, 2952 yards passing, 32 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 631 rushing yards, and 10 rushing touchdowns.  Meyer taught him the beginnings of The Force and he learned enough to warrant a 1st overall pick in the 2005 draft to the Rebel Alliance aka the San Francisco 49ers.

Commander Mike Nolan drafted Smith over Aaron Rodgers. He thought Smith to be a cerebral, introspective, and non-confrontational, while he felt Rodgers attitude wouldn’t mesh with Nolan’s.  Smith’s rookie year was a wash 1 touchdown to 11 interceptions.  In 2006 San Francisco gave Luke his Han Solo and Chewbecca, in the form of Frank Gore (the team leader, and anybody coming out of Miami can only be as badass and cool as Han Solo) and Vernon Davis (yeah partly because he had corn rolls and dreads – all that fur).

     Also, lets give Norv Turner a piece of the Obi-Wan Kenobi title.  Under Turner Smith had a 16 touchdown and 16 interception season, but that year Smith had a few Death Star moments. He threw 3 touchdowns versus the Oakland Raiders (hell, there fans wear Darth Vader Mask).  He also had comeback victories against Minnesota, Seattle, and Denver that year.  He started to build his legend and 49er fans loved it.  Until…  Obi-Wan got handled and took a job in San Diego.

Episode II, sorry Episode V (I will get this right I promise) Empire Strikes Back.

      From 2007-2010 we should just name the Empire the bad organization of the 49ers, because they gave him four different Offensive Coordinators in those 4 years.  Forget “Luke I am your father” and how about “Luke we will give you no consistency, terrible supporting cast outside of Gore and Davis”, (remember these Wide Recievers? Ashley Lelie, Darrell Jackson, Iaasc Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Josh Morgan, Arnaz Battle, and the list goes on). He did get his Princess Lela in Michael Crabtree, look at his professional career so far, from holdouts to toe injuries in preseason, and other dainty princess issues.

It got as bad as Mike Nolan questioning his heart and toughness while he was dealing with a grade three separated shoulder. In 2008 Smith missed the entire season because of another shoulder injury, once he got back Nolan was fired, but he had a new threat.  He had to fight through the pants dropping antics of Jabba The Hut aka Mike Singletary.  The greatest insult was Aaron Rodgers won his first Super Bowl in 2010, the same Rodgers that was picked 23 picks after Alex Smith.  How about “Luke you’re a failure and your city wants you out.”

           Episode VI:  Return of the Jedi (told you I would get it)

     Now I know all the geek purist are saying, “How could you talk about Empire and leave out Yoda,” (in my best geek voice ever).  Obviously I couldn’t figure a way to weave Yoda into the story (even George Lucas had a bad timeline in the prequels and he is a pro) because we all know who Yoda is, none other than Jim “Lil Crazy Walsh” Harbaugh.  He basically got the best out of Alex Smith, and yes he is a game manager, but we act like Luke didn’t need help from a team to be successful and Luke MANAGED to get Vader to turn on the Emperor to save the galaxy.  With a 13-3 season the 49ers returned to being thought of as a dominant Force in the league.  This chapter is not done being written – we still have a galaxy to save by hoisting the Lombardi.  So Alex let The Force be with you!

 

 

Jason

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