Dark Horse Favorites

Not sure if I should apologize for being away from my desk for awhile or for returning to it, but esconced in my chair once more am I.

The national and local football worlds are all touting the 49ers as legitimate 2012 Super Bowl contenders. This is normally a recipe for an overrated team to ride its laurels straight into the dumpster once the regular season begins and the team discovers that reputation does not win any games.

But no Jim Harbaugh coached team will ever take this ill fated ride. The poor sumbitch has a life long “gotta beat my older brother” complex that will never go away. He will always be driven to try harder and he will make his team try harder, too.

If anything, the 49ers are underrated this year. Though the team and its HC are highly regarded, there is a fierce national and local denial syndrome when it comes to the 49ers QB, Alex Smith. Nobody believes this guy is anything but a marginal, game managing talent. The team must win despite his presence under center.

The football world has a heavy investment in years of Smith bashing and just cannot come to grips with the plain and simple fact that Smith is an excellent QB. Not just good or okay — excellent. He’s learned his craft and is entering his prime years. Elite is a word for the ESPN/media world. It’s good for spirited yabbering and nothing more. A fabricated entity with nothing but perception and opinion to give it form.

But excellent is a word that describes a man’s performance, not the comparison of it to other performers. And last year, Smith’s performance was excellent. He was clutch all year, including the playoffs. When the 49ers needed to manage a lead, he did it. When they needed a come back, he did it. It’s common to say he is slow to make decisions, but never is it also pointed out that he rarely ever makes a bad decision. Bad decisions lose games. Unless you’re Lucky Eli and make two goof ball heavaronis in a championship game and get away with both of them.

But this is the last year Smith will fly under the radar. With a talented crew of WRs finally assembled around him, the Legend of Alex has only just begun.

The legend of Josh Johnson, however, seems destined to go the way of the legend of Troy Smith. From reports out of camp, Johnson wins the beauty contest among the team’s QBs, but that silken veneer slips away once the action begins. Which helps explain his less than fabulous career in Tampa Bay. It would not be surprising to see Scott Tolzien holding the third stringer’s clipboard this coming year, while Johnson begins that long, safe, stress free, and lucrative backup QB enterprise that David Carr and many others have managed to whittle out for themselves.

The legend of Colin Kaepernick will probably come to fruition with another franchise. But this is an important year for him and for the 49ers. The team needs a viable backup QB. They dodged a bullet last year and may not be so fortunate this year. Kaepernick should be excited. The exhibition season gives him a chance to once again play actual football, and the expectation of a more explosive Niner offense might give him some garbage time minutes during the season, too. Two good exhibition seasons in a row, a few good in season efforts, and Colin can get himself some Matt Flynn money in a couple years when the 49ers trade him.

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Posted in Vacant Observations
41 comments on “Dark Horse Favorites
  1. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- You could probably go on vacation for the next 5 or 6 weeks. I don’t think anybody would notice unless something unusual in 49er land happens. Right around 7-25 is when we’ll be tuning back in.

  2. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, once again, we utter the words, ‘last best chance for Alex.’ The one thing Alex did last year that was different from previous years was cut down dramatically on the stupid/unwarranted turnovers. See the Philly game from 2010 with the scrambling, stumbling fumble, or the previous year’s Philly game where he clanked a screen pass off of Gore’s hands for a pick.
    No, he won’t put up Peyton Mannging type numbers. But then again, neither will Peyton Manning. Smith doesn’t need to. The 49ers have a good running game, so they aren’t solely dependent on the pass like NE, NO, or GB.
    3,600 yards, 22 and 9 sound about right. Actual WRs should help the passing game.
    If Smith falters though, he’s gone. The team has made that abundantly clear by the contract they gave him. That being said, I think Smith will be fine and the team will do very well.

  3. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Smith’s last best chance was last year. It’s his team now.

  4. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    It’s Alex’s team until a better QB becomes available.
    Drew Brees might be in 2013.

  5. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    The front office doesn’t feel that way, Skeebs.

  6. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, that’s not entirely true. Alex is on a make-good deal. He does well, he stays. He doesn’t, he goes.

  7. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    LaMichael James makes it in for the rookie minicamp.
    Notice Coach Rathman and his blue collar workshirt

    also a fluff piece with the Niner Rookies bonding going on the rocket boat on the SF Bay


  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I want to go on the Rocket Boat!

  9. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Trying to channel your Sonny Crockett?


  10. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    You migtht appreciate this more than the previous


  11. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    I just can’t stop



    Didn’t think anyone could ever match Phil Collins but it’s close.

  12. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The music in the 9:08 postwas not good. Somebody butchered the only Bananaramma song I like.
    Pink Floyd is always good. Thanks.
    Was that a Frank Zappa sighting in the 2nd video? I’ll have to watch again later on when I get back home.
    My friend Repo Ed did all the motorcycle stunts and a lot of the car stunts in Miami Vice.

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Bullit- No contest, Phil Collins is much better. The others guys did not capture the crescendo movement that the song is famous for.

  14. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Sandusky is on suicide watch. Why? Let him kill himself.

  15. robNo Gravatar says:

    didn’t get a chance to respond to this from the last thread …

    “Berger Says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    rob needs to read the above article so we can hear how good Troy Smith is.”

    saw the article but didn’t bother to read it because it was from matt m.
    imo he’s way too much of a suckup to go to for this kind of thing !

  16. robNo Gravatar says:

    stuck here in fla in tropical storm debbie with nothing to do !

    speaking of which , the heat just brought another championship home to fla !

    go heat !

  17. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Tropical Storm Debby? That’s nothing. I had an old Spanish girlfriend named Debbie. That little spitfire was a goddamn hurricane.

  18. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, Rob! They’re racing in practically my backyard today at Sonoma. Who ya like? Silly question. I know you’re taking Juan Pablo. He’s got a great shot. Road courses are his specialty. I’m going with the King of Sonoma, Jeff Gordon. I know he’s stunk on ice this year, but if he’s ever to get on track this will be the place. 24 to victory lane.
    Skeebers called Alex Smith an “excellent” quarterback. What time do you open up at the Punchline? You’re a regular comedian.

  19. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    Alex does not have to be “excellent” with this supporting cast. All he needs is to be consistent. With our defense and ST, and the playmakers we have added on offense, he should not have to carry the team. Just don’t hold it back. Move the chains and do his job. It’s great that he played very sell in spurts last year and go those comeback wins – now if we can just post a decent third down conversion rate, this team can win it all. We are very close right now, only a modest improvement in Alex’s consistency and I think we can get over the top.

  20. robNo Gravatar says:


    1 gordon 2 montoya 3 joey almondjoy

  21. robNo Gravatar says:

    i agree 110 % (lol) with your 12:07 !

    as you know urban meyer says it takes alex a good while to feel comfortable in a system . it might take a little longer with smith than with most QB’s . but meyer says once alex feels he’s got it , he can be a really good QB !


    with 7 or 8 years under his belt did we see the best of smith last year , (considering the whole 6 coordinators in 6 years thing) or will 2012 be smith’s breakout season !

  22. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    This will make V and his sidekick buddy cringe. They will just say Joe is being nice but this is an honest assessment and nobody’s holding a gun to Montana’s head. Nevertheless I can hear some folks saying “Say it isn’t so Joe.”


  23. robNo Gravatar says:


    it took joe quite a while to say it , but imo he waited until the right time !

  24. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Before Harbaugh left for Peru to build houses he revealed the following to Matt Barrows.
    “Harbaugh last week confirmed there will be another Youngstown stopover this season between the Weeks 3 and 4 games in Minnesota and at the New York Jets. Both contests begin at 10 a.m. PST.”

  25. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t let NoFear hear Montana making excuses for Alex. Montana is is NoFear’s football God, along with Nolan, and I don’t think he could hear Joe saying the Same thing about Alex that I’ve been saying. NoFear will probably be on suicide watch if he sees that video. Don’t watch it NoFear, we want you here for the 2012 season.
    I’m not so sure it would actually matter. Now that I’ve thought about it, we didn’t hear from NoFear last year until we lost some games. If we come out winning I would expect NoFear to disappear again.

  26. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Don’t let Del watch the Montana video. There isn’t enough beer in his town to drown out the negative image of Montana backing Alex Smith.

  27. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Good to see Joe Montana agreeing with Skeebers, bullit and I. We have been minorities on the blog. Even this one.

  28. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I just watched the video again. I need to now make a decision, do I listen to NoFear, Del and Stinkblood about Alex Smith, or do I listen to Joe Montana? Hmmm!  
    Anybody want to help? Does somebody out there know more than Joe Montana about QBing? We know guest and Jake2007 know more. Anybody else?

  29. NJ49erNo Gravatar says:

    Seems to me the whole topic started with the options Alex had to work with. Says to me the receiver options were lacking.
    Call it Josh/Crabtree/Delanie and Vernon not scaring anyone.
    Joe said the Offense sucked.
    Now we have new weapons and a full TC.I expect improvements all around.
    For me, Alex still needs to be more deliberate and aggressive with his decision making.
    If he does that, I’m sold.

  30. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t think it was the personnel on the field, I think it was the personnel on the sideline. The design of our offense has been terrible for a longtime. McCarthy gets a pass because of talent level, no others do. Turner did a good job, but it was a new system. Martz did good but Alex not play that year. The Singleneuron offense is nothing more than run, run and pass when desperate, with no good design when passing. I wouldn’t blame it on Josh/Crabtree/Delanie and Vernon, I’d blame it on Nolan and Singletary.

  31. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, it was the coaching. Nolan and Sing played it safe on offense. They gladly told teams that our offense ran through Frank Gore. They dared teams to stack the box and stop the running game. Other teams gladly did. Which forced 3rd and 12 all the time. And caused turnovers and 3-and-outs. Granted, there was still too many 3-and-outs last year, but the offense was more effective than previously.
    A lot? No. But enough to tip the scales to positive results. And, as a lot of us keep saying, the Niners don’t need Smith to put up Peyton Manning numbers. Peyton Manning won’t put up Peyton Manning numbers this year.

  32. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    If you don’t think Denver wants to protect Manning by running the ball more than he’s used to, then line up behind Dennis . . .

  33. bullitNo Gravatar says:


    Situation in Denver is a different and unique. If they give Manning the same control he had with the Colkts then he could be the gunglinger again.
    It’ll matter how porous his Oline is and how many times he gets dumped and dirty.
    As previously stated Bronco QBs went down 42 times last year.
    Clady made the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement. Not sure why because he gave up 9 sacks by himself and was called for 12 penalties. In the last 3 years he has given up 24.5 sacks which are Khame Harris/Robert Gallery numbers. Clady is Denver’s best OL at LT.

  34. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Which is whty they will run more that Manning is used to. They can do it out of the gun if they want, but they are not going to risk their $95 mill investment recklessly.

  35. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    In other words, Manning ain’t going to throw 50 times a game.

  36. robNo Gravatar says:

    fukk denver

  37. Unca ChuckNo Gravatar says:

    Word. Manning just gives me more reason to hate that team. . .

  38. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    rob- Troy Smith just got released! He’s your guy! Do you want him back?

  39. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    The biggest coaching joke ever might be that Singleneuron could not see Alex Smith is better than Troy Smith. I honestly think it is because all Singleneuron needed was a QB to bail him out of third and long. Troy was better at buying time, which made him a classic Singleneuron QB.
    Or, maybe Singleneuron did see Alex as the better QB and was just rying to get fired? It is possible, but I don’t think so.

  40. unca_chuckNo Gravatar says:

    Well, what would have happened if the Niners had made the playoffs in 2010? It very well could have happened if Aluminum Mike didn’t pull Alex. Would they still have fired him? Ahhh. Don’t want to think about it.

  41. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    New post is up.

2021 Schedules
09/12: W 49ers 41, Lions 33
09/19: W 49ers 17, Eagles 11
09/26: L Packers 30, 49ers 28
10/03: L Seahawks 28, 49ers 21
10/10: L Cardinals 17, 49ers 10
10/17 BYE
10/24: L Colts 30, 49ers 18
10/31: W 49ers 33, Bears 22
11/07: L Cardinals 31, 49ers 17
11/15: W 49ers 31, Rams 10L
11/21: W 49ers 30, Jaguars 10
11/28: W 49ers 34, Vikings 26
12/05: L Seahawks 30, 49ers 23 12/12 · 10:00 AMCIN
12/19 · 1:05 PM v ATL
12/23 · 5:20 PM v TEN
01/02 · 1:05 PM v HOU
01/09 · 1:25 PM @ LAR

2021 Draft Class
1. QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
2. OG Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
3. RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State
3. CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan
5. OG/OT Jaylon Moore, Western Michigan
5. CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
5. S Talanoa Hufanga, USC
6. RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
2021 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-5
Grumpy: 13-4
NJ49er: 11-6
Skeebers: 14-3
Winder: 12-5
Rob: 17-0
Spitblood: 0-17