Personna Non Grata

Jim Harbaugh inherited a team with only one quarterback signed for the 2011 season — David Carr. Harbaugh had no use for Carr and has barely even mentioned him. And no one has faulted his judgment on this non-stated thumbs down.

With the lockout looming over the offseason, Harbaugh then set out diligently to recruit the only QB in the NFL he could legally talk to or talk about — Alex Smith. Well, technically, he could have recruited Troy Smith, also, but Harbaugh has mentioned this particular Smith even less than he’s mentioned Carr. Which is to say, not even one tiny word has been expended on Troy.

It can be surmised that Alex as 2011 49er QB represents Plan B of the 49ers offseason. Plan A would have been no lockout, a free agency and trading period where a QB could have been acquired, and would have been necessary to acquire, since Alex would have signed with another team.

Plan A went bye-bye around March 10. Plan B is now in effect. Harbaugh has secured a starting QB for his initial NFL season. There’s nothing very magical about this logic. You play the cards that are dealt.

It can also be surmised that the 49er blogosphere has little use for rational thinking. When it comes to Alex Smith, many 49er fans seem to prefer having the Mike Singletary/Jimmy Raye SCO offense return for another dismal year. The offense that goes through Frank Gore and does not require a quarterback at all.

Harbaugh, of course, has a different view. He wants his offense to score points all game long — not just until the team has a three point lead it can sit on, or a deficit has mounted up that cannot be cured by running up the middle. QBs in Harbaugh’s offense are given opportunities to succeed, not opportunities to get killed or blamed for another unimaginative game plan.

It’s certainly plausible that Harbaugh, deep down, does not feel Smith will be a successful QB for him. Anyone following Smith’s career to date would have to nurture some misgivings, however big or small, about his ability to be a bona fide NFL starter. What is undeniable though is that Harbaugh feels Smith will give him his best shot at fielding a competitive team in 2011.

It’s also undeniable that many fans have reacted to the return of Smith by summarily writing off the 2011 season as a foregone conclusion of failure and disappointment, or in severe cases of anti-Smithism, absolute refusal to even root for the team as long as Smith is on it. Harrumph! Maybe Harbaugh feels this inevitability of failure, too. I doubt it, but it’s possible. Still, there is a season to be played and play it the 49ers will. Maybe.

It’s also possible that Harbaugh has a wicked Machiavellian streak that realizes Smith is the perfect patsy to absorb any fan criticism of Harbaugh’s first year on the job. This is a truth, whether Harbaugh nurses it or not. Still, this fan prefers to think Harbaugh’s fierce competitive nature is real and he intends to do everything he can to be successful this year, no matter the daunting nature of his task or the skepticism of the fans.

Here’s hoping he succeeds. With, alongside, because of, or in spite of Alex Smith.

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Posted in The Usual Suspects
20 comments on “Personna Non Grata
  1. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I like your theory that Harbaugh might be using A*** S**** as the “perfect patsy.” It’s conniving, abetting and bordering on criminal. I like those qualities in my head coach. If, however, Harbaugh truly thinks A*** S**** gives him the best opportunity to win, well, the 49ers had made yet another bad hire in what has become a growing list of bad hires.

  2. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:

    From the last post: Dennis, Nate Clements is now the World’s most overpaid slot CB. He can outmuscle little guys on those short routes, he can run support, and he can anticipate (though sometimes he gets fooled that way).

    Problem is, no slot CB is worth that kind of money, and Nate no longer has the wheels to turn and burn on the outside (and hasn’t for a couple of years).

    I’m guessing he will be out of a job, *IF* we ever get the labor shit settled.

  3. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Clements being good at run support in a pass-happy NFL does us no good. Same goes for Patrick Willis. We have the best LB in football that plays the position whose main job is to stop the run. We don’t need to stop the run. We need to stop the pass. And until we do, we will continue to be bottom feeders. We might as well be called the San Francisco Forty Flounders.

  4. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Skeebs- I think you covered just about every base there. I can’t believe that the Niners would go into this season and not put their best personnel on the field. That said, I will rooting as always for our great team, and even though I understand Harbaugh’s logic about Smith, it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  5. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Long time no see, Winder. I kept your peppy avatar on ice waiting for your return!

  6. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    Speaking of on ice, A*** S**** stinks on it!

  7. winderNo Gravatar says:

    Great thanks,I think I’ll keep it, I went to your avatar site and figured it really wasn’t worth it. Anyway, as far as football goes things really suck. I did like our draft though.

  8. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Howdy Wider! Great to see you.

  9. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    I think JH recruited Alex out of both necessity and a belief that he gives us our best shot at winning this year. Next year maybe not so much, that will depend on whether JH can develop QBs (AS and CK) at the pro level. I have to think so since coach actually played QB at this level for 14 years. And we know he can develop talent and can put together winning college programs. Will it be different in the NFL? Of course but for a good talent evaluator good players can be found and molded. You got to admit JH does not lack confidence in his ability to do all aspects of this job. The recent draft shows coach and his staff believe they can find good players to develop as productive members of their system including CK. It’s been so long since there was any leadership around this team I hardly know what to make of it. It will be a good laugh and hearty crow eating session around here if AS responds as JH expects to this strange thing called leadership.

    Now the question is when will the workers crack (and we know they will), get realistic and get back on the job??

    Oh shit Reynaldo and the SMART Bros are here, God help me!

  10. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Oops- Soory Winder, I just noticed I spelled your name without the “n”. But this time I made it the “n” word!

  11. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Winder- You’ve been missing for a while, what have you been doing on your sojourn?

  12. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    A great advantage of being a foreign correspondent is that while you guys are getting your (much needed?) beauty rests I’m wide awake in the early evening sipping scotch. And since the NFL is on ice as well as the Johnnie Walker I can indulge all kinds of other shit that we would never have time for in a regular year. I might even get away with it. So you can wake up to fresh mindless crap rather than troubling yourselves (all two of you) with more NFL problems. Like I said there are advantages and Lord are there ever drawbacks:

    I wish I could say my internet got hooked up flawlessly when Reynaldo and the SMART Bros showed up to get my laundry this morning. I wish I could say the 1″ cable they actually used as an antenna attached to the coconut tree didn’t pull the damn thing over. I wish I could say I have a million pesos (about 18 bucks). But NO I CAN’T because even over here reality bites and Reynaldo is in traction with a wired jaw and of course I have no reliable internet either. Moron plugs the f’ing antenna cable, 1″ mind you, into the 220 V. main junction and BLAM down goes the island power grid, the f’ing coconut tree, a nice one, and Reynaldo from 70′ up. Lord knows what his wife and seventeen kids are gonna do not to mention the 12 cocks- Roosters, fighting cocks, moron. Pervert. Sick bastard you.

    Hell of a day over here in paradise. You got problems? Hahaha, really? You think it’s easy running the massage parlor all day and night with my drinking buddy Reynaldo paralyzed? You think it’s easy living in paradise, moron? You think we’re screwing around having fun all day long? Listen Jack we got our high tech equipment, investment strategies, retirement plans, leveraged buyouts oh yeah! We work hard dammit. About as hard as the 49er coaches and front office staff have for the past decade or so. And our results are comparable, know what I mean? Hey you could always ask Reynaldo.

  13. BergerNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds like he should go by the name of the “Electric Flying Reynaldo”! Or maybe “220 coconut”? Well, at least I got a charge out of your story.

  14. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    Makes my day Bergs. End of the day anyway being mid-night now going into Thursday. Just trying to kill some time until the workers come to their senses and realize who holds all the cards.

  15. SkeebersNo Gravatar says:

    Weird. Mention Alex Smith on the main stream blogs and the site goes wacko for two days. Mention him here and everybody leaves the room.

  16. Grumpy GuyNo Gravatar says:


    Nothing left to say. Those of us here have kicked that topic to hell for seven years. Now if Alex comes out and plays markedly better and we win games this year, that would give us something new to talk about. If he fails, its pretty much just more of the sad same.

    The bloggers still ranting about Alex are just frustrated that we don’t have any other palatable options. So there is a gloomy sense of Deja Vu All Over Again.

  17. robNo Gravatar says:

    use willis in the pass rush !

  18. Del Mar DennisNo Gravatar says:

    One of Einstein’s more memorable quotes was his definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    By that very definition, the 49ers are completely insane. They keep trotting out A*** S**** at quarterback over and over and over and over and over and over and over again expecting different results.

  19. Philippine FanNo Gravatar says:

    What’s changed for the 9ers since Donohue is:

    1) Leadership of Jed York vs John York; football junkie vs business approach to the team.
    2) HC who is offensively oriented with a plan and a system score points
    3) HC who can and has developed QBs
    4) Owner, GM and HC +other coaches all on the same page
    5) Better players on both sides of ball

    It’s not the same thing over and over. Its JH, TB and Jed Y giving AS a chance to redeem himself, themselves and the team. I’ll be the first to admit AS is useless when we have evidence on the field. Otherwise laughs gonna be on you man.

  20. bullitNo Gravatar says:

    Matt Barrows just reported that Kaepernick worked out with the group of Niners today in the South Bay.
    So his leg is fine.

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