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Alex Smith (quarterback)
Alex Smith
Smith in Chiefs game in August 2013.
Quarterback
Date of birth: May 7 1984 (1984-05-07) (age 33)
Place of birth: Bremerton Washington
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)   Weight: 217 lbs (98 kg)
High School: Helix (La Mesa, CA)
College: Utah (2002-2004)
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st
Debuted in 2005 for the San Francisco 49ers

Alexander Douglas "Alex" Smith (born May 7, 1984 in Seattle, Washington) is an American football quarterback for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. Smith was traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the Chiefs on March 12, 2013.

Early YearsEdit

CollegeEdit

He played quarterback for the University of Utah while wearing number 11. He finished 4th in the voting for the 2004 Heisman Trophy, and was selected as the 2004 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. Smith graduated from the University of Utah with an economics degree in just two years with a 3.71 GPA. Smith operated former Utah and current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer's spread option offense in 2004 during Utah's 12-0 season in which they beat Pittsburgh 35-7 in the Fiesta Bowl. Smith was named offensive MVP of that game as Utah became the first team from outside of a BCS conference to play in, and win a BCS bowl.

NFL careerEdit

Smith was the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, selected by the San Francisco 49ers. In July 2005, Smith agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million contract with the 49ers; the contract included $24 million in guaranteed money. He wore jersey number 11 with the 49ers.

2005 seasonEdit

Entering training camp, 49ers coach Mike Nolan declared an open competition between Smith and incumbent Tim Rattay for the starting quarterback position. Rattay won out and started the first four games of the season. On October 4, 2005, however, Nolan declared Smith the starter for the fifth game, against the Indianapolis Colts. He was injured the next week on a scramble when hit by Lavar Arrington, when the 49ers lost to the Washington Redskins.

He threw his first touchdown on January 1, 2006 against the Houston Texans. He struggled mightily through his first NFL season throwing for 875 yards, completing just 50.9% of his throws (84/165), along with one touchdown, 11 interceptions and 11 fumbles to finish with a 40.8 passer rating; that touchdown came in the 49ers' final game of the season.

His rookie statistics are among the worst of any rookie in NFL history, and many have attributed it to his long windup throwing motion, and the spectacularly poor play of the rest of the offense - the offensive line in particular. Speculation also arose over a report that Smith's hands were too small for an NFL quarterback, but at the NFL combine his hands were measured and rank average among NFL quarterbacks.

Though Smith had an unimpressive first season, his final two games, against the Rams and Texans were his two best of the year. In St. Louis, He completed 12 of 16 passes and threw no interceptions en route to a 98.7 rating and a win for his team. In Monster Park against Houston, Smith threw his first touchdown, and won the game in overtime.

2006 seasonEdit

After the challenges faced by his rookie campaign, Smith went into the 2006 season with a new offensive coordinator (Norv Turner) and an improved set of offensive weapons around him. The 49ers spent their top draft choice on Vernon Davis, a playmaking tight end from Maryland. They also upgraded their wide receiver corps and traded underachieving running back Kevan Barlow to the Jets, making Frank Gore the feature back.

Smith also spent the offseason working daily with his new coordinator, wide recievers and tight end, while working to improve his technique and add bulk. The improved offensive cast clearly helped Smith develop in his second year, especially early. Smith's first three games of the season saw him throw three touchdowns, no interceptions, and 814 yards. After struggling in Kansas City, he then threw for three touchdowns in one game against the Oakland Raiders, setting a career high.

The next seven games saw Smith struggle again, averaging only 153 yards per game while throwing only 6 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Despite these struggles, he lead the 49ers on a three game winning streak in November. However, after rather difficult losses to the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints, Smith's poor play began to be viewed as holding the team back.

In need of a statement game, the 49ers traveled to Seattle for a Thursday Night Football game against their division rivals the Seattle Seahawks. During the broadcast on NFL Network, Chris Collinsworth noted that were he starting an NFL fanchise, he'd take the Broncos rookie quarterback Jay Cutler before Alex Smith and fellow rookies Matt Leinart and Vince Young - and that Smith wasn't even close to the others.[1] Going into the 4th quarter, the 49ers were trailing the Seahawks 7-3, and pulling out a win looked unlikely. Smith however performed exceptionally in the fourth quarter, and drove the 49ers on a long touchdown drive down the field early, taking a narrow 10-7 lead. Late in the quarter, with the same score, Smith struck again with one of the most memorable plays of the NFL season - shaking off an almost certain sack, rolling to the left and completing a pass to Frank Gore for a touchdown to give the 49ers a 10 point lead. On the next drive, Smith cemented the victory by leading yet another touchdown drive, and rushing for a touchdown on a naked bootleg. Upon seeing Smith's fourth quarter, Collinsworth was forced to recant his earlier statement, saying "Alex Smith is the best I've ever seen him. That drive is the best I saw." and "One of the best plays I have seen this season. What a second-half he has had!".[2]

After losing to the Cardinals the following week, the 49ers final game of the 2006 season was against a Denver Broncos team looking for a playoff berth. In a major upset, the 49ers defeated the Broncos and knocked them out of the playoffs. During the game at Mile High Stadium, Smith threw for 194 yards and a touchdown, leading the team to a come from behind victory for the second time in three weeks.

Overall, Smith improved significantly in his second year. He threw for 16 TDs, 16 interceptions, 2,890 yards and a 74.8 quarterback rating, all dramatic improvements over his rookie year. Alex Smith 49ers 2011

TriviaEdit

  • While at Helix, he played with 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, who was also a finalist for the 2004 award, making it the first time a high school had two finalists at the ceremony.
  • Smith was the President of his high-school senior class.
  • Smith Recorded a 4.7 time in the 40-yard dash, benched 335 pounds and had a 31-inch vertical jump at the NFL combine.[3]
  • Smith earned a score of 40 out of 50 on the Wonderlic exam.[4]
  • Smith and Andrew Bogut of the NBA were both selected #1 in their respective drafts. Utah became the first school to have athletes go #1 overall in the NFL and NBA drafts in the same year. [5]
  • His uncle is John L. Smith, former head coach for the Michigan State University Spartans’ football team.
  • Smith's second cousin is Detroit Tigers first baseman Chris Shelton
  • Smith is the youngest starting quarterback in the NFL. (22)
  • Smith met Joe Montana for the first time on November 5th, 2006 during a game against the Vikings. The 49ers wore the throwback jerseys of the 1989 team which Joe Montana and teammates wore. The 49ers went on to win 9-3, upsetting the Minnesota Vikings.
  • He has one brother and two sisters.
  • Is the first quarterback in 49ers history to take every snap of the season.

Career statistics Edit

CollegeEdit

    Passing   Rushing
Season Team GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Att Yds TD
2002 Utah Utes 2 2 4 50.0 4 0 1 2 -11 0
2003 Utah Utes 11 173 266 65.0 2,247 15 3 149 452 5
2004 Utah Utes 13 214 317 67.5 2,952 32 4 135 631 10
  Totals 26 389 587 66.3 5,203 47 8 286 1,072 15
 

ProfessionalEdit

    Passing   Rushing
Season Team GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Rtng Att Yds Avg TD
2005 San Francisco 49ers 9 84 165 50.9 875 1 11 40.8 30 103 3.4 0
2006 San Francisco 49ers 16 257 442 58.1 2,890 16 16 74.8 43 147 3.3 2
2007 San Francisco 49ers 7 94 193 48.7 914 2 4 57.2 13 89 6.8 0
2008 Injured Reserve                        
2009 San Francisco 49ers 11 225 372 60.5 2,350 18 12 81.5 24 51 2.1 0
2010 San Francisco 49ers 11 204 342 59.6 2,370 14 10 82.1 18 60 3.3 0
2011 San Francisco 49ers 16 273 445 61.3 3,144 17 5 90.7 52 179 3.4 2
2012 San Francisco 49ers 10 153 218 70.2 1,737 13 5 104.1 31 132 4.3 0
  Totals 80 1,290 2,177 59.3 14,280 81 63 79.1 212 761 3.6 4
 

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit