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49ers Q&A: Quarterback Alex Smith

49ers Q&A: Quarterback Alex Smith

December 29, 2010

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Quarterback Alex Smith
Press Conference Dec. 29, 2010

On what his week has been like, given the organizational changes:
Yeah, obviously, you know, some changes made, different. You know, week 17 and final week of the season, but some changes with it so, yeah, different.On his volatile relationships hes had with his previous two head coaches:
I guess, I wouldnt describe it as volatile, you know? I got along really well with coach Singletary. I think the perception is a little different just because hes a fiery guy, hes emotional. I mean, I think thats who he is. I think those are - those are positives about him. I mean, thats what makes him who he is and I think people just saw some things that have gone on on the sideline, but as a whole I think he brought a lot of energy because of that.On whether it was hard for the team because of the constant changes at the quarterback position:
Well, I mean, I think it was hard because we werent winning. You know, we had a lot of expectations. I think that was the biggest thing, that was the most difficult. You know, a lot of expectations coming into this year and not to achieve them is frustrating for everybody.On whether he has spoken with former head coach Mike Singletary since he was dismissed following the Rams game:
I havent. I havent got to; its, you know, its hard. All of a sudden I found out Im going again this week and there will be time after this week to really talk and kind of rehash things, so.On whether it would be nice to go out, play well and win in the last game, given everything he has been through with the 49ers:
Of course. I guess nice to go out there and play well period; Im not really getting into the, Whats going to happen after this? But its, whenever you go out there, I mean even though its the last game of the season and were out of the playoffs, pride is on the line. You want to go out there and play well, no question. I mean, thats not going to change.On whether he has thought about what is going to happen after the season ends:
No Im not. Im not thinking about any of that other stuff. That all, you know, thats what the offseason is for. Right now Im focused on-On whether he has thought that the upcoming game against the Cardinals might be his last game with the 49ers:
Like I said, thats all out there, those are possibilities, but I havent had time to ponder and think about all that. Thats for after this week.On whether he has the desire to prove that he deserved to be chosen in the first round of the draft:
I mean, of course that desire is always there. I dont know if it necessarily goes back to the draft, per se, as it were a few years ago. I was still not that far removed from that. At this point, its just that you want to go out and win for the organization, for the fans, for the team. Thats the biggest thing. I dont know if its as much going back to the draft and proving that. But any team youre a part of, you want to do it for everyone involved. As much as this team puts in, the coaching staff, the organization, the fans, everyone involved.On his thoughts on starting this week and his emotions knowing that an interim coach feels that he gives them the best chance to win:
Yeah, I mean Id be lying if I said it wasnt frustrating last week, you know, finding out that with the season on the line, not to get the start. But it happened, and this week I am getting the nod, and its another opportunity. You know, Im excited about it. Im going to prepare and reset the team. I think theres even more distraction at this point because we know that the season is over after this Sunday, but were going to stay focused and go out there and take advantage of the other team.On whether it was frustrating to not get the start last week in such an important game:
Yeah, yeah no question. We hadnt been in a position I havent, since Ive been here been in a position like that. You know, week 16, playoffs on the line, so yeah, no question it was frustrating.On what his conversation with then head coach Mike Singletary was that week when he found out he wasnt starting and whether he lobbied for the start:
I dont know how much lobbying I was doing, you know its not my job, but definitely emotional, frustrating, you know I definitely voiced my opinion, thats for sure. I wasnt sitting back and taking it, but I dont know if Id call it lobbying.On what interim head coach Jim Tomsula has brought this week:
Yeah, you know, its hard. Obviously I think whatever changes he wants to make, you know coming in as a head coach, theres only one week left so you cant really do that much. So I think he has to put that all in perspective and what changes, if any, give us the best chance to win.On what the ideal scenario would be for a quarterback:
Young quarterback? What are we talking here? response: sure. I dont know if theres anything perfect, I mean obviously ideally youd like to come into a situation where everyone around you all the pieces around you were as stable as possible. You know, offense was in place, the guys knew it, offensive line was in place, guys knew the system, you were coming in and everyone around you I guess was as stable as possible.On the ideal situation not being available to him:
Yeah, its not like that for many people though, especially young quarterbacks. You know often times if youre an early draft pick, its usually tied in with the new head coach because theyre coming in, so. A lot of guys dont get that.On what offensive coordinator Mike Johnson is like and whether they will see what he is all about in the final game since there has been a head coaching change:
I think thats hard as well, I think youre still trying to go out and win a game. I think Coach Tomsulas made that clear, theres no real- I mean this isnt an audition for any of us. Were not going out there doing crazy things or trying to reinvent a bunch of stuff week 17 because were not playing for the playoffs. So, I dont know if were necessarily going to go in that direction. I think were going to do everything we can do to win a game, going to be sharp, going to do the things weve continued to do.On whether he is worried about the focus of his teammates with the season ending:
Im not worried about that, with the group of guys that we have. You know that is a point though, it is there. I mean, even just talking about those things, weve already addressed some of the exit meetings and stuff. So thats there, but I think we have a good group of guys that all are prideful and here to play.On LB Patrick Willis being ruled out for the game:
Yeah, its a loss for sure, no question. Not just for the defense, but for the team, to not have him out there in the pads. You know hes definitely a leader of this team, so, well be affected by it.On Willis being named a Pro Bowl starter:
The thing that I appreciate about Patrick, I mean obviously hes a vocal leader, but he leads by example. Hes certainly not asking anything of his teammates that he doesnt ask of himself. Thats the thing that I appreciate most about him.

49ers sign top pick Solomon Thomas during first practice

49ers sign top pick Solomon Thomas during first practice

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers completed contract negotiations with their final unsigned draft pick as the team was going through warm-ups for the first practice of training camp.

Former Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 3 overall pick, signed Friday and was expected to join his teammates later in the day.

The sides agreed to the mandatory four-year contract worth more than $28 million, including a signing bonus of approximately $18.6 million. The deal is expected to be fully guaranteed.

The 49ers also have an option for the fifth season (2021) that must be exercised months after the 2019 season.

Thomas was unable to participate in full-squad workouts during the offseason due to Stanford’s late class schedule. NFL rules prohibit a rookie from attending the offseason program until his school’s classes have concluded for the spring session.

The 49ers – and the vast majority of NFL teams – have not had a contract stalemate with a rookie since the new collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2011.

The organization had similar timing with a first-round pick from last year. Guard Joshua Garnett, also from Stanford, signed with the 49ers on the evening before players were scheduled to report to training camp.

Around the NFL, there has been only one notable contract disagreement that prevented a draft pick from reporting to camp in a timely fashion. Defensive lineman Joey Bosa, whom the Chargers selected with the No. 3 pick last year, sat out a month of training camp due to a disagreement over how his bonus would be distributed. Bosa and Thomas are both represented by the agent firm of Creative Artists Agency.

Ward injures hamstring under team supervision, placed on PUP

jimmie-ward.jpg

Ward injures hamstring under team supervision, placed on PUP

SANTA CLARA – Safety Jimmie Ward was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list to open training camp with a hamstring injury, the 49ers announced Friday morning.

General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan stated on Thursday that all of their players were healthy and no players would be headed to PUP or the non-football injury list.

But that was before the 49ers were scheduled to have their conditioning test. Ward sustained the injury on Thursday during the team's conditioning test. The team lists him as "week to week."

He can be activated to begin practice at any time. Ward is also eligible to begin the regular season on the PUP list. Any player who opens the regular season on PUP is ineligible for the first six weeks of the season.

Ward is expected to be one of the key members of the 49ers' defense from the free safety position. His role is dubbed "The Eraser," fellow safety Eric Reid said, because of his role as a playmaker in the secondary. However, one of the major questions about Ward is his ability to remain healthy through the rigors of an NFL season.

Ward missed eight games as a rookie due to a foot injury. Last year, he sat out five games due to a shoulder injury.