Being the 49ers quarterback is one of worst jobs in America

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Being the 49ers quarterback is one of worst jobs in America

I so wanted Alex Smith to sign somewhere else and leave the 49ers in a quarterback lurch, I really and truly did. I wanted him to enjoy what so few NFL players ever experience, the joy of firing two middle fingers at the boss and going to work for a new boss.

And why? Because I know one thing that young folks learn too late that leverage is better than sex.

The proof? How many times will the average person have sex, and how many times will the average person get to tell his boss to face-pile a dungheap?

I rest my case.

But that didnt happen. Of course it didnt happen. It had zero chance of happening. The 49ers would either get Peyton manning or keep Smith, and all the other options werent options at all.

Then it hit me. Theres another reason why I wanted Alex Smith to get a better deal somewhere else.

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Because being the 49er quarterback is one of the worst jobs in America, and he deserved a break.

A break from being constantly talked about, even when he isnt even working out. A respite from the endless speculation, guesswork and free-range idiocy. A respite from finding out that no matter how well he plays, how far he takes his team, he still sucks. Hes still awful. He still isnt Aaron Rodgers.

And now he isnt Peyton Manning, either.

See? The game is rigged. He can never win. He went 13-3. He led his team to the NFC title game. He caddied for his coach. And what did that get him?

Squat on a stick. Thats what. And wheres the fun in that?

RATTO: Harbaugh and Smith back to being BFFs

The answer is that there isnt any. He got four free months out of seven years, all because he got taken by the wrong team at the wrong time by the wrong people. And now that hes with the right people, theyre still looking at him like hes not quite the right people.

This is a lesson Colin Kaepernick should be absorbing as fast as his fevered brain can absorb it. He may become the starter at some point, and if Comrade Maiocco is correct that day could come sooner rather than later, but he wont enjoy the experience.
VIDEO: Matt and Mindi break down Alex Smith's reported deal

And why do we know that? Because Frankie Albert got grilled, and John Brodie got grilled and replaced about three times, and Steve DeBerg was thrown into the post-Brodie grinder, and Joe Montana started as a savior and then became the argumenttransitional figure to Steve Young, and Young became the impatient understudy and then the guy who couldnt hold Montanas jock for five years, and then Jeff Garcia became the replacement for Young who couldnt match his two predecessors, and now theres Smith.

All good to great quarterbacks with success in their resumes, and all who took regular rhetorical beatings for inadequacies both real and imagined in their home towns.

This means one thing, and one thing only. 49er fans hate their quarterbacks even when they profess to love them. This hatred comes out in so many insidious ways that Alex Smiths dilemmas are not unique in this town. And the media members, pandering single-minded hyenas they are, yap constantly on the subject no matter the time of year or situation, to the point where we hate ourselves.

Not enough to ever stop, of course. The 49er quarterback is our heroin, and at times like this our veins are collapsing like ice floes in spring.

And when I say media, I dont mean me. Im a hell of a guy. I know. I checked.

Point is, Alex Smith is trapped yet again doing a job few can do and that fewer still should want to do. The rewards are few, the punishments are constant, and the audience can never be pleased.

Frankly, this is the day when Colin Kaepernick should ask for a trade to anything, anywhere. The lesson of how bad his life will become when he gets this job will never be clearer than it is right now.

49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

49ers reissue Bryant Young's number

SANTA CLARA -- For the first time since Bryant Young retired following the 2007 season, the 49eres have placed his old number back into service.

Linebacker Dekoda Watson was issued No. 97 for the team’s organized team activities this week.

Young was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and eight-time winner of the Len Eshmont Award as the 49ers’ most inspirational and courageous player. No 49ers player has worn No. 97 in the past nine seasons or offseasons.

Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas is now wearing No. 94 after being issued No. 96 for the rookie minicamp. Linebacker Reuben Foster is wearing No. 56.

Rookie defensive tackle D.J. Jones now wearing No. 96. Cornerback Rashard Robinson switched back to No. 33 after an earlier change to No. 26. Running back Kapri Bibbs is now 26. Rookie running back Joe Williams is No. 32 after wearing No. 33 at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles over the weekend. Veteran running back Tim Hightower is wearing No. 22.

49ers begin final phase of offseason program

49ers begin final phase of offseason program

The 49ers have graduated back to the phase of the offseason when offense-vs.-defense drills are allowed.

Because of the hiring of Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers were allowed an additional “voluntary” minicamp before the NFL draft. That meant the 49ers were permitted to skip from the two-week conditioning phase of the offseason straight to what is allowed under Phase III.

But after the three-day minicamp in late-April, the 49ers were forced to retreat back to Phase II, when on-field drills but could not include offense vs. defense.

Beginning Monday – and over the next three weeks -- the 49ers can get back to conducting the standard one-on-one, 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 "non-contact" drills. The 49ers have the maximum number of 10 organized team activities scheduled. The official offseason program concludes with a mandatory minicamp scheduled for June 13-15.

The real competition does not begin until the pads go on during training camp. but here’s a look at the team’s most notable offseason competitions (one position you will not find is quarterback, where the depth chart of Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard appears clearly set):

Running back: Carlos Hyde, entering the final year of his original four-year contract, has a lot of competition to hold onto his role as the featured back. He is coming off his most-productive season, finishing just 12 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark when he sustained a knee injury with one game remaining. Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner lobbied for Utah running back Joe Williams in the draft. They clearly see a fit for him within the system.

Pass-rush end: The 49ers’ pass rush was among the worst in the NFL the past two seasons. Arik Armstead will be given an opportunity to see if he can adapt to the “Leo” position. Aaron Lynch must earn the confidence of the coaching staff and front office. The 49ers added explosive, 243-pound pass Pita Taumoepenu in the sixth round.

Tight end: The 49ers confirmed Vance McDonald was available for a trade during the draft. After finding no takers, the 49ers brought back McDonald and he rejoins the competition among rookies George Kittle and Cole Hikutini, and veterans Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell.

Cornerback: Rashard Robinson is the obvious choice to start on one side. And assuming Jimmie Ward remains at free safety, the 49ers have no other player on the roster who has started a significant number of games at cornerback. Rookie Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick, will have a legitimate opportunity to win a starting job, as long as he displays a willingness to stick his nose into the action and play with the requisite level of physicality. Dontae Johnson, Keith Reaser and Will Redmond should also be in the mix to replace Tramaine Brock, who was released shortly after his arrest after an alleged domestic incident last month.

Center: Jeremy Zuttah, a Pro Bowl performer, was added in the offseason via a trade with the Baltimore Ravens. Daniel Kilgore has been the 49ers’ center the past three seasons but injuries have limited him to just 23 starts over that period of time. Zuttah has position flexibility. The 49ers could determine the best thing for the offensive line is to move Zuttah to one of the guard positions – to challenge Zane Beadles or Joshua Garnett -- if he is not clearly better than Kilgore.

Weakside linebacker: The 49ers signed veteran Malcolm Smith on the first day of free agency, providing him with $11.5 million of fully guaranteed money. The 49ers ranked Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster as the No. 3 overall prospect in the draft. They traded up to select him at No. 31 overall. Assuming Foster is ready to compete at the beginning of training camp after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, it appears likely he would line up in that position and compete with Smith. The 49ers’ medical staff does not believe Foster will require any additional surgery, and Foster said he expects to be cleared for the opening of camp.