Smith, Brees lead teams in different ways

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Smith, Brees lead teams in different ways

SANTA CLARA -- No one is going to confuse Alex Smith with Drew Brees.Smith threw for 17 touchdowns during the regular season. Brees, 46. Smith set a personal record with 3,144 passing yards during the regular season. Brees set an NFL record with 2,332 more passing yards than that.

Smith has thrown for more than 300 yards only twice in his career and lost both games. Brees just threw for a playoff record 466 yards in a win over the Lions last weekend.

RELATED: Alex Smith 2011 game logs Drew Brees 2011 game logs
Brees puts up the numbers. Smith doesn't and bristled at a reporter's question on the chance he could out-throw the Saints signal-caller when the teams meet Saturday for their playoff match up."I have no idea. I don't care. I really don't care," Smith said. "I'm looking to out-score him. He can throw for however many yards he wants to."Smith knows he doesn't need to out-throw anybody. It's not his game. His game is centered around only one notable number, the kind that quarterbacks want as low as possible.Smith's threw the fewest number of interceptions in the league this season. His five interceptions not only set a 49ers record for fewest in a season, it ranked third-best in NFL history among quarterbacks with a minimum of 400 attempts. It's a number that has caught Brees attention as well."That's the biggest stat in football is the turnover ratio, and he's done a great job of taking care of it," Brees said during a conference call to Bay Area reporters when asked what stands out about Smith."So I'd say his decision making. He's made some big throws in some big situations. I can recall the one against Seattle down the sideline to (Michael) Crabtree on that drive to go down and kick a field goal to take the lead. I've seen him make some throws, a couple against Tampa, because we played Tampa the next week after they played them early in the season. He looks like he's playing with a lot of confidence and taking care of the football."Avoiding the turnover started to take hold in Smith's decision-making last year when he ended the 2010 season with only one interception in his last six starts of the season. It developed further under first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh. His five interceptions this year came during a season in which he led the 49ers to five fourth-quarter comebacks, four of them on the road.Smith says he and Brees know each other a little bit. They worked out together awhile back in Smith's hometown of San Diego where Brees spends part of the offseason, and they share the same agent. Beyond that, Smith is leaving any further evaluation between the quarterbacks to others."You can say what you want. A lot of different ways to win games in this league," Smith said. "Obviously offensively, they're doing a lot of great things right now. Record-setting offense. It's kind of what you aspire to get to, no question, offensively. To be able to put up those kinds of numbers, do what they're doing. They've been in it a long time. Doing it at a really high level, no question."It's kind of for you guys to write about, to talk about the differences and differences of style. Whatever you want to call it. It is what it is. It still comes down to scoring more points than the other team and that's what we're looking to do."

Bills sign two former 49ers

Bills sign two former 49ers

The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.

After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.

The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.

Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.

The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.

The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.

Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.