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.

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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."

Agent: 49ers to re-sign running back DuJuan Harris

Agent: 49ers to re-sign running back DuJuan Harris

PHOENIX – Free-agent running back DuJuan Harris will re-sign with the 49ers, his agent said.

Harris, 28, appeared in 10 games for the 49ers last season with one start. He rushed for 138 yards on 38 attempts. He also caught eight passes for 115 yards.

Harris has also seen time with Jacksonville, Green Bay and Seattle in his four-year NFL career.

The 49ers did not tender Harris as a restricted free agent, but agent Andy Simms revealed his client will re-sign with the 49ers via Twitter. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley and defensive lineman Chris Jones are the only other free agents the 49ers have re-signed.

Bruce Allen: Kirk Cousins will play for Washington in 2017

Bruce Allen: Kirk Cousins will play for Washington in 2017

PHOENIX – Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will continue to be Washington’s quarterback for the 2017 season, according to team president Bruce Allen.

“That’s why we franchised him, yes,” Allen said during an interview with CSN Mid-Atlantic at the NFL owners meetings.

Cousins and Washington did not reach agreement on a multi-year contract extension before the start of the free-agent signing period. Washington tagged Cousins as the organization’s exclusive franchise player, taking him off the free-agent market for any interested clubs, such as the 49ers.

Cousins is set to earn $23.94 million in 2017, unless the sides agree to a new deal before the July 15 deadline. The price for Cousins to be franchised again in 2018 would be $34.47 million.

"We’ve had a lot of dialogue," Allen said. "He signed his tender. Obviously, we have an option for the ’18 season. Our goal from the beginning has been long term. I'm still hopeful and confident we'll do it."

The 49ers with new coach Kyle Shanahan are expected to be interested in Cousins, but there have no trade talks with any teams, Allen said. Shanahan was Washington's offensive coordinator under his father, then-head coach Mike Shanahan, for Cousins' first two NFL seasons.

"I can't keep up with the rumors," Allen said. "Kirk and I have talked almost a dozen times this offseason, and we get to laugh when we hear these different rumors. We haven't talked to anyone."