Alex Smith joined NBC’s Pro Football Talk Live on Friday afternoon to discuss a number of topics.
The NFC’s Week 8 Offensive Player of the Week spent a dozen minutes on the air with host Mike Florio touching on items ranging from his relationship with Jim Harbaugh to the keys of San Francisco’s second half of the season.
Smith also said he believes the 49ers are better than they were in 2011. Added weapons and the team’s playoff experience from last season have all helped the team improve their play to start the 2012 regular season.
“Better from the experience of last year, the experience of the playoffs good and bad,” Smith shared. “I think that’s important, to get in those games, play in those games and have a little success there. “
However, the quarterback of the 6-2, first-place 49ers team said the biggest difference in the team’s two defeats from this season was the preparation leading up to games against the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants.
Smith said the players need to maintain their “edge” that they take into each week of preparation going forward.
For Smith, it all starts with consistency.
“We all know what we’re capable of a team it’s a matter of consistently doing it week in and week out,” Smith told Florio. “It’s not just showing up on gamedays, I think this team understands that.”
Florio asked the 49ers quarterback if the San Francisco Giants’ World Series run would inspire San Francisco’s football team to hold a parade of their own in February.
Smith said that was the ultimate goal.
“There’s a ton of work left ahead of us, a long season,” Smith said. “You never know, but that’s what we’re all playing for.”
Other highlights of the interview included Smith explaining his reason for re-signing with the 49ers this offseason to stay with the club for an eighth season and beyond.
Smith said it was all about the opportunity to have sustained success with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2005 NFL Draft.
“Some of these decisions our outside of my hands and I’m thankful for the ownership and Coach Harbaugh here did give me another opportunity and my teammates as well,” Smith said. “It definitely wouldn’t have been a possibility without them. It’s tough to play quarterback without the guys around you.”
Leaving wasn’t much of an option for Smith, who signed on for three more seasons.
“I felt like it wasn’t right for me,” Smith explained. “I wanted another chance to play football at this level and be successful. For whatever reason it wasn’t showing up on the field but I was determined to get it there and thankfully Coach Harbaugh came in and gave me the opportunity to compete for the job and my teammates around me for making me look good lately.”
The 49ers have the No. 1 rushing attack (168.6 rushing yards per game) with Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter (957 combined rushing yards), Smith reiterated his appreciation for the players around him.
“Football is the ultimate team sport… there’s so much that goes into a football team being successful, it’s hard to get it all going the same way, everyone on the same page and clicking just right and when it does I think it’s pretty special. That all has something to do with it, it’s the bigger picture. It’s more than getting the right pieces on paper. It’s really a lot of little things that go into winning football games.”
Smith said he enjoys Harbaugh’s consistent approach to the game and his relationships with the players.
“He’s always the same guy, he’s always sincere and genuine to himself,” the 49ers quarterback said. “I think it’s a great thing. It’s unique that he stays true to himself.”
Towards the end of the interview, Smith was asked to chime in on a growing topic in the NFL this week – whether or not a college team could be a last-place NFL team.
Smith says no chance.
“I think it’s a fun joke to talk about,” he said. “I think it would be a disaster. It wouldn’t be close. Having played on both levels it’s not even comparable.”
For one, playing quarterback is much harder in the NFL.
Decision-making is harder when everything is happening faster. Smith also pointed to accuracy and consistency as the hardest traits to master when making the adjustment into the professional ranks.
“The guy who can hit his targets is more important, that shows up more in the NFL,” Smith said.
Lastly, the 49ers quarterback discussed his role in Visa’s “Make it Epic” campaign which features a commercial starring several 49ers players, including Smith himself.
The 49ers quarterback urged fans to visit Visa.com/makeitepic for a chance to win many prizes, including a visit to the 49ers locker room on gameday.
“A chance to get in there and see what it’s like would be very cool,” Smith said.
Tags: Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Jim Harbaugh, Kendall Hunter
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