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Roman: Alex Smith Not Cleared for Contact

Posted by Alex Espinoza on November 22, 2012 – 3:17 PM

Quarterback updates are all the rage at 49ers headquarters these days. On Thursday, offensive coordinator Greg Roman offered the latest news on Alex Smith, saying he hopes the signal-caller will finally be cleared for contact on Friday.

Smith wore a black jersey designated for non-contact players during the Thanksgiving practice session, before Roman briefed reporters on the latest developments between Smith and Colin Kaepernick.

“No decision has been made,” Roman said. “We’re hopeful that Alex gets cleared tomorrow, physically. We’re confident in both quarterbacks to be on the field. We’re always going to weigh all the information as we have it and make the best decision for the team at the time. We have ultimate confidence in either.”

Roman said he was impressed with Kaepernick, who went 16 of 23 for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL start on “Monday Night Football” in a 32-7 win over the vaunted Chicago Bears. But it sounds like the 49ers coaching staff is in no rush to name a starter, as Smith goes through a battery of tests to ensure he’s physically fit to take the field.

“It’s a great situation to be in,” Roman said. “What’s happened up to this point is history. It’s all about going down to New Orleans and trying to find a way to get the win.”

As everyone waits to hear a decision from the 49ers, the team is busy preparing for its Week 12 road matchup against New Orleans. The Saints started out the season on an 0-4 skid before winning five of its last six to reach the .500 mark.

Much of the team’s turnaround has to do with its defense, as the Saints gave up an average of 32.5 points per game during the first four games of the season and 23.8 since. Regardless of who’s under center, New Orleans will be tasked with trying to slow down the top-ranked 49ers rushing attack, which averages 165.3 yards per game.

During a conference call on Wednesday, Saints coach Joe Vitt said the 49ers are on pace to break the NFL record for most runs of at least 10 yards over the course of a season. Roman attributed the success to a team-wide effort.

“We’ve all learned as coaches over the years, no matter what you draw up, it’s the players getting it done that matters,” Roman said. “I think our offensive line, our wide receivers, have been a big, key part of those extended runs down the field.

“I think when you look at our receivers, relative to most in the league, I think they work better than anybody down the field blocking.”

Roman also continued to praise the tight ends and fullback Bruce Miller for their non-stop efforts in the blocking department, while giving credit for Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter for finishing runs.

“It’s a big game,” Gore said. “The Saints, they’re playing great ball. They’ve got the same guys, great quarterback who leads the team and it’s going to be a good game.”

Gore may be taking notes from the mauling offensive line, as he laid an impressive block on Bears linebacker Lance Briggs on Monday night, leveling him to the Candlestick turf.

“I respect him and he respects me,” Gore said of Briggs. “He’s been doing a great job at his position for a long time and he’s a great player. We talked after the game and he just told me to keep running hard and keep working hard and to stay healthy.”

Gore also weighed in on the quarterbacks situation.

“Whatever coach says, goes,” Gore said. “We’ve got two great quarterbacks on the team and we’re happy that we have two good quarterbacks.”

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Posted in Announcements | 42 Comments »

42 Responses to “Roman: Alex Smith Not Cleared for Contact”

  1. By David on Nov 22, 2012 | Reply

    I love Alex I really do , he has been through so much since 2005. 7 OC’s , 3 head coaches , a ton of different WR’s , hes accomplished a lot in his time as a niner. But watching Kaep he gives us a total different element , he is hard to prepare for , he has a rocket arm , very accurate , and is athletic as anyone in the league.So I understand starting him on the road against the Saints if he proves monday night was not a fluke it should be his job. LETS GO NINERS!

  2. By Bobby on Nov 22, 2012 | Reply

    Harbaugh just emailed Jim Schwartz and said,
    “Know the rules Schwartz”

  3. By Your worse nightmare on Nov 22, 2012 | Reply

    harbaugh is a liar..don’t believe everything he says.

  4. By Larry Lawson on Nov 22, 2012 | Reply

    Colin has no fear of throwing the long ball and can buy time to make it happen. Having players that can go get it doesn’t do you any good if no one can throw it there!

  5. By all9ers on Nov 22, 2012 | Reply

    I always wanted Alex to be “the” QB but he has never proven to me that he can be elite. He is an OK guy that should be the 49ers backup for the rest of his career (I don’t think any team would want him as a starter). I’ve seen too many games where I feel they don’t use the WR, TE (Davis) to their potential and it is all about Alex letting them down. I see Alex as I saw Garcia, they are good backups but can’t throw the long ball and can’t bring the 9ers back from a defecit. Kaepernick is all different, he is the NOW and the FUTURE! Why wait? Why not win the the SuperBowl this year? 9es can’t win the superbowl with ALEX!

  6. By The Obviuos on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply


  7. By David on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    stats don’t mean a thing when the end result is a W! Its nice to we have a good back up to Alex who the starter when he gets cleared to come back. The only reason there is any controversy is because espn is a bunch of idiots!

  8. By David on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    stats don’t mean a thing when the end result is a W! Its nice to know we have a good back up to Alex who the starter when he gets cleared to come back. The only reason there is any controversy is because espn is a bunch of idiots!

  9. By John on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    I just hope we can crush the Saints like we crushed the Bears. Sacks Sacks and more sacks. We need to pressure Breese like he has never seen before. That; with our run stopping ability means we win no matter who is under center for the SF 49ers!
    Like Roman said. It’s all a team effort.

  10. By John on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    @ all9ers,
    You must be a young fan who doesn’t know the game of football.
    The only reason Vernon was open is because the Bears put 8 in the box. They (the Bears) couldn’t double up on him. The Bears did a lousy job on defense.

  11. By phatalerror on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    It’s amazing how silent the Alex-hate was during the past year, with only two users left making themselves look like idiots in the face of all evidence suggesting Alex Smith was the best quarterback to lead the team. Then after a tie against the Rams and a win against the worst defensive performance of week 11, all of the closet Alex-haters are coming out to say why Alex Smith should be a career backup and why an athlete should b replacing him as starter. And absolutely no credit is given by them to the special teams or defense or offensive line. If Alex Smith would have had that against the Rams and the Bears, the 49ers would be 8-2 instead of being only a half-game ahead of the Packers.

  12. By Erocks49ers on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    Alex Smith. #3 ranked QB in the NFL. Need anyone say more. Really anyone

  13. By sean on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    alex smith will be starter again but kapernick is very good to i like both of them

  14. By Wayne on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    It will not matter who is under center come Sunday No is out for revenge and 49ers are out to prove they are for real and will be a force to recon with come Jan 2013. Who will win this one It depends on who wants it more enough said.

  15. By Marco on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    Um, yes. QBR s a lousy stat. The man runs an offense based nearly entirely on the ground…with a bunch of great receivers. He is not mobile nor does he read multiple options well.

    Ya, Bears played bad with a bad plan coming in…but funny how a clicking offense takes a defense out of its game. My guess is we’re all 9ers fans–so we’ll see. Just, this is the pros. You don’t get much for being a sport. I don’t know who in the world would claim Alex to be better that CK. And Colin has worked for a year in a half in this system. So, it took an injury to get him a full game. It was quite a show–deserves a repeat performance. If he’s ready. he’s ready.

  16. By stig flodihn on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    Who in the world would be ignorant enough to put ALL EGGS into one basket, after watching ONE STARTING GAME. It was a great win by The Team, and it is a TEAM Sport. Maybe the football experts should open their big mouths after a winning season, HUH??

  17. By Corey on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    Ok Kap had a really good game, made perfect throws etc etc,
    BUT IT’S JUST ONE GAME PEOPLE, lets not forget that it was Alex who
    lead this team to the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP with a 13 – 3 record. last season.
    And it was Alex who has lead the team to where it is now. Before Alex was injured
    he was the # 3 ranked QB in the NFL…The man has had some serious set backs in his career and has worked his tail off to overcome them all.

    If Alex returns and can’t move the ball for whatever reason, then of course put
    in Kap But until then LET ALEX FINISH WHAT HE STARTED!

  18. By redandgold on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    who remembers the time when troy smith was put as our starter over alex? he won two games or so…then other teams were able to learn how he plays and BAM…we’re back to alex again. Kaepernick is great. I see so much potential in him but u cant say he’s better over ONE game. We cant overlook what Alex have done last and this year. Remember, this is the first time any team has seen Kaep play. Next time, it will be different. I hope coach uses BOTH of their talents in their gameplan.

  19. By Dan on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    After one Game Kap has not proven himself to be the #1 Starter I was thrilled with his performance against the bears but one win does not a starter make. Alex Smith has earned the right to be where he is,maybe down the road that might change but for now Alex Smith is the man

  20. By cbrooks5443 on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    My 49ers are a great all around team that is capable of winning out for 2012. Fans shoud just sit back and enjoy the ride… Each quarterback is capable, they both wear the same jersey, but Alex is a proven vet. The team should just follow the lead of coach Harbaugh because the man knows how to get the best out of his guys. So like it or not here come the 49ers baby.By the way quarterbacks do not play defense. When the 49ers have been great they always had capable back ups. CP will continue to get his oppurtunities and the future looks great.

  21. By 11yearswithalex on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    wow alex is the man …..last year alex did this ….alex never got to have a daddy …..wow …….this is the NFL poeple where if you dont bring it you dont have a job …every year there are lots who go home without a NFL contract and would love to play but they were off by 1/2 of a % …..this is a profession and it will always be alex had 6 games saved by the defense ;last year because he couldnt mpove the ball or rather refused to try and make a play ….his style is as you said been figured out by the good teams and by teams with good defensive coaches …fisher showed how to slap alex …and who is a coach on the vikings ….oh yeah singletary and lol he knows how to slap alex and the giants well that is alex being beat by a way better QB

  22. By 11yearswithalex on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    it is simple if he is cleared he will start but as in last game our doctor did not clear alex to play in bears game andn no the bears were not blah they looked blah because of the reads and calls that colin made at the line and after we scored ….our defense went to town because they thrive on us haveing a lead our defense is not a turnover and try to came back team they were last year but mechanics have changed …alex has way to many 3 and outs and dont even get me started on the checkdowns ………

  23. By 11yearswithalex on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    and also where the heck were you guys when i was saying alex had obvious flaws and they were being exploited by teams last year as well …but last year the running game was fireing and yes alex got a bit more comfy with the playbook but he can not run the whole thing because he refuses to throw down field because he knows his accuracy is subpar and plays keep away wich is fine for some games but when the othjer team has a good QB and the defense works alexd like a highschooler we look just as bad as the bears …..as in the rams game

  24. By 11yearswithalex on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    guys this is the NFL and these teams have professionals on them and they are big guys who want to win and can bring it …it is a fine line to out match some teams and sure the ball bounces funny ways does play into it but the team relies on the skills of the QB or else he would not get all that money

  25. By 11yearswithalex on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    say what you want of course but Kaeper sat in the pocket with urlacher coming in free and threw a strike to a triple covered vernon for a first down and more over the middle ……….give him some credit as well for playing an excellent game and looking really good doing it …he could have easily dont worse and not been an issue this kid is has been working hard to get to this point and i am sure he feels ready and will prob have to be back up as alex gets the nod but if alex goes 3 and out for 3 times he will be pulled

  26. By crabber59 on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    Either niner QB will be alot better than the Jets Sanchez&Teabow!!

  27. By chuck in south Dakota on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    As long as we win it doesn’t matter who is under center. Most of the time the defense puts us in position to win anyway. If we do not give up a short field to often, we will win out.if Smith is not ready, Kap can do the job.

  28. By Tony on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    I like Alex Smith.. I give props to people who deserve it. He did almost take us to the big game last year. However, there is a different feeling with Kap in the lineup. He’s not afraid to throw the long ball. He can run away from defenders well. He can rack up the yards on the ground if need be. He has more weapons on offense than Alex has. Alex is a game manager. He doesn’t turn the ball over and knows how to direct his teammates. The biggest question is this. Who do we think can take us to the Super Bowl this year and WIN? Better yet, who does Harbaugh think is capable of taking us all the way? We will find out soon Niners nation! GO NINERS.

  29. By Micah on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Eleven Years your still an idiot

  30. By Tony Flores on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    My oh my,how quickly we “forget”, we are “throwing” Alex out the door. Don’t give up Alex!!! Tony F

  31. By phatalerror on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    redandgold: “who remembers the time when troy smith was put as our starter over alex? he won two games or so…then other teams were able to learn how he plays and BAM…we’re back to alex again.”

    But of course, not until after the 49ers’ opportunity to win the NFC West with even a losing record in 2010 was lost. So has anyone here explained why the Troy Smith experiment didn’t work but that it will turn out different with Colin Kaepernick? They were both awesome in college, and they both graded substantially lower in the draft than other quarterbacks who were considered pro-ready.

  32. By phatalerror on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s not confuse ceiling with ability: Neither quarterback has hit their ceiling, and Usain Bolt merely being faster than Colin Kaepernick doesn’t make Bolt a better quarterback than Kaepernick any more than Colin Kaepernick’s being faster than Alex Smith makes Kaepernick the better quarterback.

  33. By all9ers on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    Alex=>Garcia=>short throws=>weak team=>another disappointing post season (no matter how much you love Alex)! I like to win and “almost there” or “2nd place” isn’t winning, Alex can’t win! The reason the defense did so go with Kaep against the Bears was that they were rested because there weren’t that many early 3 and outs. There was also a reason Vernon spoke of handcuffs or shackles coming off, I felt the same way just watching the game. I give a huge amount of credit to the special teams, O-line, and defense but instead of having to play at 140% with Alex, they relax and play at 100% with much better results with Kaep, they finally get to breath, think, and play even better. I don’t hate Alex, he is a great game manager but he can’t compete with the elite and will certainly lose in the post season. I wish he would prove me wrong but I know he can’t. This is a business with a lot of $$ on the line, guys get cut all the time. This is my advice to COACH if he wants to win: Play Kaepernick until you are sure that Monday against the Bears was a fluke, if it was a fluke then go back to Alex. If Kaep isn’t “the guy” then make sure to get a quarterback in the offseason. Then have Alex and/or Kaep as backups.

  34. By illbejiggered on Nov 23, 2012 | Reply

    The key is….Colin Kapernick can’t be worse than Smith, but he can definitely be better and with that upside it should be the kid’s time….

  35. By Harbaugh ERA on Nov 24, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s just face it, Harbaugh knows how to develop quarterbacks. Alex wasn’t good until Jim came. Look at Andrew Luck. I also believe he is doing the same with our team. Alex always had talent but Kaepernick is understanding early. It doesn’t matter who they put in, Jim will make the right decision on are starting QB. The positive side is that our team will be great for years to come!!

  36. By tony hallerman on Nov 24, 2012 | Reply

    i could care less which quarterback plays as long as we get a win

  37. By chitown ninerfansince81 on Nov 24, 2012 | Reply

    get over it people alex is a great game manger thats it thats all we all niner fans lets just ride with jim on this and let it play out and hopefully we win it all chitown born niner fan for life

  38. By JonWayne on Nov 24, 2012 | Reply

    Play the best QB and shut up. Colin Kaepernick has a 133.7 QB efficiency rating. Period. Shut up.

  39. By NINERFAN4LIFE on Nov 25, 2012 | Reply


  40. By joeyho14 on Nov 25, 2012 | Reply

    Alex Smith has worked hard these past 24 months bettering himself to 1) leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game last year where he demonstrated how subpered his is and what he is really capable of successfully leading those last few possessions to scores only to lose that game by a Special Team fumble and 2) continuing his excellent play this year leading the Niners to 1st in their Division, leading the offense to the top or near the top in many of the statistical categories including breaking at least one NFL record.

  41. By joeyho14 on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Comment Con’t (superb misspelled as “supered” – sorry) The bottom line is that Alex Smith has led the 49ers to over 20 victories the past season and a half with only a handful of losses. Alex Smith has proven himself. No doubt Jim Harbaugh helped Alex Smith become the better quarterback that he is but Mr. Harbaugh isn’t out on the field when Alex Smith is out there getting the job done. If Alex Smith is truely losing his starting role for the “no” reason(s) they are making it appear, this is WRONG! This would be like replacing Jim Harbaugh as the Head Coach, if he had to miss a Sunday because of the treatment being received or “not getting clearance” for the current medical issues he is currently going through? Right? WRONG! jm

  42. By joe garza on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    The way the 9ers O-line and complete Denfenvice unit played againist da bears Montana could have lid them up and no dought Alex would have, yes Kap will be a great player however don’t crown him on the Bears game. the Saints game don’t forget our “Big “D” and special team scored17 pts did you hear me “17pts” Kap couldn’t handle the noice and showed signs of getting rattled he’s best role would be to use him to complement Smith with our wide thread and roll outs.

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