Alex Smith

Numbers aren’t everything in the preseason

Wasn’t able to catch the 49ers’ first preseason game live, because I am an incredible fiance. Instead of lounging on the couch on a perfectly lethargic Sunday morning, I took my wife-to-be on a wedding cake tasting excursion. This sounds like it would be the easiest trip in the world. The pastry chef tries to impress with a wide assortment of delicious cake flavors, we try them, and pretend we’re food critics. “Hmmmm, this red velvet is very good. But the cream cheese frosting is a little sweet for me. Let’s try that raspberry mousse vanilla cake again just to make sure…”

Yeah, right. What actually happens is the cake is set on the table on saran wrap-covered plates, but first comes the discussion about the colors we’re going to use, what the reception space looks like, what kind of cake shape we want, budgetary decisions (always the worst part) and lots of photo albums. The actual eating of cake comes last, probably to make sure the future husbands don’t tune out after filling up on a plate full of moist, delicious (yes, even better than pie) cake.

Afterward we got home, and the Giants game started 10 minutes later. So much for watching the Niners game on Tivo. That is, until last night, when without regard for the health of my relationship I made my fiance watch the entirety of the 49ers and Colts. I had to. From what I’d heard, Alex Smith is partially retarded while David Carr and Nate Davis might as well have been Drew Brees and Tom Brady. And by the numbers, that would seem correct. In reality, well, read on…

49ers/Colts Recap: well, the important stuff I still remember, anyway

— First, since he wears No. 5, we need to start calling him David Carrcia. Any objections?

— David Carr is a nice backup. Starting him in week one, unless Alex Smith suffers a serious injury, would be ridiculous. Smith and Carr, save for Vernon Davis, were flanked by the same quality receivers, running backs and offensive linemen, only Carr faced a vastly inferior defense. Also, Carr’s throwing motion is even weirder than I remember. He almost decelerates (golf term) when throwing, his take-back is so quick.

— Also, with an offensive line that’s constantly in a state of flux, having the slowest quarterback under 35 in the history of football isn’t the best plan. Start Carr for 16 games with a rookie right tackle and mediocre right guard, and we’re talking about crushing the all-time record for times sacked.

— In other words, I’m not ready to throw Smith down the garbage disposal because he went 3-for-9 with an INT while surrounded with weapons like Ted Ginn, Michael Robinson and the mistake-prone Delanie Walker against a 1st-team defense. If Smith sucks with Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore on the field, then there’s problems.

— While I’d still need to see him play against anything other than third-stringers, I don’t think Jason Whitlock was that far off when he suggested that Jimmy Raye’s inflexibility with Davis is a sign of laziness. Sure, it’s because Whitlock is a fellow Ball State alum who’s had Davis’ back since he was in college, but Davis has skills. It’d be a shame if he never got a chance to use them because he got confused by the supposed genius of Raye, a journeyman offensive coordinator who’s lucky to have a job.

I told you about Anthony Dixon, didn’t I? OK, maybe I didn’t go as far as to say he already has a stiff-arm that rivals Garrison Hearst’s, or that he’s completely unlike Glen Coffee in his ability to fall forward when getting tackled instead of getting stood up for a loss or no gain.

— P-Con (from KNBR) ripped Dixon the other morning, saying he wasn’t too impressed with Dixon coming out of college because Mississippi St. didn’t have much of a passing game. Wait, what???

— Hopefully P-Con isn’t right about the other Anthony, Anthony Davis, sucking. He was terrible in his first preseason game.

— While Dixon looked legit, Robinson’s performance as the starting tailback was less than stellar. Thankfully the 49ers realized he is best suited for special teams and signed Brian Westbrook. Nice gamble for the 49ers; if they don’t rely on Westbrook too heavily I can see him giving Smith a great passing option when the pressure gets fierce.

— Reggie Smith’s interception return for a touchdown got more attention, but his play in the back of the end zone to deflect a pass from Peyton Manning in the first quarter was even better. And Taylor Mays made an outstanding tackle behind the line as well. Suddenly, the 49ers look to be strong at safety.

— Absolutely loved the way Kyle Williams returned kicks and punts. If Williams can get healthy, Ginn better make plays at wideout or he won’t be of much use. (Crap, he’s out for several weeks with a sprained toe. Ginn it is!)

— Jason Hill drops too many balls. Brandon Jones was another Scot McCloughan bonehead acquisition. It better be the dependable Dominique Zeigler who gets that last wide receiver spot, and it doesn’t matter if that means Lloyd and Hill will be Seahawks this season.

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