San Francisco 49er fans really don’t want to hear that former #1 draft pick Alex Smith is healthy and competing for the starting quarterback job again.
They have already seen enough of Smith and want Shaun Hill to get the job. That might be somewhat unfair to Smith but it is the reality of the situation.
The 49ers with Smith at the helm were a huge bust in NFL betting. With Hill leading the team they have actually been pretty good versus the NFL odds. Smith was taken as the first choice in the 2005 NFL Draft but he came into a bad situation as the 49ers had no receivers and a poor offensive line. Smith had a very poor rookie season but made some progress in his second season before offensive coordinator Norv Turner left for San Diego. In his third year he suffered a serious shoulder injury that required surgery. Last year he tried to come back but needed another surgery. Online sports betting information tells us that General Manager Scot McCloughan said that Smith is throwing the ball better than he ever has.
NFL betting information tells us that the 49ers are installing a new offense with offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. It is an offense that Smith likes and is familiar with. "There are some similarities in the terminology with Norv’s offense, so that makes it easier for me to assimilate," he said. "I think he’s very good at making use of what he has. He realizes that Vernon is a special talent who can create matchup problems, so he’s making the tight end more a focal part of our offense."
Head coach Mike Singletary has said that Smith has a real chance to win the starting quarterback job over Hill. "When the offseason started I wasn’t really sure where Alex was," Singletary said. "He’s been through a lot in four years. In order for he and Shaun to compete on a level ground, he had to get healthy. He had to get his mind focused. He had to let go of some of the bitterness that happened to him; some of the bad things and get the bad taste out of his mouth and be ready to go. I think that has happened. I’m very excited about that."
San Francisco is getting some respect from the NFL odds makers in 2009. The 49ers are 35-1 to win Super Bowl XLIV in NFL betting odds at the sports book. The 49ers open the regular season at Arizona where they are 6.5 point underdogs in NFL betting.