Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Quick thoughts on 49ers quarterback Smith

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

AFC West blogger Bill Williamson is at Candlestick Park for the Raiders-49ers exhibition game. We'll be exchanging notes on quarterbacks.

I'll be sending information to him on Kyle Orton from the Broncos-Seahawks game in Seattle. He just passed along the following note on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith:

Smith played the first quarter for the 49ers as he tries to win the quarterback battle with Shaun Hill. Smith looked in command and the 49ers moved the ball some with him. He completed 3 of 9 pass attempts for 30 yards. But he threw the ball too high on three occasions. One of those balls was tipped and intercepted by Oakland linebacker Ricky Brown. He brought the ball back to the 49ers' 7-yard line.

Smith's most memorable moment of the game came when he laid a vicious block on Oakland defensive end Greg Ellis on a double reverse. Smith absolutely wiped out Ellis, who never saw it coming. Smith then hovered over Ellis, clearly enjoying the moment.

That, of course, won't help Smith win the quarterback job, but it does show his toughness.

Anything revealing natural fire and leadership in the easygoing Smith would seem welcome, even if his passer rating against the Raiders was 4.2.

Shaun Hill is now in the game at quarterback for the 49ers. Oakland holds a 7-0 lead, with JaMarcus Russell completing 7 of 11 passes for 76 yards, one touchdown and a 114.2 rating.