by Ken Hurst, September 16, 2010
Last week I wrote that Nate Davis was the most physically gifted young QB in the entire NFL and that it would be a blunder for the 49ers to cut him before he had a third year to learn the play book. Singletary did cut him by saying he was lazy and unmotivated. But, he was not claimed off of waivers by any team in the NFL and the 49ers signed him to their practice squad.
49ers head coach Mike Singletary explained his reasoning to the “company men” reporters for the Santa Rosa PD and the SF Chron.
They seem to have all accepted Singletary’s bullshit as though it was gospel from Moses calling him a “truth teller.” I would like to think Singletary was Machiavellian enough to trash the kid’s reputation enough that no one in the NFL fraternity would take the kid off of waivers. I would like to think that some of the reporters asked Singletary if he considered getting a specialist in dyslexia to help the kid learn the play book.
But, I believe that Singletary was a great Hall of Fame middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears who as a new head coach doesn’t have time to deal with a young QB who requires more than hard work to learn the play book. And, I think the reporters find it easier to drink the Koolaid than rock the boat.
Tony Dungy, the revered ex-coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Indianapolis Colts spoke in glowing terms on TV after a 49er preseason game about Nate Davis after Davis had played a good game. Dungy said basically that he had seen Davis play often at Ball State in Indiana and now in the pros and he was a special player.
Bruce Jenkins, an all-round sports reporter for the SF Chronicle whose opinion I respect even about tennis, my special sport, wrote, and I am paraphrasing — anybody who thinks that Alex Smith can compare to Nate Davis’s physical ability as a QB is not paying attention. Davis has more touch, more accuracy, and throws a better deep ball and is more charismatic.
To me, Nate Davis looks like a very young Brett Favre when he plays. I am glad that Singletary did bring him back to the 49ers practice squad. But, Jenkins also said that he finds the practice squad demeaning to a player of his talent. He would like to see him get a fresh start.
For anyone who thinks that the NFL, the premier league, can’t make mistakes, remember Terry Donahue and Dwight Clark choosing Drunkenmiller as the first QB chosen in the draft for the 49ers a few years ago when ex-coach Bill Walsh was speaking publicly about the virtues of Drew Breese.
Do you remember Ryan Leaf and the San Diego Chargers when they chose their QB? And you must remember JaMarcus Russell of the Raiders.
Don’t believe that the NFL opinion is any reason not to believe your own eyes when you judge the merits of a player. I do believe that Alex Smith deserves to be the 49er starter as QB this season long enough to truly show his ability even after Sunday’s losing effort versus the Seattle Seahawks, especially because he was mistreated by ex-head coach Mike Nolan.
Still, I believe that between the 30-yard lines, the 49ers offense should use its version of the spread offense. Alex Smith is swift and seems comfortable in space and sees the field better in open space than he does in a clogged up QB pocket. Smith is not an oil derrick type of QB. So, give the guy a chance to breathe.
Dave Carr is the second string QB for the 49ers. He is from Bakersfield and played for Fresno State and is a nice man who never really got a chance to show what he can do because he played for the Texans in the NFL before they finally became a good team this year.
Carr is probably a better stationary pocket passer than Smith if Singletary is determined to play a style of ball that doesn’t best suit his QB.
Carr is a good guy because he said of Nate Davis publicly that Davis has a lot more talent than some Super Bowl QBs he has seen.
The 49ers aren’t as bad as they looked in Seattle and the Seahawks aren’t that good. I would like to see Singletary let Jimmy Raye run the spread offense he displayed briefly in the 2009 season. Raye looks like an aging jazzman who is wise, comfortable with life, and has an easy cool who could make his offense hum and Alex Smith relax and play.