Thursday, September 6, 2012

Aaron Rodgers: Alex Smith is more than a game manager


In the 2005 NFL draft, Alex Smith went first overall to the 49ers, while Aaron Rodgers took a tumble to the 24th overall pick, where the Packers finally grabbed him. As it turned out, Rodgers has become a much better quarterback than Smith, but Rodgers takes exception to the suggestion that Smith isn’t a fine quarterback in his own right.

With the Packers preparing to play the 49ers on Sunday, Rodgers was asked if he considers Smith a “game manager,” and Rodgers said he has a problem with that term.

“I think that term is a condescending term for quarterbacks,” Rodgers said, via USA Today.
Rodgers said he admires Smith and is troubled by the lack of respect Smith has received.

“I don’t think he’s a game manager,” Rodgers said. “I think he’s a guy who takes care of the football and makes a lot of plays. I don’t think he got the respect that he deserves. I’ve been friends with him since we were 21 and I’ve followed his career. I definitely pull for him and enjoy watching him play.”

The reality, however, is that any lack of respect for Smith is because he hasn’t produced the way a No. 1 overall pick should. Smith has averaged less than 180 passing yards a game and less than one touchdown pass a game over his NFL career, and has found success only when avoiding turnovers on a team with a good running game and a strong defense. That’s technically what a game manager is.

However, Smith began to show great progress under new coach Jim Harbaugh. As last season progressed, he began to look better in his new system. The highlight of that was his performance in the playoff win over the Saints, where he looked like anything but a game manager. With San Fran's new offensive weapons, could this be the season Alex Smith sheds the game manager title?

Share your thoughts here.

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