Tuesday Morning Crabtree Watch - 12/22

Two weeks ago, I noted that I thought that Alex Smith could (and would) be a strong starting QB in the NFL over the next half-decade. That said, I was extremely frustrated with his performance this weekend (42.3 passer rating) due to what appeared to be horrible decisions - not throws. However, Mr. Maiocco has calmed me down with his article in the Press Democrat yesterday - an article focused on consistency.

It's widely known that the Niners haven't exactly the best run organization this decade, so we'll look to one of the best for guidance after the jump.

Peyton Manning has thrown up a lifetime passer rating of 95.3 (good, but not great). However, he hasn't always been a model of excellence: his first 5 years in the league, Manning posted a slightly above average rating of 85.9 (including a very strong 71.2 in his first year). This was accomplished, however, with 5 years in the same system (the same system they're running today). Here's where I'll rattle off the aforementioned "poorly run organization stats". Since the completion of the 2002 season, the Nienrs have had:

- 4 Head Coaches
- 7 Offensive Coordinators
- 4 Defensive Coordinators
- 3 "top personnel people"
- 9 Starting QBs

All in 8 Seasons!

Smith has been with the team since 2005, yet has not been in the same system 2 seasons in a row. As Urban Myer noted  (from Maiocco's article above) on draft night 2005, this would pose an issue:
It’s going to be interesting in San Francisco. Alex is an extremely quick learner. However, he’s a guy that, until he understands it, he is nonfunctional. I keep hearing how Brett Favre kind of makes something out of nothing and is a person that runs around to make a play. Alex Smith is not that kind of player. Alex Smith has to learn it all. He might struggle early, but once he gets it, he gets it. That’s why, early in his career, and early in our career with him at Utah, he was not an effective passer, because he really didn’t understand. Once he understood, there was no one better. He’s not a guy that you throw the ball out there and tell him, ‘Go play.’ He wants to know what is exactly expected of him and then he becomes a dynamite player.

So, contrary to my initial instincts, let's all take a step back, calm down, and let the team gel over the next few years.


  1. I think about this every now and then...and it's thoughts like these that allow me to consider keeping Norv Turner around. Getting rid of him would basically mean there's no way we are going to the Super Bowl in the next few years.

  2. Are you guys still running the same (or similar) offensive and defensive systems/schemes that you were running under Marty/Cameron/Phillips? My feeling is that it isn't too different.

    I don't think removing Turner would hurt you as much as you think for two reasons:

    1) Your core (on both sides of the ball) has been pretty stable for 2+ years.

    2) I think Spanos/Smith are smart enough to fill the position with someone who's (a) already in the organization, or (b) has a similar mindset as the departing Turner.

    However, I don't see why you'd consider dropping Turner after his run at the helm over the past few years. Can you elaborate on why you'd want to drop Turner?

  3. Because he's about to choke in the playoffs, okay Scott?!? Okay???!!!??? Don't make me get an ulcer before it even happens!!

    Also, in retrospect, it's interesting to think that we let Cameron and Wade Phillips go, and that was the right decision. At the time I was pissed because I thought we should've replaced Marty with one of them... but they were both bad head coaches

  4. Bathmate - thanks, I agree

    Scott, PS - I read your last line of your original post as "so basically we are screwed, see you here next week"

  5. At no point in his tenure as Chargers head coach has anyone felt that he was a "motivator" or "inspirational". He has always been great at offensive game plans, but has not shown any indication that he can get the players to dig deep and overcome adversity. Now it's possible the players do that on their own...but he feels like the exact opposite of Mike Singletary (all motivation...not much game planning).

    And Scott, you are correct that the Chargers have had the same offense for a long time. Norv Turner installed the offense as the offensive coordinator around Tomlinson's rookie season. That's one of the big reasons he was selected as the head coach...continuity.