Tonight was the first preseason game for the 49ers. There has been a lot of talk about Alex Smith and how he's going to pan out. He had a terrible rookie season on a terrible team, throwing one touchdown and eleven interceptions. He's been criticized as having happy feet, small hands, no confidence, and lacking the talent many though he had went he was drafted #1 overall by the Niners. Much of the talk has been centered around this season being the time when Alex Smith will prove whether or not he can become the QB the Niners hope he will be or another first-round bust. I'm not sure that's the case, considering the team is still very young and this is only his second year. Nevertheless as a die-hard 49ers fan I am looking with great anticipation on this season, hoping Smith grows into at the very least an above-average NFL QB if not a great one. I know this process will take some time and he does need a good supporting cast to excel but I'm as excited as anyone to see what happens this season with the additions of Vernon Davis at TE (along with Eric Johnson's return) as well as Antonio Bryant at WR. Frank Gore also showed some good stuff last season in his time at RB, and between him and Kevan Barlow I think we should have a good running game. So there are definitely some pieces in place for this young offense to come together and start to play well under the tutelage of new Offensive Coordinator Norvell Turner.
Because of the above I watched the first-team offense with great anticipation tonight. I am happy to say I was pleased by their performance against last year's number one defense in the Chicago Bears. Smith didn't look like a lost little boy on the field. He played like he knew what he was doing. By and large his throws were crisp and on target. He displayed some good scrambling and bootlegging skills, as well as an ability to throw very accurately on the run. That's what you need in a QB. He even threw the ball away on purpose a couple times instead of throwing interceptions. It's not time for any sort of coronation and this is just one game, a preseason game no less, but I am encouraged by what I saw. Let's hope that feeling lasts for the entire season as we watch Alex Smith and the 49ers offense grow into something worthy of respect.
Also, it looks like the Refs have new uniforms. I can't say for sure but they look new. And dumb.