Weekend poll: Which quarterback will finish with a better rating in 2013?

Leading Off: Alex Smith, best QB in the NFL? Uh ... no

Published: Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 5, 2013 - 10:32 am

In any discussion about the best quarterbacks in the NFL, the usual names always come up.

First mentioned are the Patriots' Tom Brady, the Broncos' Peyton Manning, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers, the Saints' Drew Brees, then followed perhaps by the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, the Giants' Eli Manning and the Ravens' Joe Flacco.

Top young guns like the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, the Colts' Andrew Luck, the Redskins' Robert Griffin III and the Seahawks' Russell Wilson soon could be part of the conversation.

But no one would put Alex Smith, the former 49ers quarterback now with the Kansas City Chiefs, in their top 10 – except his new boss.

"Ultimately, every team has to have a quarterback," Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson told The Kansas City Star this week. "I think we have the best in the league."

We know part of Pederson's job is to praise his players, but calling Smith the best quarterback in the NFL is ludicrous.

Yes, Smith led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game in the 2011 season and was 6-2-1 with a league-leading 70.2 percent completion rate when he suffered a concussion in the ninth game last season.

Despite that impressive performance, Smith wasn't even the best quarterback on his team last season, failing to regain the starter's job from Kaepernick when he was healthy again.

We know it's just a preseason game, but we're looking forward to Aug. 16, when the 49ers play the Chiefs in Kansas City.

What to watch

Baseball, Round Rock at the River Cats, 7:05 p.m., Raley Field: Check out River Cats starter Sonny Gray, who might soon be recalled by the A's.

Weekend poll

Which quarterback will finish with a better rating in 2013?

• Colin Kaepernick

• Alex Smith

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Friday's results

Assuming the SEC is the top college football conference, which is No. 2?

• Pacific-12: 67%

• Big 10: 17%

• Big 12: 11%

• ACC: 4%

• Other: 1%

Total votes: 126

Call The Bee's Tom Couzens, (916) 321-1097. Follow him on Twitter @tomcouzens.

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