49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 31, 2009
Raye wants Smith to go rogue

Jimmy Raye wants Alex Smith to be more like Sarah Palin. That is, he thinks Smith must add a little "maverick" to his game. "You need a certain amount of maverick in you to really embrace the position," Raye said after the team's walk-through this morning. To this point, Smith has been quite the opposite. He's been a classroom guy, a guy who's analytical, a guy who, according to Raye, is "very anal, extremely intelligent. ... "And when you have that kind of intellect, you tend to be somewhat analytical. Detail and structure are important to that individual. He learns more from playing. He hasn't played a lot of football in the NFL."

This, of course, is a variation of what Urban Meyer said about Smith in his now-famous "non-functional" conference call in 2005. Meyer's point that day was that Smith was so analytical, so detail-oriented that he wouldn't be a good quarterback until he understood the entire offense. Meyer said that Smith was a guy that needed constancy - something he'll get for the first time in his career with Raye returning to run the offense in 2010.

As far as becoming more of a maverick, Raye predicted that will come as Smith digests the full offense and becomes "functional" in his system. Once that occurs, he'll become more like Brett Favre, who is the poster child for maverick behavior. Both Favre and Raye were with the Jets last season, and you can tell from Raye's comments that, as is the case now in Minnesota, the quarterback wasn't exactly adored by the coaching staff in New York.

Asked if, in terms of temperament and intellect, Favre and Smith were polar opposites, Raye drew a big laugh when he said, "Well, definitely intellect. ... (then with a chuckle) No, I'll pay for that one."

Raye admitted he'd have to walk a fine line in getting Isaac Bruce playing time Sunday in St. Louis. The 16-year veteran hasn't even set foot on a practice field in six weeks, and Raye said Bruce's safety was his biggest concern. But Raye also said he wasn't "going to disrespect what he's done over the course of his career with a token gesture." Raye said he'd sit down with Bruce and discuss his role this week. Bruce didn't practice yesterday. It's unclear whether he will practice today.

The play of the offensive line has to be one of the biggest disappointments of the 49ers' season. One of the reasons, Raye revealed today, is that the foot injury that sidelined left guard Davis Baas in training camp continued to be a problem early in the season. Raye said Baas and rest of the interior linemen only recently have begun to jell liked the team hoped they would have in the summer.

Vernon Davis has gone with what I call the Barrows look. That is, he shaved off his dreadlocks and is going with the Mr. Clean look. Davis said he wanted to kick off the new year with a new look. If you ask me, 2009 was pretty good to Davis ...

-- Matt Barrows

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments
blog comments powered by Disqus


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]


May 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Monthly Archives

Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.


49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words

Your IP Address has been recorded as and will be included with this submission.