The San Francisco 49ers offense and Alex Smith will be dangerous this season

2005 #1 pick Alex Smith was looking like a bust heading into the 2011 campaign. Then new coach Jim Harbaugh comes in and look what Alex Smith did. He looked like Andrew Luck leading the 49ers to  a 13-3 record and an NFC West title. Not only are they winning, they added a ton of talent at the wide receiver position.

During mini camp, Alex Smith looked one way, then another, finding open receivers with such ease that the toughest part might’ve been deciding whose turn it was in the rotation.

Smith’s new choices at wide receiver are Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and first-round pick A.J. Jenkins, They zipped all over the field during Wednesday’s pad-free practice, giving the quarterback options he never had last season.

“It’s like waking up on Christmas,” Smith said. “You have a lot of new toys out there, new presents.”

New expectations, too.

Smith ranked 19th in the NFL with a career-high 3,144 yards passing and struggled to find wide receivers in a 20-17 overtime loss in the NFC title game to the eventual champion New York Giants.

One thing the 2005 No. 1 overall pick out of Utah no longer seems to lack: confidence.

“This is the honest truth: I could absolutely care less on yards per game,” Smith said. “I think that is a totally overblown stat because if you’re losing games in the second half, guess what? You’re like the Carolina Panthers and you’re going no-huddle the entire second half and, yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games. That’s great. You’re not winning, though.”

New receiver RandyMoss again declined to talk to reporters but has been Smith’s No. 1 target during the open portions of practice and, by all 49ers accounts, has dazzled.

“It’s neat to watch our players watch a guy like Randy that they’ve watched growing up,” Harbaugh said. “And we have two fields. The defensive field’s on the far right and then the offensive field is over here on the left. And I can always see the defensive players will be looking over.”

Said Smith: “The first day, it was surreal out there throwing balls to him. The physical skills everybody knows. The thing you appreciate a lot is the guy’s a true pro. He’s played a lot of football. He’s incredibly smart out there.”

From reading Alex Smith’s quotes and understanding what general manager Trent Baalke are trying to do, it feels like the 49ers are back and are ready to make a move. They realized that last year they could have won the Super Bowl and clearly were the second best team in the league besides the Green Bay Packers that finished 15-1.

Next year will be fun and interesting throughout the whole league but I hope this 49ers team doesn’t adopt the mentality of the Philadelphia Eagles and think they have become a “dream team.” They can be the best team in the NFC if they believe in Alex Smith and the offense.

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