Razzano's Raspberry

raspberrya spluttering noise made with the tongue and lips to express contempt.

Just how much should one take from the analysis of a scout separated from his job? I do not try and debunk Dave Razzano's body of work with the Arizona Cardinals or the St. Louis Rams but I do have to smile when I see the "Well at the time I said this, so I was right," approach that we see oh-so often.

Razzano has said recently that 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is the wrong man for the starting job. He says that he thought this all-along, which of course could be the case, Smith's status as the best quarterback in the draft was hotly contested by members of the media and fans alike. But the question wasn't: "Should Alex Smith be taken first overall or in the middle of the fifth round?"

The fifth round reference comes from Razzano's very bold caim: he says he rated 49ers third string quarterback Nate Davis higher than Alex Smith. I'll go ahead and open and close the book on Davis in the same paragraph and tell you that Davis is indeed a veritable bundle of potential - but that's it right now. David Carr, who has been with the team only for a couple months, knows the playbook better than the fifth round pick out of Ball State.

So back to Alex Smith and Razzano's analysis. He goes on to say that Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart is a better player:

But Leinart, I feel, is better than Smith. In terms of that division, I still give the edge to the Cardinals. It'll be a dogfight. The 49ers will be what they are, 8-8, maybe 9-7 this year because of the division. But I don't see them being a legitimate playoff team because of Alex Smith.

It's just an odd statement to me, considering in every situation Alex Smith has outperformed Leinart. I definitely see legitimate complaints about Alex Smith, but many times in this league we've seen players turn things around. Sure, they flounder and collapse more often than not, but I feel Razzano's time off included not watching professional football at all last season. I believe a quarterback did quite well for himself and I believe his name was Alex Smith.

I won't claim that Smith is the next big thing, nor will I claim he's poised to be one of the top five quarterbacks in the league, but being a rational thinker that I am (my own horn, I'm tooting it) I'm going to eat my previous words, words that echoed Razzano's draft-day sentiments of Alex Smith being a complete bust, and just let the guy play (while rooting on the sidelines, of course).

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