Alex Smith, Not Jimmy Raye, the Cause of 49ers’ Disastrous Start

Jimmy Raye is in good company. Upon being let go by the 49ers Monday morning, he has now joined Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy, San Diego Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner, offensive mastermind Mike Martz, and Jim Hostler in the club of guys who used to send play calls into Alex Smith's helmet.

Hostler aside, those are some pretty exceptional offensive coordinators.

What's going on really couldn't be more obvious.

Sure, the 49ers offensive line really wasn't a talented unit until 2010, when they spent their two first-round picks on Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, but they have never been as bad as Smith has made them look.

He has no pocket presence, makes tons of mistakes, and throws passes at such a trajectory that they are apt to be tipped.

It's one thing when you get unlucky with tipped passes becoming interceptions every once and a while. It happens to Smith on nearly a weekly basis. It's not a freak occurrence.

Nobody needs a litany of all of the things that Alex Smith does poorly, though. He's not that hard to figure out.

Smith also should have one the easiest jobs in the league. Frank Gore is not only a highly talented workhorse, but he's a great pass-catching safety valve. Vernon Davis should be quite the security blanket too, and the 49ers defense is physical and has all sorts of playmakers. Apparently, none of that is any help to Smith.

Alex Smith has a career 69 QB rating. He's thrown 38 touchdowns and 47 interceptions. He is what he is — a bad quarterback and a draft bust.

If the 49ers had gone after Donovan McNabb in the offseason, they'd actually be the playoff contender that they were expected to be. They'd even be better off if they had pursued Jason Campbell, Derek Anderson or — sadly enough — Matt Leinart. Benching him for David Carr probably would be an upgrade too. Smith is that bad.

Raye may have been slow getting calls into Smith's helmet a few times, but he's simply being used as the scapegoat for a franchise that is unwilling to admit that it blew the top overall pick.

New coordinator Mike Johnson won't have it any easier. He'll be out the door soon enough.

Houston gave up on David Carr and ultimately improved. San Diego gave up on Ryan Leaf and ultimately improved. Sometimes, you just have to cut your losses and start over.

That's exactly what they'll have to do to ever win the NFC West — which really shouldn't be very hard to begin with.

And to think, they could have had Aaron Rodgers.