SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Ryan Fitzpatrick

It's always easier to solve a problem if you start with what you know. And we know Adrian McPherson and Stefan LeFors are not the best quarterbacks selected in the 2005 draft. They may be better options at the position than JaMarcus Russell, but that's an entirely different problem.

Alex Smith's return to the starting lineup, on the heels of a quality relief appearance against the Texans, brings the class of 2005 back into focus. From surprise MVP candidates (Kyle Orton), big-money acquisitions (Matt Cassel) and the guy who pushed Brett Favre out of Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers) to a couple of guys fighting for starting snaps (Derek Anderson and Jason Campbell), it's not quite the class of 1983 but it's an interesting bunch.

After Smith lost out to Shaun Hill in the preseason, only 19 percent of SportsNation thought he would ever be a full-time NFL starter.

Sam (San Francisco, CA)

Thoughts on Alex Smith being named the Niners starter?

Gary Horton
Gary Horton

I was really happy yesterday to see Smith get another chance. I really like him. Not only as a player, but people around him think highly of him and how he's handled the situation. The 49ers are last in the NFL for throwing to their WRs. For the most part, this passing game has been to RBs and TEs. That makes it easy to defend. Smith has the bigger arm than Shaun Hill. They now have Crabtree on the perimeter and they have the ability to really stretch the defense with Smith's arm strength and that opens up the run game. He's had a lot of time to study defenses and work on his weaknesses and I would like to think that this is not only a real positive for Smith but that it really opens up the 49ers offense. Full transcript.

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