Chat wrap: Alex Smith vs. Hyundai Elantra

One subject raised during the most recent NFC West chat -- how much should a team be willing to trade for Kevin Kolb -- is something I'll explore in a separate post. In the meantime, a few highlights (transcript here):

Doug (Newbury Park): Mike, tell me what exactly will change if Coach Harbaugh keeps Alex Smith? You talk about an "offensive minded coach" with Nolan and Singletary being defensive. Tell me how does that change Alex Smith's deciscion making process with broken down protections and pressure in his face? We hear the "hes had no consistency arguement" now as you say the future could be brighter with an "offensive mind"? Aren't offensive coordinaters offensive minds?Look we have all seen flashes of great drives. How many game winning drives against winning teams? How many drives ended with a poorly thrown ball? Coach Harbaugh cannot make Alex Smith the competitor the he was "Captain Come Back". Is Coach Harbaugh the best fit he has had sure I will give you that. I guess we must ask ourleves "can a leopard change his spots? Looks like we will find out!

Mike Sando: We should not confuse bringing back Alex Smith with endorsing him as the future of the franchise. Two different things. I'll use an analogy here. I've got a 2005 Hyundai Elantra. I would like to have a better car. I realize the Elantra has some limitations. Should I ditch my Elantra if I cannot acquire something better? Or would I rather drive that Elantra, or at least keep it around, because it sure beats walking?

Nick James (Phoenix): How do you expect to see Horton use Pro-Bowl Adrian Wilson now in this new system? People compare him to Troy Polamalu talent-wise. Do you see Wilson's production going up and him being used more as a blitzer like Troy in Pitt? I foresee a big season for him.

Mike Sando: Getting the most from Adrian Wilson has to be a top priority for Ray Horton in his first season as defensive coordinator in Arizona. Wilson is best disrupting things around the line of scrimmage, both in the run game and as a blitzer. Horton has to feature him in these ways. Horton has repeatedly said it's less about his system and more about the players he has available to him. That has to be good news for Wilson and the Cardinals. Now, Polamalu is a different type of player. I wouldn't make a direct comparison there.

Mick (Brooklyn): The true backup QB gem of this year, in my opinion, is not Kevin Kolb, but Matt Flynn. Neither is a proven winner, and both have shown swagger, but Flynn did a much better job against the Pats D when he was given a chance to play, than I have ever seen in Kolb. He would also cost much less to acquire. Since Whitehurst never looked very comfortable under center, would you say it would be a good deal for the Hawks to trade for Flynn rather than drafting a rookie, and let him beat out Charlie for the starting gig?

Mike Sando: The Seahawks' general manager, John Schneider, was with the Packers before last season. When he went after a quarterback by trade last offseason, he targeted Charlie Whitehurst. I have no knowledge of him pursuing Matt Flynn. That might tell us something about how the Seahawks viewed Flynn, at least at that time. Another thing to consider: How will the offense change with Darell Bevell as coordinator? Will the things Seattle liked in Whitehurst carry over?

Lou (CA): OK, so everyone agrees the Rams take Julio Jones if he is there,wouldn't it be better to pull a Belichick and trade down. Get some 2nd and 3rd rounders instead? I mean McDaniels did pretty well as the offensive coordinator without a big-time No. 1 WR in New England.

Mike Sando: I'd have no real problem with that. The Rams got James Laurinaitis and Rodger Saffold in the second round recently. They'd be fortunate to find a player at No. 14 able to contribute so much at such key positions. Laurinaitis is the quarterback of the defense. Saffold is the left tackle for a franchise quarterback. Those are a couple potentially sensational second-round picks.

Thanks for the conversation.