Postgame Q&A -- Alex Smith


Postgame Q&A -- Alex Smith

SAN FRANCISCO -- A disappointed and somber Alex Smith reviewed the NFC Championship and a dramatic 2011 season shortly after the 49ers' 20-17 defeat in overtime. The following is a transcript of a portion of the postgame conversation between San Francisco's QB and the media:

On his mood:
"Crappy. Overtime in the NFC championship game, it's a lot of work it's a tough road to even get here. And you get here and you're so close -- so it's not good, not a good feeling."

On San Francisco's third-down problems:
"We were awful on third down. We got ourselves in a lot of third-and-longs and even when we were third and manageable we didn't convert. It's just bad. I think it was the difference between us ... I mean, really, on offense that was what stands out to me, I think, from really controlling the game a little bit more. Didn't help out our defense enough, too many three-and-outs. Not enough plays. Convert those third downs and you give yourself more plays, more chances and so many of those not converting on third downs you're limiting all of our opportunities and it hurt us all night."

What were the Giants doing to keep you getting the ball to the wideouts?
"They were good. They mixed it up a lot today, I felt like, coverage-wise. They mixed it up a lot. It wasn't one thing that jumps out to me. They pressed us, they played coverage, they played Cover 2 -- mixed it up all throughout the game. We just weren't able to get into a rhythm, get any guys going outside. It limited us."

How does this game compare to the November game?
"I don't know without looking at the tape. I guess I felt like the first game was a lot of single-safety, a lot of playing the run -- left us a lot of 1-on-1s outside. There was that going on a times (but) they just mixed it up a lot more. There was a lot of two-high in this game on first and second down. A lot on third down, especially those third-and-longs that we couldn't convert. Two-deep, man-under and (we) couldn't. "

What can you say to Kyle Williams? Obviously you have to feel for him.
"Without question. For me, I'm looking at, what did we go -- 1-for-13 on third downs? I know it's tough for him, I'm sure he obviously is going to be thinking about those two punts -- two punt returns -- for quite a while. But we didn't lose the game there. We lost the game across the board and offensively, we just weren't good enough today. We didn't get it done. On third downs (is) the glaring one, we just weren't good enough."

Without Ted Ginn on offense, did it make it difficult to stretch the field?
"Yeah, it did but all teams have to deal with injuries. No question, he was the next guy in line and then he goes down -- the next guy stepped up, Kyle stepped up. (I) missed some opportunities outside, and I don't know if I -- it's hard to know without looking at the tape. ... We took a shot deep there in the second quarter and missed that. I would like to have another opportunity, but ..."

You made a lot of plays with your legs today -- did you think you would have to be doing that?
"I was aware of it. Last week (the Giants) played so much man, especially on third down -- Aaron (Rodgers) did the same thing, made a lot of plays with his feet. So I was aware of it if it was there. Had a couple of quarterback-designed stuff for me, and then a couple of scrambles, you know, just man-to-man. I felt like even when it was that, a couple of times I got out of the pocket and tried to make some plays on scrambles and we didn't -- three or four times I got out of the pocket with some time and we weren't able to do anything with it. Those are big-play potentials and we couldn't make anything happen there."

How do you feel -- anger, frustration, disappointment?
"Yeah, it's tough to put one word on it but all those things -- frustrated, disappointed."

How long will it take before you can step back and get over the moment look at the entirety of the season?
"I have no idea, sorry. It is a first for me. I don't know. I don't know. I'm sure it will be pretty crappy for a little while."

Have you talked to Kyle at all, did you say anything to him?
"Yeah, I mean there's not much you can say. I'd like to say I came up with something really great, but what do you say? What do you say to all of us? We all had a hand in it, but we all know him, how committed he is, how much he wants to win, what a part of the team he is -- so it's not on him. Those were two plays, two plays of a lot that went on tonight, and you can't put it on those."

Regarding his contract status. How soon will he address it?
"I got no idea as far as any of the contract stuff. I'll head in tomorrow and we'll just go from there."

On the weather
"It was kind of off and on all night. I would actually say the wind was more of a factor than the rain."

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions


Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

SANTA CLARA – While rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard is taking a micro view of his promotion, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not shy about admitting he is looking at the big picture.

Shanahan said how Beathard performs after replacing Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback will have “a ton” of influence on how the 49ers proceed during the offseason.

After all, the 49ers know every position will come under tremendous scrutiny as the organization looks to add the pieces that will make the club competitive.

“That’s for every position. That’s for every player on our team. That’s for every coach on our team,” Shanahan said. “We’re 0-6, and that’s extremely tough. But I’m extremely excited about this place and excited about where we’re at and where we’re going. There’s not a moment that I don’t waste thinking about that stuff.”

Beathard will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

Hoyer failed in his bid to earn consideration as the 49ers’ quarterback for the remainder of this season and beyond during his six starts. Hoyer completed just 58 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 74.1.

Now, Beathard gets his chance. But he said he is not thinking about the big picture and what it might mean for the future.

“I’m really just trying to take it one day, one week at a time,” Beathard said. “I’m not looking that far ahead. Right now, my focus is on today’s practice and geared towards beating the Cowboys and doing the best we can to get better and improve.”

Beathard was pressed into action last week when Hoyer’s struggles continued at Washngton. Beathard stepped in and completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception. For the first time, Beathard is getting the first-team practice snaps with a game plan that is designed specifically for him.

Said Beathard, “Getting those extra reps, reps with guys that you don’t usually throw to, in the huddle with the guys that are out there, I think it’ll help a lot.”

Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates


Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates

More than 35 players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl champion will be in attendance on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium to show support for Dwight Clark, who revealed in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Clark, 60, will have ample opportunity to reconnect with some of his old friends on Saturday evening and again on Sunday. At halftime, Joe Montana, surrounded by most of the 49ers' 1981 team, will introduce Clark before a video tribute.

Clark is also expected to make some remarks while situated in a suite for the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Montana and his wife, Jennifer, have remained in close contact with Clark and his wife, Kelly. The Clarks recently watched the Blue Angels in San Francisco with the Montanas during Fleet Week.

“He’s getting pretty inundated with everyone staying in touch with him at this point,” Montana said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“It’s fun for him. At one point, he was telling his wife, Kelly, ‘This is what it’s all about. This is what I want and what I miss, seeing the guys.’ So any of the guys reaching out to him, he surely appreciates it.”

Montana said Clark has not lost his positive outlook or his sense of humor, as evidenced by some not-fit-for-print words he recently had about his wheelchair. Montana said there are always some good laughs and stories any time Clark gets together with his friends.

“That’s the fun part," Montana said. “You just try to get him to forget what’s there, and that you’re there for him whenever. I think the support is the biggest thing right now. In that stage of ALS, it's got to be getting tough, where all of a sudden, things are becoming more and more difficult.”