SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- ESPN's Chris Mortensen stopped by San Francisco 49ers camp recently and culled this quote from team's top personnel man, Trent Baalke:
"I'm not saying Alex Smith is a great quarterback in the NFL, but if we protect him and we've surrounded him with the right kind of players, put him in the right system and stay out of all the third-and-8s that we had last year, then he'll be just fine. I just wonder if people truly understand what he's been through with five coordinators in five years, two significant injuries, and awkward situation with the [former] head coach [Mike Nolan]."
Niners fans around here are certainly aware. Not that those issues should matter so much this season.
Also on the Smith front, ESPN's
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