Smith still 49ers' starting quarterback, for now

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) and head coach Mike Singletary during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
October 12, 2010 12:43:17 AM PDT
Despite their 0-5 record, San Francisco 49er President Jed York will stick with Mike Singletary as his head coach and texted ESPN's Adam Shefter on Monday and said they would win the NFC West.

But the story of last night's game was the heated sideline exchange between Singletary and quarterback Alex Smith. Monday Singletary said Alex is still his starter.

"I want to see Alex give himself a chance to be a good quarterback," said Singletary.

If you're an NFL player, your head coach has challenged you at some point in your career. That's what Singletary did at Sunday night's game to Smith and he responded.

"I think when he went back into the game, I don't think he pressed. I think he really played more true to who he is," said Singletary. "I think he threw the ball clean. I think he was? I think after the conversation that we had on the sideline, he forgot about all the other stuff and just went out and played quarterback."

Smith found out Monday he would remain the starter and realized maybe he needs to play with a little more of an attitude.

"I think there are times out there that I know that I play too cautious and I think that's when I find myself making those mistakes," said Smith. "It's funny, it's counter-productive. You would think playing cautious would lead the other way, but me, it always has and I think you see at times when I cut it loose and play more fearless and I think the results have always been better."

His teammates always have his back.

"I think it would be up to me to go up to Alex and tell him to stay in the game. I pretty much told him to stay in the game. I wanted him in the game. We need him in the game," said 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.

"I understand how the situation's going to be very touchy. I'm the last person that's going to put any kind of negative spin on anything that's going on, what I want to do and what I was doing the whole game is just try to keep Alex motivated, keep him positive, give him another set of eyes," says 49ers quarterback David Carr.

One bright spot from Sunday night's game was Michael Crabtree's performance. The second-year wide receiver caught 9 balls for 105 yards, both career highs. He also came through with his third career touchdown catch, but he's still not happy with the way his team is playing.

"Man I just, I've never started 0 and 5. It's something new to me. So I mean, it's something I ain't trying to get used to. So you know, just got to go work man," said Crabtree.

The 49ers play the Oakland Raiders this coming Sunday, Oct. 17 at Candlestick Park at 1:05 p.m.


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