Notebook: A wristband for QB Alex Smith?

Although their opening-day loss is four days in the past, the 49ers are still sorting out what went wrong getting plays to Alex Smith. One solution: a wristband. Another: moving coordinator Jimmy Raye down to the field.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – When the San Francisco 49ers came out for practice Thursday afternoon, quarterback Alex Smith was wearing a wristband with plays on it.

Is this a new way for the team to correct some of the problems that arose last Sunday in Seattle, when Smith had to use all his timeouts in the first half because he wasn't getting plays relayed to him on time?

Perhaps. As coach Mike Singletary said Thursday when asked about using a wristband, "It's a tought. It's an option."

It's rare for a team to continue addressing issues four days after a game, particularly a loss, but the 49ers are still sorting out their problems getting plays calls quickly. With the team playing the defending Super Bowl-champion New Orleans Saints on Monday night, time is of the essence.

Singletary said he was also still considering having offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye call plays from the sideline instead of the press box. That would allow the team to cut out middle man Mike Johnson, the quarterbacks coach, who usually relays plays to Smith. A coach is not permitted to send in plays from the coaches' box.

While Raye said it's being discussed, his preference is to stay upstairs.

"From my perspective, it's better for me to be where I am," he said. "You eliminate the emotion of the (sideline), you eliminate the emotion of the crowd, you eliminate a lot of the distractions that you have. I've been down (there), but this situation is different as I inherited it a year ago. So I chose to be upstairs, and it works best for us."

Singletary wouldn't say exactly what the team will do on Monday, but the team seems to be trying every possibility this week. For his part, Raye accepted his role in the problems that occurred against the Seahawks.

"It's my responsibility," he said. "I bear all the responsibility for the way we operate on offense. I'm the leader, it's my watch."

BROOKS RETURNS: Linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who hasn't played since he suffered a lacerated kidney more than a month ago in training camp, will probably be available Monday night. How much he plays is uncertain because outside linebackers Parys Haralson and Manny Lawson are the starters and Travis LaBoy did well as a pass rusher Sunday.

"He's looking good," Singletary said of Brooks. "He's probably going to go."

Several others remain day to day: guard Chilo Rachal (stinger), cornerback Will James and rookie wide receiver Kyle Williams.

RICE HONORED: Jerry Rice, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, will have his No. 80 jersey retired in halftime ceremonies Monday night. Rice will also be inducted into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame.

Although Rice has shown up at the 49ers facility on several occasions, he also visited the Seattle Seahawks at the invitation of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, a former 49ers assistant, before a preseason game.

"Jerry's been here a number of times, but you know, where Jerry goes is his business," Singletary said. "So the fact that he was with Pete Carroll, that's great. Great for Jerry."


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