Alex Smith: 'We're all accountable'

49ers quarterback says Jimmy Raye shouldn't be viewed as a scapegoat for the team's 0-3 start. He says the team was out-played just as much as it was out-coached.

Here are excerpts of an interview between San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and the media after the announcement that coach Mike Singletary had dismissed offensive coordinator Jimmy Ray on Monday.

What was your reaction when you heard that Jimmy Raye had been fired?

You know the nature of the NFL. We all know getting into it (that) this is a result-oriented business. The fact we're 0-3 and haven't performed up to our level of expectations, this is what happens.

Were you surprised?

I was ready for anything this morning. When you're 0-3, I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know what the changes would be, if any, (or) where they would come. I was certainly ready for anything though.

Do you feel something needed to be done?

It's not really my call. The offense's job is to score points and win games, and we weren't doing that.

Would you say you have a better personal relationship with (new offensive coordinator) Mike Johnson than you had with Jimmy Raye?

It's a different type of relationship. I've been with Jimmy a year and a half, gotten to know him really well, and now I'm moving on with coach Johnson. It's obviously a different type of relationship with your quarterbacks coach, and it always is like that.

How do you think the hiring of Mike will improve things?

I think Mike's going to bring his personal touch. That's what the coordinator does. He's going to bring his stuff to the table. He's an energetic guy, he's got a lot of attitude and he's going to bring a lot of that energy to the room. He's a detail guy; he's going to bring a lot of that as well. And then obviously just his philosophy on things – the game plan, play calling, how we're attacking defenses, things like that. I think all that stuff's going to have his personality on it.

What's the balance between a player's responsibility vs. the coach getting fired and (being called) a scapegoat?

I think that's maybe what this might get spun as, but we're certainly all accountable for this. We got out-played just as much as we might've got out-coached on Sunday. There's no doubt about that. If some people are viewing it like that, it's convenient but it's not the truth. We're all involved in this. We're all accountable, but top to bottom, it's all going to roll downhill. We've got to pick it up.

How much can you change an offense while you're in the middle of the season?

That's something we'll see. This isn't going to be an overhaul I don't imagine. I don't think it needs to be. But some changes I think will be made. What those are, I'm not sure right now. It's probably a better question for Mike.

Do you know what Mike's philosophy is?

I'm not going to answer that for him. You can't be one-dimensional in this league. There's too much parity. You're not going to shove the ball down anyone's throat. You've got to be able to get things done different ways. You've got to be able to isolate your playmakers, find mismatches in the defense, things like that. It all comes into play. I think we have the foundation to do those things.

There was a report that Chiefs players were calling out your signals and plays ahead of time. What's your comment on that?

I didn't see any of that. We didn't do a ton of signaling out there. Whether they were playing to our tendencies or things like that, yeah, I think it shows up on film a little bit. How we combat that, it has to be balanced. If they think we're playing something, we have to be able to come back and make them hurt where they're vulnerable.


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