Mr. Smith goes to 49ers headquarters

"(The 49ers) are people who are driven and want to win and I like that. They're not taking this first pick lightly. They're going to put in the work, and they're going to make the right decision, and that's something that gets me excited. I want to be a part of it, and I anticipate winning a lot of games in the future." -- Alex Smith

Q: How do you feel you mesh with the 49ers?

Smith: I think I mesh very well. They are good people. (The 49ers) are people who are driven and want to win and I like that. They're not taking this first pick lightly. They're going to put in the work, and they're going to make the right decision, and that's something that gets me excited. I want to be a part of it, and I anticipate winning a lot of games in the future.

Q: What are your feelings when San Francisco came back out and had another workout with you last week. How different were the workouts?

Smith: It was very different. The first one was pretty scripted. For the second workout, I had no idea on what I was going to do until that day. I did drills I had never done before. That was the circumstance that they wanted to see. They wanted to see how you will take coaching and make adjustments on the fly and they wanted to see a different side of me than my Pro Day which was absolutely fine. It is good to see the interest. It's not a bad place to be.

Q: How difficult will it be for you to adjust to the different speed of NFL compared to the college game?

Smith: Obviously it will be different. I don't think it is something I will have a big problem with. It is just an adjustment you have to make. As a young quarterback, you have to be out there and play and go through to it to see it. Whether it is on the practice field or playing early. It is something I anticipate getting adjusted to quickly and it just comes with the territory. It was the same thing going from high school to college and obviously it is on a bigger scale now and I anticipated I would have to go through this when I made the decision to leave early.

Q: How much of an adjustment will it be to move under center after playing in the shotgun so much in college?

Smith: If I were a big immobile guy I would say it would be a concern. Athletically, I feel I can bring the most to the table and I have been under center my whole life. Dropping back is not going to be something that is hard for me. Every workout I have done has been under center and I haven't taken a snap from the gun since then.

Q: Is there a knock on working a "gimmick offense" and do you consider it a detriment when trying to adjust to the pro game?

Smith: Obviously, it is a different style of play. As far as football knowledge and things I was asked to do carry my shoulders under that system, I think I can be more prepared than any quarterback. Making checks at the line of scrimmage, reading defenses, what I was asked to know and do was more than anyone else. In that sense I feel more prepared because I played in a system.

Q: Do you feel you answered any questions the team had in your second workout?

Smith: Hopefully, it was just a workout. It is hard to simulate game-time situations, so hopefully they got out of it what they wanted. They don't say much.

Q: Is it a goal of yours to be the #1 pick?

Smith: It is the goal of every kid when they watch draft day. It is flattering and that's what excites me. I look forward to playing a long career and who knows if that No. 1 pick actually is the best place. I would like to be here, but who knows if that is the best place for you specifically? I followed the 49ers growing up.

Q: How do you describe the pressure of following the Montana and Young lineage. How would you handle pressure and criticism?

Smith: Obviously, this is a young team. This is not something that's going to be turned around right away. We're not going to be winning Super Bowls next year, I don't imagine, although we'd like to. You have to put in the work and hopefully winning in the end will take care of everything. It should be the goal of any organization and it is the goal here.

Q: Did you answer your arm strength question with a 70-yard flat-footed throw?

Smith: Absolutely. It's something I never understood. I think it came from the fact that I played in a system where protecting the quarterback was not a priority and you had to get the ball out early. I never got a chance to make 7-step throws because we didn't set the quarterback that long. I made intermediate throws and I never really got a chance to display downfield throws. It's something that is never outside of my abilities. I think one of my strengths is arm strength and hopefully I have displayed that through the workouts.

Q: Do you think you are ready to play early or right away?

Smith: It is hard to answer that right now. A lot of it depends on what I am doing and what the other quarterbacks are doing and how I am picking up the system. That's tough to say, I feel I can step in right away and if all goes well play early. It's the best way to learn. You can learn only so much on the sidelines. But at the same time, if I'm not playing well, if things aren't meshing right away, the possibility of being able to watch for a few games would be enticing, but I don't anticipate that. I would like to play right away.

Q: How were you able to graduate in just two years?

Smith: It kind of happens when you are the principal's kid. I never got to slack off and I took a full academic load and I had the opportunity to test out of a lot of credits and I was fortunate enough to start school as an academic junior. I finished up in two years with an economic degree and started my master's last semester.

Q: Do your academic skills carry on to the field?

Smith: I think they do. My work ethic in the classroom correlates to my work ethic in the film room. Putting in the time, understanding the system and being totally prepared. Staying late throwing balls, asking questions. They are all important.

Q: What are your thoughts on leaving school early?

Smith: If you'd asked me five months ago, even during the middle of the season, I wouldn't have told you this. We went 12-0, went to the Fiesta Bowl and were the first non BCS school to play in a BCS game. There wasn't much left for me at the college level. If I had gone 7-4 or something, I would definitely have come back. But the note I ended on and what I accomplished, I achieved much more than I expected to.


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