Alex on the day after
Q: Well, Alex, how does it feel on the morning after your first NFL start? Smith: The sun came up, huh? It was a great learning experience. First NFL start; there's a lot to be excited about right now. Obviously, things didn't go as planned, as you would hope for. But I learned a lot, and it wasn't all bad. There's a lot to be gained from this. And I need to take away everything that I can away from it or else it all would be for nothing. Q: What did you see on film when you were going over your interceptions? Smith: With that team and with that defense even more than others they read a lot of quarterbacks' eyes, especially underneath with the linebackers. Sometimes I think trying to do too much, trying to take a shot. When things broke down I probably needed to take a sack or throw it away, and try to make something happen. I need to know when that time is, and that wasn't the time, especially in a game like that. The defense was playing well, we were in it, and there was no reason to do that. I need to learn from that and use that in the future. Q: What were some of the positives that you took out of the game? Smith: I think we did get in a rhythm. I think we came out good, even to get a couple of first downs was a big deal in field position and is helpful to our defense. I think it was a great learning experience for me because that's was something I've never gone through before, something like that – ever. Q: Was it a humbling experience watching film? Smith: Film's never as bad or as good as you think it is. For the most part, it wasn't that bad. I did do a lot of good things. I need to focus on the good and the bad and take those and move on. Q: Was that the toughest day for you at any level? Smith: It was hard, but there was a lot to be excited about, too, for me to be positive about in my first NFL start, you know, being so young. I've got a long road ahead of me but at the same time you hope to be much more successful than that and not have these mistakes. At the same time, though, I think they're going to pay off in the future. The bumps in the road now are going to make me a better quarterback down the line. Q: Was their a part of you, because you've been successful in the past, that just wasn't expecting the struggles you faced Sunday? Smith: I think its great to say, ‘Be ready for it,' but I don't think I need to change my expectations. I still think I need to expect of myself to be the best quarterback I can be. I don't think its bad to be frustrated or disappointed because I think that is a good thing. I know I can play, and at the same time though, I don't think you need to kill yourself because you've got to know the situation you're in and there's a long season ahead of us, ahead of me. So you kind of learn from it and move on. Q: What advantages were there for you to play this game instead of getting your first start after the bye week, which would have given you more time to prepare? Smith: This was kind of baptism by fire. It was a good defense we played, but there are no excuses. It was a great learning experience, and in another two weeks I'll get to play another good defense and get to learn a lot more. Q: Even though you're 1-4 and have struggled, do you still believe that things can happen this year for this team? Smith: Were so close, and sometimes the score may not dictate that, but I think we're very close from being very competitive in this league. You look at a team like the Colts, and they're one of the better teams in the NFL right now. To play defense the way we did, and our offense wasn't all bad, we did do some good things. We ran the ball well and were physical up front. It was great to see that, and it was great to see the running backs run hard. We're not that far from it. It's coming. I don't think it's time yet to say we're out of it. Q: You say this was a learning experience, but what particular areas do you feel you benefited the most? Smith: First of all, just to go through your first NFL start is a big deal. You learn a lot of things just about going through the mechanics of the game. Well, your headset goes off in the first half, so what are you doing? How do things happen. Just to have gone through a full game, you learn a lot of little things. Like being in the huddle with the guys, feeling the tempo of the game, especially in a game like that, where you're late in the third quarter and you're still in that thing. And understanding that, understanding game situations, when is the time to maybe take this chance and when is the time not to? I'm thinking we're not having a lot of success in the second quarter and I need to make something happen, when in reality our defense is playing well and it's not that bad to maybe punt the ball and play some defense. So, understanding situations, that's something. And then obviously, learning from all the throws I made and the reads. Q: Do you already feel like you're a better NFL quarterback for the experience? Smith: Oh, definitely. I'm definitely the better for that. No matter what, I'm definitely better for having gone through that. Sometimes it's the best thing to make your own mistakes, because then you're definitely going to learn from them. Not only did I see them on the field, I've got to see them on film now and I'll definitely learn from those.
Niners Digest Top Stories
Worst NFL Plays from Week 7Check out some of the worst plays from Week 7 of the 2016 NFL season.
Scout NFL NetworkMonday at 7:16 AM
Week 7: Beyond The Box ScoresFantasy Football Expert Mark Morales-Smith looks at some interesting stats and situations from five critical Week 6 matchups as he examines the box scores.
Kaepernick shows up in Muhammad Ali shirt49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick shows up to Orchard Park for his first start of the year wearing a Muhammad Ali shirt.
Week 2: Fantasy Football Deep SleepersFantasy Football Expert Jack Delaney reveals some under-the-radar players that could help you gain an edge in your Week 2 matchup.