Unless Alex Smith joined the Professional Bowlers Association, he is not a Pro Bowler. Sorry Jimbo, but it’s the truth.
Jim Harbaugh made his pitch for Smith in his Tuesday press conference, telling the media, “I think people that understand football understand that there’s a lot more that goes into the job of a quarterback than statistics.”
And he’s right, to a degree. The level of a quarterback’s greatness is measured by how much he wins. Joe Montana won four Super Bowls. John Elway won two. Dan Marino didn’t win any. Marino had the better stats, but Montana and Elway have the rings, so they will always get top billing over Marino.
But the Pro Bowl is about stats. It’s about on-field performance. It’s not about team success.
“Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Alex Smith,” Harbaugh said. “I think those are the top three in the NFC in my humble opinion.”
He’s certainly right about the first two. Rodgers and Brees are putting up all-time numbers this season. Alex Smith? Not so much.
I’m sure Harbaugh truly believes Smith deserves a trip to the Pro Bowl. Harbaugh has to do everything he can to keep Smith’s confidence as high as possible, but it’s a gross overstatement to say Smith is more deserving than Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning and Tony Romo.
All three have at least 1,100 more passing yards than Smith. All three have at least nine more passing touchdowns than Smith. All three have high passer ratings. All three have higher completion percentages. All three have their teams in the playoff hunt. I think you get the point.
I’ll give Harbaugh credit. He brought Smith back when most 49er fans were ready to end their relationship with the former No. 1 pick. He saw something. And now that Smith has proved him right, he’s going to bat for his quarterback, even if he sounds stupid while doing so.