Alex Smith is getting a big chance to resurrect his career. All but forgotten, the former No. 1 overall pick is the San Francisco 49ers’ new starting quarterback - again.
“I don’t know if I’d say surprised. I don’t know if I was anticipating it, either,’’ Smith said yesterday after getting the news from coach Mike Singletary. “It’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for; happy.’’
Singletary made the announcement yesterday after also sitting down with Shaun Hill, who was benched after the first half of the Niners’ 24-21 loss at Houston on Sunday.
Smith, who hadn’t played in nearly two years, came in and gave the offense a much-needed jolt of energy and efficiency, and he nearly led San Francisco (3-3) back from a 21-0 deficit.
“As far as will Shaun Hill be back and all this other stuff, we’re not going to be a flavor-of-the-month kind of thing where, ‘Let’s see, this guy will be this week, this guy will be next week,’ ’’ Singletary said. “I wanted to make the decision based upon who I feel gives us the best chance.’’
Smith completed his first six passes and finished 15 of 22 for 206 yards and three touchdown passes to tight end Vernon Davis. Davis is the first 49er since Terrell Owens in 2001 to have three TD catches in a game. Smith’s start at Indianapolis Sunday will be his first start since Nov. 12, 2007.
Smith, the No. 1 draft pick out of Utah in 2005, missed last season after injuring his surgically repaired throwing shoulder three days before the season opener.
Johnson refused to speak with reporters, a day after the Chiefs’ 37-7 loss to the Chargers. Sitting in front of his locker, he turned away and muttered the slur in telling reporters to get “out of here,’’ according to the Star.
On Sunday, Johnson belittled rookie head coach Todd Haley on Twitter in a series of posts that also included the same gay slur. Haley said yesterday the Chiefs were looking into “a couple of situations’’ involving Johnson, but declined further comment. Asked about the slurs, he said the team was “gathering facts.’’
One tweet read: “My father got more creditentials than most of these pro coaches.’’ That was followed by: “My father played for the coach from “rememeber the titans’’. Our coach played golf. My father played for redskins briefley. Our coach. Nuthn.’’
Haley, hired earlier this year to replace the fired Herm Edwards, did not play high school or college football and attended college on a golf scholarship.