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Alex Smith, Joe Flacco take different approaches to same issue

May 30, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Baltimore's Joe Flacco, left, and San Francisco's Alex Smith both led their teams to the conference championships without spectacular passing games.
Baltimore's Joe Flacco, left, and San Francisco's Alex Smith… (Chris Trotman / Getty Images…)

Alex Smith thinks passing yards are an overrated stat. And Joe Flacco thinks he's the best quarterback in the NFL. Seriously, what has gotten into the mediocre quarterbacks of the NFL this off-season?

Perhaps they're getting tired of being referred to as mediocre -- especially because both Smith and Flacco had fine seasons and had their teams heartbreakingly close to the Super Bowl last year.

Flacco's comments were made months ago, so we've had plenty of time to digest (and stop laughing about) them. Plus, they were kind of taken out of context. Basically, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback was trying to will himself into being the best in the NFL. Or something like that.

Smith's comments came last week when he was using the San Francisco 49ers' 13-3 record and advancement to the NFC championship to justify his 3,144 passing yards, which ranked 19th among the league's quarterbacks last season, and 197 yards per game, which ranked 27th.

And in the process he decided to take a shot at Cam Newton, who set a rookie record while throwing for 4,051 yards (10th in the NFL) for the 6-10 Carolina Panthers.

“I could absolutely care less on yards per game,” Smith said. “I think that is a totally overblown stat because if you’re losing games in the second half, guess what, you’re like the Carolina Panthers and you’re going no-huddle the entire second half. Yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games. That’s great. You’re not winning, though.”

OK, Smith shouldn't have thrown Newton under the bus. As far as I know, the Panthers QB has never done anything to him personally. But it doesn't sound as if Smith is trying to take sole credit for the 49ers' success or making some ridiculous claim that he, not Flacco, is actually the best quarterback in the NFL.

At the same time, though, shouldn't he be a little careful about what he's saying? Isn't he basically admitting that the 49ers' passing game was less than spectacular? And we're talking about a team that fell just short of the Super Bowl even with a great defense and a great running game ... which pretty much leaves one glaring area left for improvement -- the passing game.

Thanks for pointing that out, Alex.

Maybe Flacco's approach wasn't so ridiculous after all.


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