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Alex Smith Doesn't Need Hand Enlargement Surgery

Sep 17, 2006 – 10:00 AM
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Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson %BloggerTitle%

Wait a second. You mean quarterback Alex Smith didn't stink last year because his hands were too small? It was because -- gasp! -- he was a rookie? Well that's good to know. Things got so bad for Smith last season that people just starting making stuff up about why he was struggling. Case in point: his hands were too small, and as a result, he had trouble holding on to the football. The result: 11 fumble in nine games.

This is just a thought, but maybe Smith's struggles had more to do with being a rookie and, oh, I don't know, playing on the 49ers. The New York Times has an interesting story on how Smith has progressed in a year, and some of the reasons he struggled (and no, none of them are because of the size of his hands):
After leading Utah to a 12-0 season as a 20-year-old junior, Smith had no idea about his draft potential. On the day he declared for the 2005 draft, he received a call from the N.F.L. committee evaluating underclassmen. It said he was probably a third-round pick.

"Looking back at it, the great thing was that I had no idea until after the season," Smith said of his N.F.L. prospects. "If you're sitting there playing for the N.F.L. every game, it would be miserable."

Instead, he received a standing ovation after a workout in Salt Lake City for every N.F.L. team, and he emerged as the draft's top player. Then came the $49.5 million contract, millions more in endorsements and a 6,000-square-foot house on the outskirts of San Jose.
Yeah, I could see how going from an iffy third-round pick to the first overall selection in the draft might come as a shock to a 20-year-old kid. And no matter how smart he is, the learning curve is a big one, especially when he landed on a to a team that won four games a season ago and two the year before he arrived (thanks Dennis Erickson).

Maybe this is the season Smith gives hope to all those kids out there who want to play professional football but figured that having small hands was just too big of a handicap to overcome. Well children, apparently it ain't.
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