A Tale Of Two Quarterbacks: Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

    During the weeks leading up to the 2005 nfl draft, the san francisco 49ers had to decide who would be the new face of the franchise. was it going to be the local boy aaron rodgers or was it going to be the one from utah? Alex Smith? it was something that would be debated until the last days before the draft. Rodgers, who played two seasons at the University of California after transferring from Butte College, had impressive college stats in less than two seasons as the Bears’ starting quarterback.

    He threw for nearly 5,500 yards and 43 touchdowns against just 13 interceptions. Smith had similarly impressive numbers, throwing for just over 5,200 yards, 47 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in two years as the Utes’ starter.

    Reading: Alex smith vs aaron rodgers

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    He was named the Mountain West Conferences Player of the Year as a junior and earned All-American honors, while helping Utah become the first non-BCS to win a BCS bowl game with a 35-0 victory over pittsburgh. Just days before the draft, first-year head coach Mike Nolan (who also called the shots on personnel matters) finally decided Smith was his man, signing the quarterback to a six-year, $49.5 million deal. , which included $24 million guaranteed money. However, the draft didn’t go so well for Rodgers, as he sat in the green room for hours, eventually being selected by the Green Bay Packers 24th overall.

    Instead of getting the big-money contract that Smith signed, Rodgers signed for just $7.7 million and only $5.4 million. While Smith started seven games in his rookie season, Rodgers saw minimal action, playing in just two games, while backing down brett favre. Rodgers continued to hold the clipboard and subsequently broke his foot while filling in for Favre against New England in Week 11. However, Smith took control of the 49ers’ starting job, becoming one of four quarterbacks to play every snap. of the season.

    He was showing signs of living up to no. 1 pick status under first-year offensive coordinator norv turner. He threw for just under 2,900 yards, and although he threw for as many touchdowns as interceptions (16), it was clear that Smith was taking a big step forward under Turner’s tutelage. However, Turner headed south to take over as head coach of the San Diego Chargers. , leaving smith to learn another offensive system, three in as many years.

    smith entered the 2007 season with high hopes for himself and his team. Many “experts” chose the 49ers as the sleeper team in the NFC. Rodgers entered his third pro once again as world no. 2 behind Favre. Smith would split his shoulder on the first drive of the game against the Seattle Seahawks on a sack of Rocky Bernard. He would return a month later, but disagreed with Nolan about the severity of the injury.

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    nolan felt that smith was healthy enough to play. however, smith felt that he needed more time to recover from the shoulder separation. Smith would be eliminated from a loss against the Seahawks in November with Nolan citing that his quarterback needed more time to recover. the injury controversy reached the press, putting both the quarterback and the coach under the microscope of the Bay Area media. People were calling for Smith to be cut and for Nolan to be fired, but 49ers management stood by their coach and quarterback. After weeks of debate and speculation, Smith was placed on injured reserve after Dr. James Andrews discovered that the separation had not fully healed.

    However, the controversy and media conversation only increased once it became known that Smith was not healthy enough to play. He would finish the year with the second-lowest completion percentage of any starting quarterback in the NFL. While Smith was trying to stay healthy and deal with a tough season, Rodgers entered his third pro once again as No. 2 behind favre. He saw his first sizable career action from him when he replaced Favre against the Dallas Cowboys.

    However, Favre was due back next week and Rodgers was back where he’s grown accustomed to being: on the bench. >

    Rodgers is on the forgotten side of Favre’s daily retirement drama, while Smith is in an open battle with Shaun Hill over the Niners’ early job and their success determines whether Nolan’s job is safe. Both 24-year-old quarterbacks will start the season at the center of their respective teams, but one thing is for sure: it will be an eventful few weeks of camp.

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