Q: Did you see the Ahmad Brooks hit?
SMITH: “I did not see it; I read a little bit about it, but I did not see it.”
Q: Do you feel like the rules have gone a little far in protecting the quarterback?
SMITH: “I don’t know. I don’t get to decide that stuff.”
Q: What’s your opinion on it?
SMITH: “At this point, there’s certainly a strike zone that runs from your shoulders to your knees, for a quarterback. If you go down to the knees on a quarterback, you’re going to get called. If you go up to the head, you’re going to get called. It’s tough; you’re playing full speed and at the last second, we’re trying to evade a tackle, duck and move and sometimes, things happen. So, like I said, those are definitely things that are outside of my realm.”
Q: Did you go to many Chargers games, when you were growing up?
SMITH: “Yeah, certainly. Yeah, I grew up there watching Stan Humphries and watching the Chargers play.”
Q: That was your guy? Stan Humphries?”
SMITH: “Yeah, it was when I was growing up; those were the glory days.”
Q: Did you die a little bit that day when the 49ers beat them in the Super Bowl?
SMITH: “Yeah, I remember watching that very well. I was certainly pulling for the Chargers at that time.”
Q: Coach talked about starting fast with the offense; what does that mean for you?
SMITH: “I think the biggest thing is getting into a rhythm and moving some chains, getting consecutive plays ran, helping you get into the flow of the game, change field position at a minimum. I think that’s where it starts. Certainly, once you’ve changed some field position and you have some first downs, that carries in then, 'Hey, let’s get into field goal range, let’s get in the red zone, let’s score a touchdown'. Those are kind of the consecutive steps that I look at as far as offensively. It starts with that first; first down, let’s get a first down, let’s move the chains, let’s put a chunk of plays together, get into a rhythm offensively. I think if you have a few three-and-outs it’s tough, you never get into a flow.”
Q: What more can you do as a quarterback to make things better?
SMITH: “I think obviously play better, execute; I think that’s the most obvious thing. I look back at myself and how I played on Sunday night and certainly didn’t play very well early. I missed some opportunities there that really could have helped us get into a flow. I mean certainly just come out and execute, it’s the little things. I think we turn on the tape, all of us offensively, and we all look at it and it was all of the little things. A little thing here and a little thing there, we all had our share, and that’s what results in the inability to execute, but basically the inability to move the football. It was kind of the details of everything.”
Q: Why do you think there were more dropped passes last week than usual? Is that a concern this week?
SMITH: “It’s not something that I’m concerned about. We do such a great job here of fundamentally just working on catching the football. Those receivers work so hard after practice, before practice and during practice. That’s a fundamentals thing and they’re going to happen. You throw the football and the drops are going to happen and it’s certainly not something that I’m thinking about. Those guys work extremely hard, and it’s not something that I’m worried about. There certainly were a fair number of great catches on Sunday night as well, but there’s no stat for that. Like I said, we just need to kind of focus on the details and the little things and it will take care of itself.”
Q: How important is it for you to show that you can go downfield?
SMITH: “I certainly think you need to be able to offensively attack all parts of the field. It changes week in and week out, play by play, depending on how a defense is playing you, but certainly if a defense is getting aggressive, you need to be able to do that, be able to take advantage of shots downfield. But it’s not just a play call that dictates that. The defense, if what they’re doing defensively, and scheme-wise, maybe that play, dictate where the football goes. No question, you have to have that within your ability, but there are a lot of variables that go into whether or not it actually goes down there.”
Q: How has the bounce-back been, coming off of a loss this week?
SMITH: “You know, it’s still early. I think a lot of guys on the plane ride back were certainly disappointed, as we should have been. But I think guys understand we’ve still got everything ahead of us. Everything we want is still ahead of us. We can’t have an emotional letdown off of a big week last week. Division game at home, it starts today. It starts with having a great Wednesday.”
Q: Does that help that it’s a division game getting right back into it?
SMITH: “Yeah, I think so. Everybody knows these division games are so big, every single one of them, and they all get bigger as the year goes on. No question, I think that could play into this.”
Q: Is it difficult to prepare for the Chargers, having your offensive line banged up?
SMITH: “I think the next guys have to step up. I think the great thing is we have such great depth up front. We have a couple of guys, I think, that are ready to go and that’s the way it should be. Obviously, we hope we get those guys back, who are banged up, but the next guys have to be ready to go. That’s the name of the game with football. You have to be able to battle through injuries and guys have to step up and fill that void.”
Q: What about the fact that the two guys that are injured are at guard and tackle right next to one another?
SMITH: “I mean, luckily, I think those guys have had a lot of reps this year. They’ve each played and I think when they’ve come in, they’ve played well. I think everyone’s expecting them to come in and for us not to skip a beat.”