Alex Smith ran off the field at Candlestick Park two weeks ago to a standing ovation and cheers from the sellout crowd, not much different from the reception last January when he took the San Francisco 49ers oh so close to a Super Bowl. Now relegated to a backup role with the NFC champions, Smith's trip to the Big Easy this week leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl against Baltimore is hardly how he envisioned it. Smith expected to be under center chasing the franchise's sixth championship, not watching strong-armed, second-year pro Colin Kaepernick direct the offense against Ravens star Ray Lewis and Co. "I think a lot's being made of that. For one, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little bittersweet," Smith said. "Yeah, I want to be out there. That's what you work for. Coming into the season, that's what I was thinking about. That was the mindset for me; that was the goal for me. At the same time, it is a team sport and these are all my teammates." And Smith, the No. 1 pick from the 2005 draft out of Utah, left no doubt he would appreciate and relish the rare opportunity before him. "Absolutely, yes, very much so," Smith said of enjoying this experience despite the high-profile, midseason demotion.
Demoted Smith makes best of situation
Houston Chronicle | Jan 28