From Arrowhead Stadium
It was all hugs and kisses football style in the pre-game with Chiefs QB Alex Smith and his former teammates with the San Francisco 49ers.
As expected, that all ended when the ball was kicked off. Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh and his defensive coordinator Vic Fangio came out and went aggressively at Smith during the first half. It wasn’t just with an ordinary pass rush, but with a blitz package that included plenty of defensive backs coming off the edge.
“I didn’t handle the pressure as well and there were just some finer details here and there and I didn’t connect on some of them,” Smith said after the game.
Typical of Smith, he didn’t focus the blame entirely on the offensive line for Friday night’s troubles.
“That kind of falls on all of us,” Smith said. “There were a few times that they brought more than we had and the ball has to come out and we have to executive on the outside. There were a few communications things up front that we have to iron out.”
Before the game, Smith had a chance to say hello to many of his former teammates and coaches, including head man Jim Harbaugh who took away his starting job last year due to a concussion and inserted Colin Kaepernick. It was also Harbaugh that hastened the trade that sent Smith to the Chiefs.
“He and I talked enough since the trade that it felt like it was all in the past,” Smith said. “I wished him the best of luck moving forward.”
Smith admitted there was an unfamiliar vibe to things at the start.
“It was definitely different,” he said. “Those are guys that I played a long time with and got to know really well. It was weird facing them.”
His former mates agreed.
“It was strange,” said Niners RB Frank Gore. “I am happy he’s on a team that has great weapons. When they have a quarterback, they can do something. I am happy to see he is the man.
“Alex and I came in together and I just saw him go through so much. With the guys he has around him I think he’ll have a great year.”
Said former Mizzou DT Justin Smith: “It was a little bit different, but that’s the NFL for you â€“ a lot of roster changes. It’s to be expected.”
Smith only saw the No. 1 San Francisco defense for the first quarter and then played in the second period against the No. 2 unit.
“It seemed like every time we got a couple of first downs, we sputtered out and couldn’t executive on third down,” Smith said. “We didn’t quite get into the same rhythm this week for a lot of reasons. It will be good to look at.”