49ERS QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH
(on having faith that he would get another opportunity to start)
It was frustrating, but at the same time, it's just kind of the reality in the NFL: very few backup quarterbacks don't get an opportunity. That's just the case in the NFL. It's so physical, it's such a long season, you're going to get a chance. The question is when does it come and if you're ready or not. I kind of knew that in the back of my head, that I would probably get a shot for whatever reason.
(on what he learned during the process and how much better perspective he has now)
I've learned a lot over the last couple years, just with the injuries and being out the last couple of seasons and all of the changes and stuff that's gone on here. I think it just puts things in perspective when you're out of football—not that I was out of football—but when you're injured like that and you miss a lot of games, it kind of puts things in perspective of what you miss from the game, why you play the game, those types of things.
(on if he knows Vince Young and if their situations are similar)
I know Vince a little bit just from different events and seeing him around. In the sense that we're both early picks, I think we have that going. Other than that, every single situation is different, especially for an early-picked quarterback—the team they go to, the situation they've had there, how early they play, the pieces that are in place when they do play. I think all of those things change the outcomes and situations. So they're all completely different. I don't think you can look at any two the same. I think when you're looking at it, you have to try and evaluate all of those things when you're evaluating the quarterback as well, I guess.
(on Tennessee's secondary with the injured players coming back)
Yeah, they've had some injuries the last few weeks and are getting back healthy. The thing I see is they do a lot back there. They give you a lot to look at, a lot to think about. They throw a lot at you. Those are things that definitely stand out in my mind. They play fast. They're not afraid to go after and try to make the big play. Those are things that I think I see, and that comes from a veteran group.
(on the challenges associated with playing the Titans with the injuries to the 49ers' offensive line)
That's something we have to do as an offensive unit. That's going to require everybody. You know, when it comes game time though, that's not something I'm going to be thinking about. (That's) something we have to handle the preparation and then, come game time, we have to go out there and play.
(on whether it should get easier for him and Vince Young as they play more games)
I think the more you see, yeah, the more experience you get, especially if it's been a while since you last played, as is the case for both of us, yeah. I just think all that stuff helps. The more comfortable you get back there, the better you are at seeing things, the better grasp you're getting of what you're trying to do on offense. All those things help you come game time.