Quarterback Alex Smith returned to action in Sunday's game against New Orleans and then picked up with his In the Huddle column on Monday. In this latest entry, Smith looks at the loss to the Saints and talks about his shoulder and what this team needs to do to get on track.
First of all, thanks to Tully Banta-Cain for doing this Monday wrap up the last few weeks since I was injured. We normally trade off, but he handled all of the columns while I was recovering from my shoulder injury.
There were a lot of plays that stand out, good and bad from Sunday's game. Once you look at the film you see plays that were good and then plays that you could have done better and you try to learn from them.
In the first half, there were a few throws I'd like to have back, not the decisions I made but the accuracy of some balls. Early on in that game, I wasn't hitting targets, there were a couple of deep ins to Ashley Lelie that I'd like to have back, a couple of 3rd down throws in that first half that most definitely that I'd like to have hit.
One of the really good plays was when Michael Robinson had the great run after the catch on that one drive in the third quarter. I think when you see effort like that, determination like that, absolutely it should inspire everyone. I think we should all be fighting that hard.
When you get down two or three scores, the game plan changes and you don't get the luxury of running the ball and staying as balanced as you would like. You have to throw first because you have to use the clock to get back in it and I think that hurt us because I think we were having some success in the run game.
Protection was great all day and the line really gave me time to make throws. They mixed it up more once they knew we were going to have to throw. That's a difficult situation but those guys did a good job fighting that off all day.
It was good to end the game at least by getting in the end zone on that last drive. Obviously it was a little too late, but no one gave up. We kept fighting and then Vernon sprung open on a play we work at in practice all of the time and made the catch. Getting Vernon going after his injury is important because he's going to continue to be a big part of this offense. He did some good things yesterday and the more we play together, the better our development will be. I've got to be on the same page with all of those guys and that just comes from experience.
My shoulder does feel better this morning. I think there's scar tissue in there and you start taking some hits and using it more, it does become inflamed. Like I said yesterday after the game, it was dumb of me to take the one shot by Scott Fujita on the sidelines. That was definitely one I could, and should have avoided.
Absolutely I did the right thing by playing and staying in the game, no question. My concern was the AC joint, that's what they were checking on the sidelines at one point, but it was intact. So it was just a matter of inflammation and swelling with those ligaments and just a matter of dealing with the pain.
I think the one benefit from staying on first of all is just the experience, getting those plays and reps and that was valuable for me because I'm still young. But I think the bigger thing was for this team, to finish it. You make the bed, you sleep in it. We got ourselves into this and we've got to dig our way out. It's easy when things go bad to say "no, I'm not feeling good, this situation doesn't feel good, get me out of here." That would have been the easy thing to do, and I wasn't going to do that.
I've got some swelling but I'll just put a lot of ice on it for the next few days, get some stem treatment, and keep working on my mobility. I plan to go Wednesday and absolutely play again this week.
Obviously after five losses, we are not where we wanted to be and certainly not where we expected to be. I think we are going to have to climb out of this thing, and just do the little things to get better. There is no magic formula, you just have to work harder, execute better, be even more prepared and do everything a little harder.
Everyone needs to look to see how they can get better and how we can get better collectively. The focus for each person needs to be how can I get better, what can I do to help this team win?