SOUND OFF! What 49ers fans are saying now

Believe it or not, Alex Smith's name came up...

Every month at SFI I'll be checking out our discussion boards on SFIillustrated.com and picking a few of the questions/topics that I think are interesting and worthy of addressing in the magazine. Now that the roster's largely set, let's see what you folks have been talking about.

Missing Manny Lawson

Matt Maiocco of CSNBA says Manny Lawson could possibly hold out. This would be a huge mistake, to let this guy walk. If his salary demands aren't outragous, then get it done when the time comes. No way he should be paid less than the other 3 OLB's are. If it's not broke, don't try and fix it. The Niners D is stout, the offense was the problem along with the return aspect of the special teams. I'd extend him for a reasonable price, I'd like to know what he would want. If I had a choice, based on last year's performances, I would take Lawson over Parys Haralson.

– Posted by crabsvdgood49ers

Michael Erler: I would agree that at the moment Lawson is underpaid, but a contract is a contract. He's been a solid player for the 49ers, but hasn't broken out into stardom by any means. Guys like Patrick Willis and Frank Gore proved they're indispensable right away, and were rewarded accordingly. For others, like Vernon Davis, the light came on later, but the Niners are reportedly in negotiations with him. Dashon Goldson's deal is coming up too, and there's only so much money to go around. Lawson won't do himself any good holding out because he doesn't have the leverage – he hasn't proven enough. He has to show he's an elite player in 2010 and then plenty of teams will show him the money.

Assessing Alex

Is Alex Smith a Bust? ESPN has been running stories all day of [the Raiders releasing QB JaMarcus] Russell and when they show a list of first round busts, Smith's name keeps showing up. Why is this? He's a starting NFL quarterback who led his team to an 8-8 record last year.

– Posted by gamecockfan25yrsnow

ME: Looking at it objectively, Smith's career has been a huge disappointment thus far. When you're drafted first overall, having your biggest accomplishment to date be leading the team to a .500 record in your fifth season is not much to brag about. Now obviously, we're all aware of the circumstances involved. Smith was thrown into the fire right away on what was, essentially, an expansion team. He's lost two years of his careers to shoulder injuries. Until this season he's never had the same offensive coordinator in consecutive years. These are all facts, but in the results-orientated world of the NFL, they're also excuses. Don't tell me about the labor, show me the baby. The good news for Smith and for Niners fans is that he's trending upward. He's improving. If he had Russell's work ethic (or lack thereof) he would've already flushed himself out of the league. Smith is aware of his reputation, even if he doesn't read the papers or magazines. He just turned 26 and if he can build on his solid 2009 season, then perhaps over time he'll be thought of differently, from a historical perspective.

Looking at LenDale?

The Seahawks cut RB LenDale White. Considering our backups are Glen Coffee, Anthony Dixon and Michael Robinson… I think we should pick him up and see what he's got.

–Posted by NinersNation07

ME: Isn't that what Seattle just did, "pick White up to see what he's got?" That he couldn't even make it to training camp up there, after Pete Carroll, White's college coach at USC traded for him during the draft, tells me all I need to know about the guy. Besides, he's going to be suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy. At this point I'm pretty skeptical we'll ever hear from White in the NFL again.

49ers Not That Foxy

Fox Sports unveiled their NFL organizational rankings and they have the Niners 25th. Personally, it feels kinda low, but what are you going to do? The team isn't winning (that much) so it doesn't get respect.

– Posted by comradeYeltsin

ME: The NFL is a cyclical league. Eight years ago team #32 on this list (Tampa Bay) beat team #29 (Oakland) in the Super Bowl. Heck the St. Louis Rams rank #31 on here and they've won a Super Bowl more recently than the 49ers and a bunch of other teams have. I've got some quibbles with this list – what have the Redskins done lately to deserve the 11th spot? – but for the most part I agree that the 49ers need to go out and earn their respect. While I don't quite think the 25th slot is an accurate representation of where they belong, a few years ago one could very well argue that they'd have deserved to be ranked dead last. A division title and some playoff noise would go a long way toward raising the club's profile around the league.

Nuts For the "Nutcracker"

I am looking forward to the nutcracker drill! I know there were a lot of injuries last year, but I don't care. When I saw Taylor Mays standing next to Mike Singletary, who was a linebacker, Mays kind of dwarfed him. I kind of want to see him go against Vernon Davis and see how well he responds. I have to say, Mays does have linebacker size. I also really want to see how well Mike Iupati responds to the nutcracker.

– Posted by Jackmaul

ME: No doubt Davis squaring off against Mays would be a treat, as would potential matchups like Iupati versus Aubrayo Franklin and Nate Byham versus Ahmad Brooks, but as you wrote, the drill dinged up quite a few Niners last year and frankly I'd be a bit surprised if Singletary brought "The Nutcracker" drill back. However, don't take that to mean that it'll be Club Med around here in July and August. I'm sure the Niners will be in pads the majority of the time, slamming into one another.

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