Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has found a home in Kansas City, but his NFL career hasn’t been pretty.
Smith was selected by the 49ers with the first overall pick in the 2005 draft, and he went through some pretty rough seasons. Of course that had mostly to do with the fact he had seven offensive coordinators and three head coaches over his seven seasons with the team.
He hasn’t said much about his former team in the several years since, but he opened up recently in an interview with Graham Bensinger. The quarterback was extremely candid, and detailed why he didn’t work out with the 49ers.
“I think in the time, I knew how dysfunctional the work enviornment I was in at the time, what it was,” Smith said. “I knew it was really dysfunctional, I knew that this wasn’t the way successful places operated. But when you’re a young QB, it’s hard to vocalize that. It’s hard to stand up and say that, it’s hard to make that change.”
Smith continued by saying the culture from the 49ers wasn’t healthy, and that he knew it wasn’t right. But he wasn’t sure exactly how to fix it, and so he just did his best. But now that he’s several years removed, he feels comfortable explaining why the 49ers weren’t successful.
“Forget the coaching changes, I’m talking just the culture of the building was not (good). Unhealthy. Completely dysfunctional. Different people on different wavelengths, not a clear communication, not a clear goal of the entire building. Very separated. And I think that trickled into the locker room. We had a very separated locker room, offense, defense, special teams. It was not a selfless unit. Not everybody put the team first. I think all of those things that come with dysfunction that are the opposite of what healthy organizations and team enviornments have.”
Smith even said he would look forward to road games because he was tired of the “the pressure” put on him by home fans who would boo him.
Things eventually worked out for Smith as he’s had plenty of success and stability with the Chiefs. As for the 49ers, one could argue they haven’t learned much in the time since Smith left the franchise.