Wednesday afternoon, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith chatted with the media following practice and was asked about improving the 49ers passing attack. While acknowledging the passing offense had room for growth, Smith made a pointed remark about the need for more yards on offense:
This is the honest truth, I could absolutely care less on yards per game. I think that is a totally overblown stat because if you're losing games in the second half, guess what, you're like the Carolina Panthers and you're going no-huddle the entire second half and, yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games. That's great. You're not winning, though.
Enter Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason...
Alex smith, don't hate on Cam Bc your stats would've gotten u cut if Peyton decided to come 2 San Fran.Truth b told..That's after a 13-3 yr.— Jon Beason (@jonbeason) May 25, 2012
The issue is really a non-starter because Smith and Beason are making two entirely different points. Alex Smith was saying (and has said for much of the last year), he is not concerned about throwing for big passing totals as long as the team is winning. In 2011, he set a franchise record for fewest interceptions, in part because the passing game was relatively conservative.
Jon Beason was entirely accurate in his comment about Peyton Manning. The 49ers did make a push for Peyton Manning because they felt he would give them a better chance to win. The push did not work out, and the 49ers will now head into the 2012 season with Alex Smith leading the way.
To clarify for Jon though, Alex was not hating on Cam Newton. He was actually hating on the Panthers defense. If you're going to take offense to anything, take offense to him basically calling your defensive unit out.