The 2010 season will hinge largely on the kind of production the 49ers get from their quarterback, Alex Smith. At times, he was outstanding on the practice field. One day, he threw four consecutive perfect strikes on passes of 40 yards or more. He also completed 16 passes in a row during one afternoon session. But there were also times -- arm weary or not -- in which the offense had difficulty just completing a pass.
Smith looks the part more than ever. His understanding and confidence in the offense is obvious. And he is certainly taking on more of a leadership role. After practice Thursday, there was an interesting scene on the field. Smith led a confab that included Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn. There were a lot of smiles and a few laughs. The 10-minute meeting concluded with their hands together, like a basketball team breaking a huddle.