Perhaps in honor of the quasi-flop movie Battleship that opened up to less than expected revenues, San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith decided to lob some missiles of his own in an interview on Wednesday with the San Francisco Chronicle.
Smith took exception to talk of his own stats last season by downplaying last seasons performance of Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton, saying "You're not winning, though."
Smith, while 13-3 last season and having the best year of his pro career, still came up behind 18 other quarterbacks in total yards. He also finished behind 27 other QB's in pass attempts. Those two stats apparently are important enough to Smith, despite nearly earning a SuperBowl berth, he still sounds bitter about his individual performance in 2012.
"This is the honest truth: I could absolutely care less on yards per game.” Smith said in the interview. “I think that's 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."
These comments, probably made more out of Smith's sensitivity to questions on his worth than any actual grudge with Newton, sparked Panthers linebacker Jon Beason to jump to his teammates defense via...you guessed it...Twitter.
"Alex Smith, don't hate on Cam, because your stats would've gotten you cut if Peyton decided to come to San Francisco. Truth be told... That's after a 13-3 year." Beason Tweeted.
What Beason is not so subtly referring to is the 49ers interest in then free agent Peyton Manning. While Smith was hanging in the wind, looking to make a payday off of his good 2012 season, the team was holding secret workouts with former Indianapolis Colts phenom and future Hall of Famer Manning. The 49ers were serious enough in their pursuit that they were in the mix down to the moment that Manning made his decision to go to Denver.
When Manning chose to go elsewhere, San Fran came calling for Smith again, trying to sooth his ego with the promise of a bigger passing game after acquiring Randy Moss among other wideouts in the offseason.
Apparently, though happy in that regard, some slight bitterness remains and if he's not careful about who he puts under the bus, it may come back to bite Smith later down the road...on the field.
Photo Credit: AP
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.