Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/5/13
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith saw his days end as a starter when he was injured during the 49ers' Week 10 24-24 tie against NFC West divisional rivals, St. Louis Rams.The injury could not have come at a worse time from the questionable quarterback.Smith was having an amazing season leading the 49ers to a 6-2 start to their season.Smith was not exactly lighting the stat sheets up, but he was doing enough to beat the teams he was supposed to beat and not lose the close games that he had the lead in.Smith saw some light come in his career when head coach Jim Harbaugh was hired before the 2011 season.For starters, 2011 was the only other season besides 2006 that Smith started all 16 games.Another plus for Smith was he saw his turnovers plunge. He actually was starting to look like the quarterback that played for mastermind head coach Urban Meyer at the University of Utah.In Smith's 26 regular season games under Harbaugh he has completed 426 of his 663 passes for 4,881 yards and 32 touchdowns total. He also contributed in the ground game with 311 yards from 83 carries.He has also cut down on turning the ball over by only throwing 10 interceptions and fumbling 11 times.Before Harbaugh arrived, Smith was a wreck on the football field. The only other quarterback that was worse on the eyes to watch was Matt Leinart.Over the first five years Smith was the signal-caller in the bay area, he completed 864 of his 1,514 passes for 9,399 yards, 82 touchdowns, 53 interceptions, and 34 fumbles. He also only had 450 yards rushing.It's understandable that Smith has had to learn multiple offenses over his time in the NFL, but that should not excuse poor play and turning the ball over.It's clear with Smith due a salary bonus coming up that decisions have to be made on his future.The best thing for both Smith and the 49ers would be for him to accept the fact that he does not have what it takes to be a starter in the NFL.Let's face it, Smith is a system quarterback, and the only system that works for Alex Smith is the Jim Harbaugh system. 
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