Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 1/19/12

Alex Smith has been thrown around plenty throughout his career. The 49ers have made three head coaching changes and gone through even more offensive systems since he was drafted in 2005. He’s been benched because of injuries or poor play, but still managed to become the starter again. Overcoming all that led Vernon Davis to call Smith the “strongest individual” he’s met. Despite everything the former No. 1 overall pick has gone through, he still thinks Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had it at least as rough.

“To be Peyton’s little brother, the No. 1 pick, you go to New York, playing for the Giants, obviously that’s a lot of pressure. I don’t think anyone’s been in the situation he has, to be that… those are pretty unique circumstances,” Smith said during his press conference Wednesday.

“Your older brother’s arguably maybe the greatest quarterback ever, a lot of expectations on you and then you go to the big city like New York. I didn’t have to face those sorts of things.”

Who’s had it rougher? I’d lean towards saying Eli because of all the factors mentioned. Plus, Smith only had the pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick, and it’s been his poor play that resulted in the bust label that’s in the process of being removed. Reaching a Super Bowl would validate Smith’s status as a top pick. He probably needs it more than Eli.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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