that's the great concept folks are missing..."a great coach". that's
the ticket. great article. thanks. i am happy Heaps will have great coaching now
Even I could do well at San Diego. Mortensen could not play D1 ball. It has
nothing to do with who is coaching him. The guy had no arm at all. It's a lot
easier to complete passes against slow DBs.
Seriously? Alex Smith gets mentioned in passing in the last paragraph?
Harbaugh's real football success is with Smith. I am glad Todd Mortensen has had
some success in his post football life. But, Smith is in the NFC championship
game this week! You can only give him a couple lines? This is all too
typical of the Deseret News. Anything from the 'U' is automatically deemed
inferior or less than worthy of attention. Smith is the real story here!
Very enjoyable article, Doug. Thank you.
MonkSeriously? More jealous whining for the hill crowd? The article
is about the success Harbaugh has had working with a variety of quarterbacks.
It's not about Alex Smith. Get over your inferiority complex already.
Very Simple Monk. Both Urben Meyer and Jim Harbaugh knew how to
direct Alex Smith. Alex is no Joe Montana or Steve Young, they knew how to do QB
on their own. I am a big 49ers fan for many years and those seven years were too
long. I was surprised 49ers kept him around and seven OC changes were strange.
Two TDs in less than 4 minutes of plays was the first for playoffs (to what
media has said). Good luck against the Giants (NY).
Great Article. Grow up Monk
Monk, I have to agree with Swoop here. There's no reason to complain about the
DNews favoring BYU over Utah in this article. We all know Alex's story,
this article was about Harbaugh. I found it very interesting what Harbaugh did
with another QB this state knew.As a Ute fan, I just don't understand your
frustration with this article ... let's don't make everything about the rivalry.
I think this article gives too much of Alex's credit to Harbaugh. Don't get me
wrong, he's an awesome coach, but I don't think he had to "transform"
Alex Smith. Smith was a 1st round draft pick for a reason, and his lackluster
career in the NFL has had more to do with the shoddy management and mediocre
roster of the Niners that have plagued that franchise for the past decade, than
it does with his ability as a QB. What Harbaugh has done is show all the
naysayers what he's probably seen all along: Alex Smith is a talented QB that's
never had the opportunity to shine, because the rest of the pieces of the team
weren't there. I do take issue with this article being titled as a
piece on Harbaugh, when clearly it's a "What Mortensen's up to these
Oh, stop crying about sour grapes from Utah fans.The headline says,
"Jim Harbaugh has had success with former Ute and Cougar
quarterbacks," but most of the article is a biography of a guy named
Mortensen that most BYU fans probably barely remember. A more appropriate title
would have been "Ex-BYU backup Mortensen's success in life, and Jim
Harbaugh's minor role in it."
Does anyone know for a fact if BYU has coaches who game plan? Or is everything
based on executing (something) at a higher level? From past coach-speak comments
during the last six years I can't remember hearing the words "execute"
and "game plan" together. I like Bronco but my questions are serious.
Go back and look at the post game shows with Singletary's ranting. See how he
tears down his team especially Vernon Davis. The offensive line wouldn't protect
the quarterback and the coach seemed to encourage it, Alex Smith and Troy Smith
had no offensive pocket. How could anyone do well in that environment? Any
change in coach would be a great improvement to the team. Harbaugh knew he was
sitting on a gold mine with this job.DEW Cougars - A long time 49ers
fan? Really? Did you watch the self implosion of Singletary's career?
DEW Cougars "Alex is no Joe Montana or Steve Young, they knew how to do QB
on their own. I am a big 49ers fan for many years and those seven years were too
long."Remember Steve Young's career at LA Express?Steve Young would not have done any better than Alex Smith under the
circumstances with Mike Singletary's coaching.
Thanks for establishing how important the coach is to a quarterbacks success.
When the coach offers little constructive suggestions and openly is criticall of
the quarterback, other players catch on and that quarterback is not effective.
It is too bad that some local teams do not have that kind of talent coaching.
Had they been effective in handling their talent, those teams win lots of games
over good talent and hold on to their good players. They see it as their job to
build a group that pulls together and develop players to do better and better.
When coaches fail to have the vision of their role the team, players and fans
I am not ranting on Harbaugh. He is a great coach. He am just saying Alex Smith
was/is lucky to have Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh as coaches. But, so did Steve
Young with LaVell Edwards and Bill Walsh.Four of the best coaches
@Shawnm750,Did Harbaugh make Smith this year, or did Smith make
Harbaugh? I think nearly everyone would say Harbaugh made Smith, 1st rounder or
not. (Ryan Leaf anyone?) The point of the article is just that:
Harbaugh has done it at every level, with multiple QB's, and there are
similarities between Smith and Mortensen (intelligent guys who blossomed under
an intelligent, supportive coach).I'm happy for Smith, Harbaugh and
@Razzle2Remember Steve Young's career at LA Express?-----You mean where under Coach John Hadl he led them to the Western
Conference finals and passed for 300 yards and ran for 100 in the same game?
That Steve Young? You're probably thinking of the Tampa Bay Steve
Young who had a QB rating of 63.1 vs his rating of 101.4 with the 49ers.Up, down, up -- depending on coaching and teammates.
Razzele2 - nothing personal on you. Yes, born and raised in the Bay Area or
Marin County. I went to BYU in 1979 and finally Joe Montana & 49ers beats
Dallas Cowboys which I believe it was 1981 (Wikipedia is down today). Remember Steve Young would throw up before the game in college and in nfl (I
believe every time)? He would have threw up on Mike Singletary no problem. Alex Smith was so so and Robbie Bosco was worse (not mobile on Robbie).
Steve YOung was crazy to run all over the place and too bad he had a conconsion
(once or twice during his 49ers time. USFL was a joke and Tampa (after Steve
left LA Express) was like the 49ers for the last two years with Singletary. You
are right, Steve Young wouldn't do well w/o Bill Walsh and Jerry Rice and
company. All I can say now good luck 49ers on Giants. I do remember
about Todd Mortenson, he is doing great with his career. Good Luck Todd.
Steve Young was crazy to run all over the place which is why I loved him after
watching Marc Wilson drop to his knees all the time.Alex Smith did
run to a leading touchdown on Saturday too.We'll never know how good
Alex was in college since they Utes were undefeated and blew away the Fiesta
Bowl. Alex never met his match. But, just seven years after the Fiesta Bowl he
is in the NFC Championship. (Wiki is down so I don't know how long it took Young
to get to the NFC Championship.)I'm betting, if we give Alex as much
time as Steve Young got with a coach almost as good as Bill Walsh...you may not
say he's no Steve Young.
I love how the Des News wants to try and talk about an ex UTE player in Alex
Smith, but they just have to metnion something about a Y player doing something
first, that they think is bigger and better than what Alex is doing with the
Niners. Let me remind you, Alex is 1 win away from a Super Bowl berth, and has
only thrown 5 int's all year. Mortenson did this at a small college. Alex has
had 7 OC's in as many years as he has been in a league, with no O line to block
for him up until last year. Mike Singletary screwed up his team, made Alex the
scapegoat, and about ruined his career. Fortunately for Alex and his family,
Jimmy boy came in and coached him up, letting him know that he was behind him
1000%, and whatever he did was alrgith with him. Nolan and Singletary were
jokes. No wonder they are no longer head coaches. Thanks Des News. Next time you
want to talk about Alex Smith, maybe write the article on Smith, and not an ex Y
@Swoop @DEW Coug @TJ. Do you really think this was a spots good article? Read
my comments again. My "sour grapes" have nothing to do with BYU as a
sports program. Todd Mortensen seems like a nice fellow. Simply put: I am
unhappy that the headline lead me to waste my time . That's all. We should all
grow up and quit sniping at each other.
The Mortenson story was good...very interesting. But Papa Smurf is right, this
is Alex's and Jim's week...perhaps the next three weeks.
Isn't San Diego Torero's "small college" the same college that byu
Papa Smurf UTEGet over your big brother jealousy. Is your ego really
so fragile that you can't stand having any BYU player discussed in a positive
AZ Dave"Isn't San Diego Torero's "small college" the
same college that byu basketball plays"Nice try. Ever heard of Georgetown? Pretty good basketball program! "Small
college" football program.Besides, didn't the Utes LOSE to the
Toreros last season?Until the Utes stop losing to DII Adam's State
and barely beating NAIA San Diego Christian, by 3 points, U'd be wise to lay of
the basketball smack. An already pathetic rundown Utes basketball team just lost
their only half decent player.
Alex Smith is not now,and never will be comparable to Steve Young. We shouldn't
even be comparing the two. Steve would be done with his 40 while Alex was still
waiting for the clock to start. Please stop comparing the two. Alex is a great
qb, and Harbaugh has been smart enough to take advantage of his strengths while
giving him the time he needs for his confidence to rebuild after the 6 years of
garbage that he went through. Here's to hoping that Jim and Alex get the 49ers a
good start on the next 5 rings.
Alex Smith is a decent QB, but to try to place him at the same level as the
myriad BYU QBs who won Sammy Baugh, Davey O'Brien, and Heisman awards for their
outstanding achievements on the college gridiron is silly.Nothing
Alex does in the NFL will improve or diminish what he accomplished at the
@papsmearuteWhat gave you the impression the Dnews wanted to talk
about alex smith? It seems to me they wrote an article about Jim Harbaughs
success improving qb's and were able to get Mortenson to agree to an interview.
My guess is smith is not doing many interviews this week as he is occupied with
game prep.But thank you very much for giving me another LOL as it is
always fun to witness utah "fan" insecurity and juvenility.LOL!
I saw the picture of Harbaugh when I picked up the sports section and expected
to see a nice article about Alex Smith, a guy who a lot of local fans really
care about and want to read more about in view of his team's great success and
his performance last Saturday. Then I see the article is all about a former BYU
QB.Doesn't the Deseret News staff think they write enough about BYU?
A daily dose from Dick Harmon, pictures and teasers almost daily on the front
page. It just never ends.I would really like to see an in-depth
article about Alex, all he's been through, and his successes this year. Should
have known better than to think I'd get it with the DNews. Thanks, Doug. Guess I'll finally bite the bullet and change to the Trib. Putting up
with their liberal garbage is worth at least getting some equal coverage for the
Utes in the sports section.
As I recall, Mortensen was accepted into Law School at the Y but transferred
before the year started.
ok, just beat this Giants (NY) and get the ticket to superbowl! Enough on
comparison on my sill talk stuff. Go 49ERS!
Cougars1, phoenix, et al.As a Cougar fan I think Steve Young was the
2nd best Cougar QB ever. If McMahon played for Bill Walsh instead of the most
overrated coach in history, he'd have a ring for every finger.That
said, we do not yet know what Alex Smith will accomplish in his career. It
isn't over. If he ends up in the HOF, so be it and good for him. That doesn't
take away from Young, threaten his legacy nor the legacy of BYU QBs. And for those whining about the article including a BYU QB, I'm sure Alex
Smith's ego isn't so fragile that he is threatened that an article about
Harbaugh also has a BYU connection. Take his lead. Many of we Cougar fans are
rooting for Smith.
To: Dixie Kid.Are you kidding me? You are ripping on a guy who wouldn't
have even got a sniff from the NFL if he hadn't gone to San Diego and been
coached by a great coach. You say this guy has no arm yet he played for NFL,
European, Canadian and Arena football teams. The guy had a great coach and some
skills, that's why he did as well as he did. He didn't and wouldn't have
received that coaching at the Y. Be realistic Kid not myopic.
Oregon Ute"The guy had a great coach and some skills, that's
why he did as well as he did. He didn't and wouldn't have received that coaching
at the Y. Be realistic Kid not myopic."I suppose all of those
Best College Quarterback, Best Passer, Heisman Trophy winning, National College
Hall of Fame quarterbacks from BYU were all just naturally talented and didn't
require great coaching from BYU coaches. Get over your myopic, crimson-colored
view of the world, you only make yourself look ridiculous.On the
other hand, name me one single Utah quarterback who has ever won a national
individual college award of any kind.
An Aesop fable describes a dog lying on the hay in a manger who growled and
snapped at the cattle as they attempted to eat from the hay - making impossible
for them to eat. Of course, the hay was no potential food to the dog, but he
selfishly wanted it only for himself. Reading the posts in this
discussions reminds me a lot of the fable. We have Ute fans that can't live with
the fact that an article about Harbaugh's coaching abilities doesn't focus
solely on Alex Smith. Meanwhile, Cougar fans can't stand it that anybody doubts
Todd Mortenson's greatness as a quarterback or doesn't genuflect in front of a
shrine to Steve Young. Heaven forbid that a writer doesn't praise one's team
like an in-house PR hack. What I got out of the article (column,
actually, i.e., opinion) is the Jim Harbaugh is a great quarterbacks coach who
also happens to be a consummate head coach. As one wise person pointed out
previously, for a columnist from Salt Lake to get a personal interview with Alex
Smith during the NFL playoffs is highly unlikely. Mortenson was available and
therefore got more ink. How is that showing disrespect to Smith?Maybe we can all take a deep breath, relax, and possibly - in some cases -
In a week where the spotlight is on Harbaugh and Smith, the DN finds a way to
make it about BYU.Who says the DN's world doesn't revolve around
@howieAnd yet here you are. Must be a glutten for punishment.
Oh Dnews....tell me more about this fellow, Mortenson. I'm so intrigued by him.
What is he doing now....?What a waste of my time. The
same y fans that called A Smith a bust are now cheering him on? That makes me
sick.To the poster that compared Smith to Ryan Leaf...Are you
kidding me? Go brush up on his career and compare it to Alex. Wikipedia's back
up so check it out.
@Rational - I don't think Harbaugh made Smith, or vice versa. I think Harbaugh
effectively managed the talent he saw on the team already better than anyone
else has been able to do. Smith didn't get to be a better passer simply because
Harbaugh is the coach now, and the same goes for any player on the team. Smith's
always been a good QB, but the Niners haven't always been a good team. A good QB
is only as good as his receivers (which were lacking when they picked up Alex)
and his offensive line (also non-existent for most of his tenure there so far.)
Not too mention the carousel of coaches and offensive coordinators that have
cycled through the past 7 years. Much of the Niners talent has been there for a
while now, but Harbaugh's been the one to bring it together and point it in the
Hard to believe that there people who still doubt Alex Smith. Unbelievable.
Finally, on a decent team, with the whole thing on the line, what does he do?He orchestrated two of the greatest drives ever seen.
I will try to be as kind about this as possible in case Todd Mortensen reads it.
I feel the reason Todd did not succeed in football at BYU is that too much of
his focus lay in other (admittedly admirable) areas. Todd played the most
critical position at BYU. I feel that a person in that position either needs to
give that sufficient focus during his years in the program, or step aside so
another quarterback can be brought in. Quite simply put, Todd should have been
prepared to beat out younger quarterbacks in the program as BYU languished. I have a son who may be good enough to play another sport in college.
He is also very good at a musical instrument, as Todd is; we don't know which
path--sports or music--he will choose yet. I am already telling him that if he
is not willing to give sufficient focus to the team to which he is recruited
*and counted on* for success, he needs to decline the offer to be part of that