After being the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, Smith has struggled to say the least. Too many new coaches, too many different offensive co-ordinators, too many expectations, too little protection from a weak offensive line, and his own sub-par play led to lots of loses and lots of boo's from angry 49er fans.
But the thing I admire most about him is how he kept quiet and just did what he was asked to do. He never made a stink in the media and complained about the coaches or the line or anything else. He just tried to get better and work within the system, whatever it happened to be at the time.
This year, he had his best season ever. People started to take him seriously, and there was talk about a possible Pro Bowl pick (too bad he's in the same conference with Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers). His Niners are in the playoffs for the first time since he was drafted, and he is the unquestioned leader of the team. And no one deserves it more than Alex. Let's hope his post-season ride lasts for a few weeks.