American Football: Testaverde's triumph shows way for Smith
Tuesday 11 October 2005
Smith was the first player chosen in this year's collegiate draft following a stellar career at the University of Utah. The 49ers, looking for a spark to salvage a sinking season, elected to throw him in against the Indianapolis Colts, and following a 28-3 humbling, they may be regretting that decision.
Statistically, Smith's debut could hardly have been worse. He completed only nine of his 23 pass attempts for a paltry 74 yards. Not only that, he gave up four interceptions, lost a fumble, and was sacked five times. "No one said it was going to be easy," he said of his daunting baptism. "I have a long road to go down. I have to learn from this and take away what I can."
Smith should not lose heart. Most quarterbacks find it difficult making the transition to the professional game, and there were words of encouragement from the opposition coach, Tony Dungy. "I think Alex is going to be good," he observed. "I coached against John Elway in his first game, and it was very similar. You can't judge anyone by their first game."
Two weeks ago, Testaverde was enjoying a well-earned retirement after 17 prolific campaigns. Then the Jets lost Chad Pennington and Jay Fielder to season-ending injuries, and in desperation, the Jets asked their former player to return to action.
Testaverde duly obliged, completing 13 of 19 passes, while the running back Curtis Martin scored both New York touchdowns and, unlike Smith, he had enough savvy to avoid the big mistake as the Jets edged out the previously unbeaten Buccaneers.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...