49ers camp preview

Updated: July 18, 2006, 11:43 AM ET
By Jeremy Green | Scouts Inc.

Three Burning Questions

Will Alex Smith become a legitimate QB and leader? Even though it is not necessarily fair, this is somewhat of a make or break-type season for the young QB. Right now expectations for him are high, and a lot of 49er fans are already starting to label him with the "bust" tag. Smith was thrown into a no-win situation last season on an injury-riddled and marginal football team. No rookie QB could have survived under the circumstances he was faced with. That said, he does need to get better. He is coming off a season where he barely completed 50 percent of his passes and threw 11 INTs to one TD. He will be learning his second offense in as many seasons, so that will be tough on him. However, he has a few things going for him. First of all, he has a solid new offensive coordinator in Norv Turner. He has two solid tight ends in Eric Johnson and rookie Vernon Davis. The offensive line should be able to protect him better and he has a new vertical threat in Antonio Bryant. Enough pieces are now in place for Smith to be judged fairly.

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