Regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith is expected to ask for his release in the offseason after losing his starting position to Colin Kaepernick.
One possible destination for Smith could be Cleveland, where he would be reunited with Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Smith has reminisced this week about his one season under Turner, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
After finishing his rookie season in 2005 with a 40.8 quarterback rating, Smith improved in 2006 in Turner's only year as the 49ers' offensive coordinator. Employing a vertical game he learned under former Rams offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese, Turner helped accelerate Smith's development. Zampese's offense was patterned after former Chargers' coach Don Coryell's number-based system.
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“He gave you freedom as a quarterback to go out there and if you saw something to take risks, take shots and things like that,” Smith told the Plain-Dealer. “He wasn't necessarily so rigid that you couldn't do that. It was fun to play in that system because you felt like there were plays out there. I loved it."
In spite of the demotion in late-November, Smith is enjoying one of the best seasons of his professional career. The former number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft has a career-high 70.2 completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 104.1 in 2012, also a career-best.
Browns QB Brandon Weeden ended the regular season ranked 29th among starting quarterbacks with a 72.6 quarterback rating.
Smith is set to earn a base salary of $7.5 million and carries a cap hit of $9.75 million in 2013.
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