SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

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Troy Smith Catching Flack for Ohio Trip

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Troy Smith #1 of San Francisco 49ers in action during the NFL International Series match between Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium on October 31, 2010 in London, England. This is the fourth occasion where a regular season NFL match has been played in London. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Troy Smith

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Troy Smith is the undefeated fan favorite, and was just named the starting quarterback for this Sunday's game against the Rams at Candlestick. But he took a week's vacation to his hometown in Ohio during the Niners' bye week, and some 49ers Faithful have a problem with that.

    The topic was initially griped by the Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows in a fan chat. "It was a bit peculiar that (Troy Smith) went home to Ohio last week instead of sticking around and immersing himself in the offense," Barrows noted.

    Smith was faxed game plans to study in Ohio. Alex Smith, it should be noted, was at the 49ers' facility in Santa Clara all last week.

    ESPN's Mike Sando piled on too. "Shouldn't a new quarterback be doing everything possible to maximize a rare opportunity?" Sando wrote.

    Troy Smith should not be knocked for still having to learn the 49ers playbook at this point. He joined the 49ers after training camp and preseason were already over, and it is sensible for 49ers assistants and coordinators to spend less intensive teaching time with their third-string, emergency quarterback.

    It's not a problem unless that guy becomes your starting quarterback. Troy Smith now has become their starting quarterback.

    Joe Kukura is freelance writer who would be afraid to fax NFL game plans because how do you know Bill Belichick won't steal them.