49ers will take one final whirl with Alex Smith at QB

Much change lies ahead for the San Francisco 49ers, who are looking to hire a general manager that will then find a new head coach before the two of them likely start a quest for a quarterback.

Before all that goes down, Alex Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, will get one more chance to start for the franchise. Interim coach Jim Tomsula named Smith the starter for Sunday’s season finale against the Arizona Cardinals, choosing him over Troy Smith, who struggled in the loss at St. Louis last Sunday that sealed the fate of the team for this season.

Alex Smith stuck up for himself when fired coach Mike Singletary delivered the news that Troy Smith was his man last week.

“I don't know how much lobbying I was doing. That's not my job," Alex Smith said. "Definitely emotional, frustrated. I definitely voiced my opinion, that's for sure. I wasn't sitting back and taking it.

"It's nice to go out there and play well, period. I'm not really getting into what's going to happen after this," Smith said. "Whenever you go out there, even though it's the last game of the season and we're out of the playoffs, pride's on the line. You want to go out there and play well, no question. That's not going to change."

Alex Smith will be a free agent after the season. He took a big pay cut when he restructured his contract two years ago. It hasn’t worked out for him with the Niners and there is little question a change of scenery will be best for him. He hasn’t had consistent coaching in San Francisco, and surely he knows what a fresh start could bring him.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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