October 5, 2005

Top pick Smith gets first start for 49ers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Top draft choice Alex Smith will make
his first start as the San Francisco 49ers quarterback against
the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the team said.

"I feel like Alex gives us the best chance to win, and I
believe he's ready," head coach Mike Nolan.

The 49ers have lost three consecutive games after winning
their opener with Tim Rattay as their quarterback.

"If we were 3-1 it would probably be different," Nolan said
of his decision to promote Smith, the first player taken in
April's NFL draft.

Smith played for the 49ers for the first time in their loss
to Arizona in Mexico City on Sunday. He completed six of 10
passes for 34 yards.

(Writing by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina)