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Smith following in footsteps of greatness

QB Alex Smith is sure to experience many growing pains, but the 49ers don't have the luxury of sitting him.

Updated: August 12, 2005, 2:13 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Steve Young was 28 before he became the 49ers' starting quarterback. Despite the late start, Young made the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Alex Smith doesn't have the luxury of sitting. And new head coach Mike Nolan can't afford for Smith to sit. The 49ers are in transition. Nolan is trying to put a new face on this proud organization. Last year, the 49ers came precariously close to a winless season. Their two wins were in overtime, one in which they needed two touchdowns ...

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