In their second NFL seasons, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith had more yards, touchdowns and a higher quarterback rating than did Hall of Famer Troy Aikman.
After their second year in the league, however, circumstances changed dramatically for Smith and Aikman. And their divergent paths involved the same assistant coach.
In Aikman's case, the Cowboys hired Norv Turner as their offensive coordinator in 1991, and the struggling QB began a three-year run with Turner that included three Pro Bowls and two Super Bowl titles. For Smith, who prospered under Turner's guidance in 2006, his career began a steep descent after his offensive coordinator left San Francisco to become the Chargers' head coach.