I think Andrew Luck is miles ahead of Alex Smith already, and I think that was the case before he was drafted. Alex Smith came out of a spread offense at Utah, while Luck was running a pro style offense under a former pro quarterback. As a matter of fact, Harbaugh had Luck teaching the offense to Smith during the lockout. Even Urban Meyer doubted that Alex Smith would have any success unless he was completely comfortable in an offense. The 49ers made several mistakes while trying to develop Smith, including changing the coaching staff more than they should have. But he wasn't the same kind of player or leader that Luck has proven to be.
The current system is deficient, absolutely, and while I'm not saying we necessarily need a WCO disciple, that is what Luck ran at Stanford, so it's not necessarily learning a new offense. It's going back to something he had already been a student of, and quite successfully.
Luck learned a completely new system is a short period of time, while also trying to get acclimated to playing in a league that's far more talented than the Pac division he earned his draft stock in. Everyone who's coached him has said he has a nearly photographic memory. During camp, the coaches allowed the defense to send all kinds of blitzes at him, and he had a bad day. Then he and Arians went in and dissected the film. They came out for another session, and he picked the same blitzes apart. He spent three weeks with Tom Moore before the draft, and Moore said he has "instant recall." He said "you'll never have to worry about anything."
Luck is special, I think. Well ahead of Alex Smith, both athletically and from a mental standpoint, and tougher mentally as well. I do think continuity would be important, but like I said, there are flaws inherent in Arians' offense that I wouldn't mind seeing walk out of the door with him. And it's nothing against Arians; he's been great for us and for Luck, from a mentor standpoint and as a stand-in head coach. But I'm not going to cry if he leaves, because I don't really like his play calling.
Ladies and Gentleman..THIS is how you post!