Photo: John Rieger USA TODAY Sports
St. Joseph, MO - No other offseason move has drawn the attention of the fan base than KC’s decision to acquire San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Alex Smith last March. If early returns are any indication, it appears the Chiefs have found themselves a steady player at a position they’ve struggled to develop for much of their franchise history.
At the onset of training camp you’d have been hard pressed to find a Chiefs fan that didn’t have an opinion on KC’s new quarterback, Alex Smith. With training camp in full swing, those opinions are still plentiful.
So did the Chiefs make the right move in giving up a pair of potential 2nd round draft picks for a player another team didn’t want anymore? Ask me that question at mid-season.
For now what fans and coaches see on the practice field are just glimpses of what Alex Smith is or isn’t. It’s just too early to tell anything about the former 49ers quarterback
But one thing is certain heading into Reid’s first season as head coach, there is no quarterback debate in Kansas City. And unlike his situation in San Francisco (where he lost his job to Colin Kapernick), Smith appears to have no competition for the starting job in the Chiefs kingdom.
And to make things even better, Smith has a head coach that already has KC’s starting quarterback well versed in Reid’s west coast offense.
“I think it’s a credit to everybody, for sure. We’ve got a hungry group. I think our group has been soaking up information and can handle it. So, I really do think it’s a credit to everybody, to all the guys. We’re really kind of picking it up,” Smith said.
Still this is a new city and environment for Smith who has done a good job being cordial to the media and the fans. But there are still high expectations from the rabid and hungry fan base that he perform at a high level. To buffer any of that, Smith credits his relationship with his head coach and the steady hand of the organization.
”I think the thing that has just jumped out at me is not just Coach Reid, but the entire staff, just a passion for the game, a passion for coaching and teaching. It starts with him, for sure. He’s really setting that tempo. It’s still early, you know. This is early and we’re still figuring it out, putting it together and we have to keep stacking days together. That’s it. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas as far as when I came here and like I said, the things that jumped out the most were passion for the game and passion for coaching and teaching out here on the field and in the classroom.”
The Chiefs are counting on Smith to be the man on the field who can make plays. He takes over for the erratic, Matt Cassel. Now those aren’t exactly tough shoes to fill for Smith but nonetheless he has to be better than Cassel or fans will think this trade was yet another quarterback setback.
Because no matter what Smith does he can only be compared to one man, Hall of Famer, Len Dawson. KC’s only Super Bowl winning quarterback has been around Smith and his teammates throughout parts of training camp and that’s something Smith doesn’t mind one bit.
”“Yeah, it’s awesome,” Smith said of his time hanging out with the Chiefs only Super Bowl winning quarterback.
“Ever since I’ve gotten here it’s been such a great alumni family. A lot of pride in the organization, in the history of the organization, you can feel it. You can feel it within the organization and with the fans, you can feel it. It’s humbling, him being out here and getting to talk to him.”
And like Dawson, that humbling affect can serve Smith well in Kansas City. Entering his 8th NFL season Smith, much like Dawson who came to the Chiefs after stints in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, has a chance to resurrect his career in Kansas City.
But in order to get on par with Dawson on the field, Smith has to master Reid’s offense. And since he’s very familiar with the style of offense that Reid is running, one would think the West Coast offense is a perfect fit for all parties.
“I don’t know. I mean, I don’t want to compare the different offenses and this and that, but I think it’s a good fit for him. I think with Coach Reid’s history with running backs and perks of running backs, and he’s had a few and has had a lot of success in this system. So, I think that track record kind of speaks for itself,” Smith said.
With the first exhibition game next week, we’ll just see how some of it fits Smith’s talents.
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Will fans embrace Alex Smith as KC's quarterback?
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