On Wednesday it was reported that the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2013 2nd round pick and a later conditional pick. This is a mistake by the Chiefs. Yes they do desperately need a quarterback but Smith isn’t the guy for the job.
Smith was pretty much a bust in San Francisco until miracle worker Jim Harbaugh was hired as the Niners head coach two seasons ago. He turned Smith’s career around, mainly by believing in him, giving him confidence, and tailoring the offense to his abilities. The Niners ran a ball controlled offense, pounding the rock for the majority of the game. Smith’s job was pretty much to be a game manager for the most part.
In KC Smith will be playing for head coach Andy Reid. Reid is really good with quarterbacks but his system has been completely different than what Smith has succeeded at. In Philly Reid had his quarterbacks throwing the ball all over the field, sometimes over 50 pass attempts in a game. Reid was criticized for abandoning the run year after year.
Assuming Reid will continue to run this same offense in Kansas City, Alex Smith will be asked to go from a game manager to a quarterback who slings it around all game long. He will be asked to actually win games with his arm. Yes he did it on occasion in San Fran, but he can’t do it consistently.
Not only is the scheme a bad fit, along with the fact that he won’t have coach Harbaugh there to guide him, but now that Smith has had a good couple of seasons … there will be expectations placed on him. He will be expected to be the savior, or the answer, at qb for a franchise that has desperately needed one for years. He will be expected to take a bad Chiefs team to the playoffs or at the least competing for the playoffs.
It’s a recipe for disaster. Smith was looked at as a bust in San Francisco before Harbaugh arrived.There were no expectations before last season for Alex Smith, and even then the expectations were more on the 49ers team than Alex Smith. Now he has expectations while playing in a offense where he will most likely be asked to do more than he is capable of.
Alex Smith is not a franchise quarterback. Harbaugh was smart to use him the way he did as a game manager because that’s exactly what Smith is … a game manager. Unless Andy Reid takes a page out of Harbaugh’s playbook, look for Smith to disappoint that rabid Kansas City fanbase.