It is time to climb on board the Alex Smith bandwagon. The Kansas City Chiefs new Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson is evidently driving that bandwagon himself. According to Kansas City Star writer Randy Covitz, Pederson boldly declared:
“I think we have the best in the league.”
In Covitz’s article, Pederson went on to say:
“There are a lot of great ones,” Pederson said, “but over time, Alex has proven he can get it done. He’s a sharp guy, he brings a wealth of knowledge, he’s experienced, he’s a proven winner the last couple of years, and he needs a team to embrace him.”
Yes, Alex Smith has shown he can be a very good quarterback. In the past 4 seasons, he has a quarterback rating of 88.2. As a point of reference, Matt Cassel‘s rating in those 4 seasons was 77.5 (although he only surpassed that number once – in 2010). Drew Brees, in that same time frame, had a quarterback rating of 101.4.
Every coach has to be supportive of his quarterback, especially when the team has paid 2 second round draft picks to acquire him. Obviously General Manager John Dorsey, Head Coach Andy Reid, and Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson wanted Smith and have faith in him. But “the best in the league?” No, that is ridiculous and flat out sensational hyperbole.
If Smith is so good, how come Jim Harbaugh couldn’t really wait to replace him and ship him off? Smith played very well for Harbaugh yet the San Francisco head man couldn’t wait to replace him with Colin Kaepernick. Sure, maybe Harbaugh just liked how Kaepernick ran his specific offense. He obviously thought Kaepernick was a better fit. So, at least one coach doesn’t think Smith is the best.
I doubt very much if the coaches in New Orleans, New England, and Denver would take Smith over Brees, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning. The coaches for the Giants, Redskins, Falcons, Rams, Colts, Lions, and Chargers probably wouldn’t take Smith over Eli Manning, Robert Griffin III, Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, and Philip Rivers. Alex Smith would be hard pressed to be ranked in the top 10 of NFL quarterbacks.
That all being said, there is still a chance for Smith to play himself into a top 10 quarterback. He has to stay healthy. He needs to prove he can be more than just a game manager as the number of passes he throws will most certainly go up this season. He needs to thrive in Andy Reid‘s offense.
The talent and intelligence is there with Smith. Now, he must execute. It is great to see a coach so enthusiastic about his signal caller. If you recall, Todd Haley never seemed sold on Matt Cassel. Not so we ever believed him. There is little doubt Reid and company have faith in Smith and that gives us all hope he will be a successful quarterback in Kansas City in the 2013.
You get the feeling that the coaches really do believe in Smith and that is great. But please, don’t insult our football acumen with the outrageous hyperbole that Alex Smith is the best quarterback in the league. As of right now, he isn’t. Not even close. If Pederson does truly think this, we must start to question his competence.
There is no reason not to be excited about Alex Smith as quarterback. Feel free to jump on the bandwagon. Once the Chiefs win a few games, there may not be anymore room on the old wagon. Feel good about what Smith is – a talented, experience NFL quarterback – just don’t buy into the hyperbole. If you do, you are bound to be disappointed.