Chiefs’ Andy Reid Talks Alex Smith & Jonathan Baldwin

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs had their first official practice of the Andy Reid era yesterday, as the team got together for a voluntary minicamp.

All the players, save LT Branden Albert, were present. The team was also relatively healthy, with only TE Tony Moeaki sitting out practice as he recovers from having his knee scoped.

While the team was limited in what they could do at practice per the terms of the new CBA, Reid said the Chiefs were busy practicing the offensive and defensive looks the team has been installing during the offseason program.

“The way we went about it was that we installed the last couple weeks,” said Reid. “We took it slow. We took the eight days to do the install, and then we came back and practiced those things that we had meetings on the first couple weeks. They’re hearing it a second time, digesting it and then we’re asking to go at it at a fast pace here. In other words, rapid fire pace of calling plays, getting to the line of scrimmage and executing. Like I said, is it all perfect? No, but we’ll get there.”

The Chiefs have a lot to learn. The organization has gone through quite a facelift this offseason. Along with a new front office and coaching staff, the team has a new starting QB in former San Francisco 49ers signal caller, Alex Smith.

“There will be some carryover from what he (Smith) learned in San Francisco,” said Reid. “I think that will be a positive for him. He seems to handle all the stuff really well. We threw a lot of different looks at him. That’s what our defense does. In return, we’re throwing a lot of looks at the defense, that’s what or offense does. It’s good work on both sides. I thought Alex handled it very well today.”

Reid went on to say that these practices are an excellent time for Smith to develop some timing with his new receivers.

“You want to develop timing with your receivers,” said Reid. “You’ve got to get to know those guys. You get down to the specifics like the different drops that you have within the routes that we’re calling, how you handle those against the different looks that you’re thrown by the defense.”

Reid was also asked about underachieving receiver and former first-round pick, Jonathan Baldwin. Baldwin has been a bit of a disappointment since being drafted by the Chiefs in 2011.

“I would tell you this, Jon is working hard,” said Reid. “You saw him out there today. Jon is a unique specimen being as big as he is. He can do some things that people can’t do just because of size and strength if he puts himself in the position to do that. He’s working hard at it. He had a good day today.”

Expectations were high for Baldwin in 2012. After missing a big chunk of his rookie season with an injury suffered in a locker room fight with former Chiefs HB Thomas Jones, Baldwin wowed fans and media alike with his athleticism in training camp. When the season rolled around, however, Baldwin, like the team around him, was a huge disappointment.

Reid and company will hope to change that.

And yesterday was the first step.

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

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  • steve james

    I am afraid Baldwin will ultimately be a bust. As others have said he just can’t get separation. I think that is why he look so good in camp but when you go against the real NFL he can’t get himself in position to get open for those circus catches we all know he can make.

    • kmon

      I see his potential, he just needs to figure out how to use his size to get separation. he plays a lil soft and timid now so all he needs to do is learn his routes and realize that he’s big as hell and use his size for his advantage

    • ArrowFan

      Just saying, when you have the size advantage he does (on most guys) then he doesn’t need the same separation that say Avery needs.

      • steve james

        You would think that would have been his bread & butter in college. He can’t get it done in the NFL. Hope he figures it out this year. I think he is done if not & that is the vibe I get from Reid also.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Baldwin simpy hasn’t figured out how to use his size to his advantage.
    He gets sealed off by defenders way too easily. That’s why the longball downfield rarely worked. Guys would always box him out and take him out of the play.
    He also struggles with getting off the jam (which also is odd for a guy his size).
    I think the Chiefs should use him in different ways to help him build some confidence. Take him off the line and give him some room to operate underneath. He’s more possession receiver than anything else right now.

    • Jim Harper

      I am hoping more than anything else that having an accurate QB will help him immensely. I can’t even count the times he had to wait on balls thrown his way.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Better QB play won’t fix all of the holes in his game. He plays like a much smaller WR than he really is. Smith can’t fix that. They need to put him in situations where he can build some confidence. Use him as a possession receiver for now.

        • Spencer

          @stacydsmith:disqus would you say that Baldwin could be a better fit at slot receiver (where he thrived in under Haley’s tutilage when he was here) rather then the traditional big outside receiver??? basically being a TE…or just a Slot receiver??? use his height against those smaller nickle cbs and use his speed against those slower linebackers

          • Stacy D. Smith

            He’s not explosive enough to be effective there for any extended period of time. I do think lining him up there from time-to-time would be smart. He won’t have to worry about beating the jam. Right now, they need to take what they can get with Baldwin. Get him going then see if he can naturally mature into the wide receiver they drafted him to be. At this point, he’s a possession receiver. And he’s been effective when used in that way.

          • Spencer

            alright thanks…for the very quick reply^^, i could just see him possibly fitting the mold of a “TE” or these slot receiving TE’s that we are seeing via Hernandez of the Patriots, Jared Cook with the Rams(had a great argument with the Titans how he is really a receiver/slot receiver and not a TE) Vernon David etc….he wouldn’t have as much impact in blocking…which isn’t good considering non of the guys listed are good blocking TES…but hey, who knows???^^

            but anyway…you would prefer he stays on the outside and is used sparingly as a x-factor every now and then in the slot? kinda like Megatron in detroit…although he won’t nearly be as good as Megatron…by any means…or at all, but used in that same way???

          • Stacy D. Smith

            I don’t think they should convert him to a new position, but I do think they should do whatever it takes to get him going.

          • Spencer

            fair enough…things with Albert are heating up though….Baldwin can wait^^…personally not a fan of seeing Albert leave (if he does) but we shall see…

          • Stacy D. Smith

            I thought I read that the Fins were interested in him. Is this happening or is that pure speculation?

          • Spencer

            speculation and the recent fins news…If I were the chiefs i would draw this out to draft day and hope to force the Phins to overpay for Albert (especially if they can’t get into the race for Lane Johnson)…If you are the Phins get Albert now…before we can force them into overpaying for him (he is the only good starting LT on the market) and their only leverage is possibly trading up into the 1st to get Lane Johnson (i doubt they find a way to get to Fisher without overpaying)

            but meh…I also just doubt that Dorsey likes him…there has been no news of even an attempt of getting a long term contract done and with rumors flying out every other day…well it doesn’t appear like the Chiefs want the guy…which is even worse because if they give the same vibe to other teams they can probably get a bargain deal for him…don’t personally like the approach of getting rid of Albert either…its turn into a mess

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Interesting. The next week is going to be suspenseful.

          • Spencer

            very^^, it will be fun and at this point I just can’t wait for the season^^ or the draft…or anything…come faster!! lol, good times hopefully are on the horizon^^, i’m a youngin and i miss the old times lol, Dick Vermeil esc hopefully^^…man I miss that coach, and one of the nicest men you can meet…that entire 2003 team was a class act, at least the offensive end of it^^

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