John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Smith Talks Junior Hemingway, Chiefs' Offense

The Kansas City Chiefs are still in the midst of their OTA practices and new QB Alex Smith is still working on developing a relationship with his new receivers.

One receiver that is getting some extra looks this week as Dexter McCluster recovers from a hamstring injury is former Michigan Wolverine, Junior Hemingway. The Chiefs selected Hemingway in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft but the WR failed to really catch on and spent most of last season on the practice squad.

“I think he’s doing a great job,” said Smith when asked if Hemingway was emerging at OTAs. “He’s had a little window here where he’s getting a little more opportunities because Dex (Dexter McCluster) hasn’t been out here the last couple days. He’s gotten a lot of work and really making the most of it. He’s a guy we’re really moving around a lot. He’s gotten good work.”

Smith seemed hesitant to offer of glowing endorsement of Hemingway, who could have an uphill battle to make the final 53-man roster. Still, the extra work Hemingway is seeing in the wake of McCluster’s injury could end up paying off once training camp arrives.

Ahead of Hemingway on the WR depth chart is a pair of first-round picks in Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin. Baldwin is still looking to live up to his draft stock while Bowe is showing Smith just why the Chiefs made a big investment to re-sign the former LSU Tiger.

For Smith, Baldwin and Bowe present to big targets.

“They’re doing a great job,” said Smith when asked about Baldwin and Bowe. “Everybody across the board is putting in a lot of work and those two guys, especially working with the first unit. We’re getting a lot thrown at us and those guys are making a lot of adjustments. They’re two big targets, really big targets. Dwayne is a really special player. You can see it out here making plays. Anything near him he seems to come down with. That’s what you like as a quarterback, but those guys are doing a great job.”

In interviews, Smith is definitely different than former Chiefs starter Matt Cassel. Cassel was always friendly and a bit of a joker. Smith, on the other hand, comes off a little more business like, though still warm. The young Chiefs could use some leadership in the huddle and hopefully Smith will be able to provide that and keep his teammates on offense accountable and working hard throughout the summer.

What do you think, Addicts? Will Alex Smith be a more demanding leader than Matt Cassel and will it pay off on the field?

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Tags: Alex Smith Dwayne Bowe Junior Hemingway Kansas City Chiefs

  • Stacy D. Smith

    I noticed that Smith can be short and a teensy bit snarky in interviews. What matters is whether or not he can win though. Win games and you can be the biggest jerk ever.

    • tnafam

      Yes I notice that too and I’m not a big fan of it. But I don’t think he’s trying to look like a jerk maybe he’s just trying to put some personality into it, interviews do get a little boring.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        Doesn’t help that the KC sports media tends to ask dumb questions.

        • berttheclock

          Perhaps, he does not suffer fools lightly.

          • steve james

            That is the vibe I have gotten from him. He is all business and doesn’t like taking the time to answer to the media.

          • Michael Shaw

            I personally don’t have a problem with that as long as it translates into him LEADING this team as opposed to Cassel who seemed to just be a part of the team, if you get my meaning!

          • Suzi Conger

            Ditto, steve

  • berttheclock

    Every time I think of Hemingway, I think of his over 200 yard game for something akin to a 50.4 yards per reception. Plus, Michigan, at that time, was not known for throwing the football.

    • KCMikeG

      He was hurt last year or we could have seen more of him.

  • berttheclock

    Perhaps local sports reporters do not know the academic history of AS. Graduated from HS one semester early by earning college credits through a local San Diego university. One semester, he had a 4.0 GPA. At Utah, he graduated in two years with a 3.74 GPA in Econ and was taking Master Degree courses when he was drafted.
    Some poster in the Bay area posted about some of the myths concerning AS. He has normal size hands and his hands are a bit larger than those of CK, yet, some, such as Tony Kornheiser still refer to him as “Ol’ small hands”. Another myth was about his not being good for Harbaugh. Not really true. Harbaugh respected his work, but, fell for the running skills of CK coming out of college. Very similar to Bill Walsh wanting to play Montana, so, he, released Steve DeBerg. Not because DeBerg was a bad QB, but, Walsh wanted to go in another direction. This is a major gain for KC in that AS has had 8 years of ups and downs in the NFL and has grown better each and every year. I await the success of him with the Chiefs so that, for one thing, it will silence those who believe he was simply a castoff.

    • KCMikeG

      Great post! Go Chiefs!

  • chiefdeorty

    I like Alex I just feel he is going to be every thing SF thought he would not be. I think he has the potential to be a pro bowler this this because I can see a hunger in him that says I will not be defeated! Yes we have a QB and he could be in the end the #2 all time with KC behind only Lenny. This year could be a shock the world moment in KC, borrowing the Kurt Warner Quote. And add what the defense will bring and oh yea.

  • Jim Harper

    Of course! Alex knows what it takes to succeed in the NFL and Cassel was clueless. It appears that Alex has already taken control of this offense and holds everyone accountable. That was never Cassel’s strength. Even better is the fact that everyone (including the veterans) are responding to him. He is in complete command of the huddle. Exciting things going on in Chief’s kingdom!

  • Jason Seibel

    With the fact that the Chiefs traded for Alex with an “as is” contract, he’s working for his dinner just like everybody else. I think that may be why he’s all business. From the interviews I’ve read and seen though, it looks like Bowe is a bit more of a Smith fan than he was a Cassel fan. I just get that impression. Time will tell!

  • Hacksaw 46

    KC fans,
    No worries about Alex. He is a gentle man and a leader, just look at the reaction of his team mates when it was anounced that Colin was to be the started the rest of last season, hint they did not like the change! Alex is the real deal, he is the complete QB. I’ve been a 9er fan since 1956, I like many 9er fans did not want Alex to go. Our loss your gain.

    • Suzi Conger

      Nice post Hacksaw; I agree about Alex. I have been SF9er since 60′s and followed AS11 to Kansas; I’m now a KCC fan and crazy bout the kingdom. I am so excited to have him lead the KCC team and FLY! GO CHIEFS!