Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith has something to prove in 2013.
Smith’s NFL story seemed to be the stuff of fairytales. He entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers and was expected to continue the outstanding lineage of QB play began by Joe Montana and continued by Steve Young.
Only, Smith flopped. He failed to live up to expectations, and organizational instability at both the head coach and offensive coordinator positions seemed to be aiding in the QBs fall from grace. When new head coach, Jim Harbaugh was hired by the 49ers in 2011, most fans expected that Smith would be one of the first players booted out the door by the new regime.
Only he wasn’t.
Harbaugh stuck with Smith and the QB’s redemption story began. Smith led the 49ers to the NFL Championship game in Harbaugh’s first season as coach. In 2012, Smith picked up where he left off and was leading the NFL in passer rating when he suffered a concussion and was forced to sit out a week.
Smith never got his job back. The fairytale had turned into a nightmare.
Ever the professional, Smith watched and supported his backup, Colin Kaepernick, as he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
The 49ers fell short in the big game, and after the season, Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid handpicked Smith to be their QB of the future. Despite holding the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the KC brass felt Smith was the best QB option available and gave up a couple of high draft picks to acquire him.
Despite handling the situation in San Francisco with grace, Smith isn’t afraid to admit he has a chip on his shoulder, now that he is a Chief.
“I don’t know if there’s anything I’m going to change as far as playing,” said Smith on The Boarder Patrol on Sports Radio 810 recently when asked if losing his job in San Fran made him feel as if he had something to prove or change as a QB in KC. “Obviously I’m going to strive to continue to get better and better. But nothing drastic jumps out at me. Just continue to try to play the position as best I can and try to learn and I feel like I’m around a lot of great minds here at the facility between coach Reid, coach Peterson and coach Nagy.”
“I have a lot to prove. The goal is to get one of those rings and to hold up that trophy and constantly working towards that. I feel like the last couple years, having been close, kind of having seen it and not gotten it and in a sense, what happened last year with an injury and then not playing at the end of the year…no question a bitter taste in my mouth. It’s something I feel only winning will get rid of.”
I have no problem with Smith admitting that he has a bitter taste in his mouth after what happened in San Francisco. Hopefully the QB can use the chip on his shoulder as extra motivation to work even harder at getting his new team to the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs certainly got a class act when they traded for Alex and if Smith can continue to play in KC the way he did the last two years in San Fran, the Chiefs could find themselves back in the playoff mix.