Jun 5, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green (right) speaks with quarterback Alex Smith (11) after the mini camp at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s More Important to the Chiefs Success? Reid or Smith


This was a question posed by NFL Network in their 32 in 32 series, which examines all 32 NFL teams in 32 days. While this wasn’t the only question asked about the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s the one I found the most interesting. After all, both are very important to the Chiefs success next year, and while Alex Smith has a more direct impact on the team’s performance on the field – since, you know, he’ll be on the field – but the importance of Andy Reid’s coaching cannot go understated.

The NFL Total Access team was split on the question. Shaun O’Hara, the Giants offensive lineman who is trying his hand at the media gambit, went with Alex Smith, citing the Chiefs -24 turnover differential last season as the reason. NFL Network contributor, Brian Baldinger, went with Andy Reid because he is installing a new offense in Kansas City and it’s up to him to teach Smith that offense. While Smith has to execute the offense, there’s a lot of work that goes in to just getting to that point.

While O’Hara is right in saying the Chiefs turned over the ball far too often last season – Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn combined for 30 turnovers last year – and that Alex Smith should help in that aspect of the game – in Smith’s last full season he only accounted for 5 interceptions and 5 fumbles – I have to believe that Andy Reid is more important to the Chiefs success.

Chiefs fans saw what bad quarterbacking combined with bad coaching looked like last season. But I’m going to side with Baldinger for a reason less obvious than the fact he’s the head coach. Alex Smith has only played all 16 games in season twice since entering the league in 2005. Many of these seasons were shortened by injuries. So teaching Alex Smith the offense isn’t Andy Reid’s only concern, he has to make sure his backups know the offense just as well incase Smith follows his career trend and misses games this season due to injury.

I’ve always thought the impact of one player on a football team is overrated when compared to coaching, and this is no exception. But what do you think Chiefs fans? Who’s more important to the success of the Chiefs this season? Fill up the comments section with your opinions!

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Alex Smith is more important. If he plays well, all things are possible. If not, there’s nothing Reid can do to save this team.

    • Suzi Conger

      Well said

  • chiefridgy

    I think they share that burden.

    • Suzi Conger


  • Joe Myers


  • Suzi Conger

    This question was already presented in a prior article….

    • micah stephenson

      I know you love Alex Smith and think he is all this and that, but he aint perfect so what do you think he needs to do to get better?

      • Suzi Conger

        micah, I don’t ‘love’ AS11… I merely agree with JamaalCharles ‘Alex Smith is a SuperBowl caliber QB’… what, you must disagree with Jamaal, yes? And you must disagree with AReid and JDorsey, right? You seem to think that you know more than JCharles, AReid, JDorsey (plus a multitude of other reputable nfl professionals).

        It is true, that I am guilty of pointing out negative ASmith “mytholoy”… ambiguous, inaccurate, inconsistant statements that lack substance or fact. micah, I am a positive, ‘cup half full’ person (for the most part) and I do tire of the negative (critical) cup-half-empty attitude of a couple ‘bloggers/posts’ at this site (a couple of article writers, too).

        How bout you try something like this; ” AS11 has off-the-top skyrocket Ute QB facts/stats (thus the #1 pick) He (AS) survived some SF Dark Ages of chaotic Coaching and Management; with injury and inadequate performance (IE: remember, Dingletary benched VDavis (our equivilent of DBowe…smart coach, huh?). AS’s ’11/’12 season(s) were great providing a glimpse of his former Glory Days. I hope our o-line gives AS adequate protection, and our receivers do a good job of catching his passes so he (AS) can lead the Chief’s to a great victorious season”

        WOW…something like that (the truth) would be so refreshing!!

        Support our team; don’t tear them down…wait til the end of the season (or at least half-way) and see what happens. C’mon micah, you seem like a pretty nice guy; what’s with all this negative critical ‘tearing-down’ attitude? Doesn’t fit you.

        There is no ‘perfect’ QB; why did ‘the great’ PManning throw a (negative) record breaking 3 interceptions in the first quarter (vs Atlanta, ’12)? Why did PM throw the late-SB game interception that lost the ’09 Colts SB ( vs NO) ?..what could PM, or any other QB do to be better

        • micah stephenson

          All that and you didnt mention what smith needs to work on.

  • Manhattan_Wildcat

    It has to be Smith, his rise or fall with the Chiefs plus the cost to obtain his services will impact this team for the next few years.

  • Chris Tarrants

    Here is a thought to ponder and I’m not talking about Christian. What happens IF smith goes down for a few games and Daniel comes in a shows that Drew Brees rubbed off on him and he kills it like Kap did for the niners? Do we bench Smith after he is healthy or do we play smith simply because of how much he has cost the team as far as money and picks are concerned?

    • unclejesse40

      that is interesting, but my logic is you control Daniels longer so I would go with him if the above mentioned scenario happens. that would suck for Smith if that happened again.

    • Suzi Conger

      CK7 didn’t ‘kill it’ for the 9ers….Ck7 lost the SB with his final red zone fiasco; MCrabtree said it best; ‘I agree with the Refs Non-call, and besides, the ball/pass was Uncatchable and Out-of-Bounds”…Another ck7 ‘strong-arm’ Overthrow! (BTW; AS11 achieved 20+% greater RZ success than CK7 and 5+% more 3rd/converson success than ck7 ; contrary to popular belief , AS11 = 4passes over 40yd ; 9.5games; 2losses/1tie vs ck7 = 4 passes over 40 yds ; 10.5 games ; 3losses/1 tie, nfl QB rating; AS11 = 3rd, vs ck7 = 16th! )

      AS11 was benched because ck7 is Cheap, Not because he (ck7) is/was the superior QB. Many SF fans and reputable sport analyzers figure SF would have won the ’13 SB ring if AS11 was under center. The really funny side to ‘Hissy-Fit-Harbs’ blunder decision is as follows; AS was already ‘paid-for’ ’12 season; if Harbutt stayed with AS, and AS won the ’13 ring, SF would have had a SB QB for another two years for a paltry 8.5 -11.5 mil. If AS led a SB loss (like ck7), trade AS and promote ck7 for this season; Either scenerio SF would have been a ‘winner’ : JH mega-blundered!

      Consider; Rams/SF tied with ck7/AS11 at center; Rams/SF Lost with ck7 leading; SHawks/SF Won with AS at QB; SH/SF Lost with ck7 at QB….ck7 is Flashy; good, but inferior to AS as of ’12/’13…

      AReid knows these facts/stats; SF’s loss, KCC’s gain

      AReid knows ‘you get what you pay for’…he’s been keepin’ track of, and inquiring about AS’s availability since AS’s Ute skyrocket days (affiliated with an excellent coach UMeyer). AReid knows that AS endured SF’s Dark Ages of horrific chaotic Management and Coaching; a new o-line coach/playbook every year (IE; Dingletary benched VDavis, too (SF’s version of DBowe). ARodger’s said it well, “I never would have survived those years’.. I trust AR’s intelligence and expertise…

      So, to answer your question,,,take the lesson SF’s blunder teaches; don’t bench the Superior nfl rated QB when he’s performing superbly and already paid for…

      . Hopefully, if the O-line provides adequate protection for AS, and receivers can catch the ball; KCC will fly via AS11!! GO CHIEFS!!

      • Chris Tarrants

        Wow man I didn’t say that I think Kap is a better qb, Sf brass did that. Throwing stats my way isn’t going to change that. My point was if smith gets hurt and Daniel plays better then smith will he get his job back or would it be Daniels to lose.

    • jim

      I think it would depend on how well Smith was doing before he was hurt, GEAUX CHIEFS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Danny W

    A good quarterback will cover a horrible coaches ass any day of the week. Were a bad quarterback will make a good coach look like an abysmal failure.

  • Calchiefsfan

    Both are going to be key to the success this year but I have to go with Reid, barely. My logic is this, we won the West in 2010 with Cassel as the qb because Weiss was the OC. We only won 2 games in 2012 with a more talented team than 2010 because Crennel and Daboll were running things. We’ve witnessed first hand what bad coaching can do to a team. Also, what decent coaching, (Charlie Weiss), can do even with a mediocre qb.

    I don’t know about you guys but I see Andy Reid fired up about this season in a way he hasn’t been the last couple of years and AS11 with a chip on his shoulder. I like it. Can’t wait for training camp and preseason to see how this team executes with Reid and Smith.

  • David Fritch

    P-Manning is more important that his coach…..A-Smith, I’m not so sure.
    We also have 2 potentially very good QB’s sitting on our bench.

  • Dan

    Andy Reid’s unwillingness to alter a game plan that isn’t working, along with his inability to manage a game clock and the lack of any knowledge of how a defense should be run will be far more detrimental to the Chiefs than anything Alex Smith could possibly screw up so I’ll have to go with Reid. Much like when #5 McChoke left the Eagles for the Redskins/Vikings and failed miserably the Andy Reid reborn experiment will end in massive dissapointment within two years. OK maybe three years at the most.