Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Says Alex Smith Is The Best QB In The NFL

Jul 28, 2013; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass against defensive end Tyson Jackson (94) during training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson thinks Alex Smith is the best QB in the NFL.

But don’t take my word for it.

Take Pederson’s.

“Ultimately, every team has to have a quarterback,” Pederson told The Kansas City Star. “I think we have the best in the league.”

Pederson went on to say that though there are a lot of great QBs in the NFL, he thinks Smith has proven he can get the job done and just needs a team to believe in him.

“There are a lot of great ones, but over time, Alex has proven he can get it done,” Pederson said. “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.”

Pederson is wrong, of course, but there is nothing wrong with what Pederson said.

Alex Smith has shown tremendous improvement over the last couple of years and a little extra confidence will probably be good for him. The fact that Pederson believes in Smith doesn’t necessarily mean that the team has any illusions about their QB’s skill set or abilities.

I think more what Pederson means is that Smith can be the best in the NFL at what the Chiefs need him to do. Every QB has a different set of skills and if those skills are utilized properly, the QB should have a chance to succeed.

Alex Smith isn’t Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.

He’s Alex Smith.

And as long as the Chiefs don’t lose site of that fact, they very well could have one of the best QBs in the NFL.

Topics: Alex Smith, Doug Pederson, Kansas City Chiefs

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  • Stacy D. Smith

    That’s crazy talk. He might not even be Top 10.

    • Priest4Prez

      Alright, I respect your opinion here but let me play devil’s advocate:
      Brady, Manning & Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Stafford, Ryan, Flacco, Luck, RG III, Wilson(maybe), Rothlesberger(when healthy).
      Now, every QB is different but all these guys seem to have certain intangible that keeps Alex out of the top ten. I know you’ll have a reason he should be out a couple guys in the 12 I’ve listed and I’d love to hear it

      • Stacy D. Smith

        He falls somewhere between 12 and 16 in my book.

        • Priest4Prez

          Did you see the Jaws QB list on ESPN by chance? He had Alex at 20th and Schuab #9. I think those two should fall somewhere in the middle, because we can’t all be that crazy

          • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

            I think calling someone “the best QB in the league” is almost impossible. How is Big Ben not the best QB in the league? He wins and there isn’t any other QB that can do what he can do. Manning? Nope. Brady? No.

            But Ben can’t do what Manning can do. But is Manning better? Gaudy stats say yes, Super Bowl rings says no.

            Joe Montana never threw for more than 4K yards. Yet he is considered by many to be the greatest QB to ever play the game.

            His primary asset?

            Brains and accuracy.

            Smith has both.

            That doesn’t make him Joe Montana but it does mean he can win in the NFL. He’s proven that.

            If Alex Smith can be the best in the NFL at doing what Alex Smith does best, I think the Chiefs can win a Super Bowl with him at QB.

          • Priest4Prez

            You see, it’s that kind of thinking that makes us Chiefs fans right? If Smith went to say the Jets or Philly; people would be jumping off bridges. To be honest I only watched Smith’s 2011 season and I was quite impressed; especially what he put together in the playoffs. I think we’re all in hopes and are for a better sense of the word ” holding our breathes.” Too many so-so QB’s running through KC in the last 20 years

          • Thomas Sparks

            Well stated Patrick! I concur!

        • Thomas Sparks

          At this point in time, you hit the nail on the head, Stacey! Now, after soaking up everything Reid throws at him and being under Reid’s System, I don’t see why he can’t break the Top Ten!
          I love John Dorsey and what he has done for Green Bay! When he says Alex Smith is the smartest QB he has ever been around and that he CAN through the deep ball accurately and consistently, this is a great NFL mind that been around Farve and drafted Aaron Rodgers! To me, that speaks volumes!!!!!! Hey, Doug Peterson, pass that Peace Pipe, dude!

    • Thomas Sparks

      With all due respect Stacey, I say Alex Smith either hits Top 10 in the next 3 years or exceeds it! He just seems to bring a whole new presence to this team and he positively stated KC is where he wanted to go! Not only does he exude confidence & leadership, under Reid I just think the sky is the limit! I really believe he has embraced this team and came bring the X-Factor, he have been missing for quite a while!

      No, not Dante Hall, lol, but Leadership, Post-Season hunger & confidence, and most of all a skill set that he has yet to be able to utilize! Reid is going to bring out the BEST in this guy! He’s no fluke!

      I will say, they are going to be FUN to watch this year! Let’s just stay HEALTHY! Have you seen how many starters are suffering season ending injuries? Percy Harvin was the latest casualty! Maybe, just maybe, this is the year we catch a break (no pun intended) from the injury bug? After the last few years, I think it maybe in the cards! Especially the way Reid has steadily got them to ramp up, even though he stays Physical! More players get hurt, when not playing at 100%! Reid is smart & I trust his way of running camp, so far! CHIEFS FANATIC FOREVER!

      • Stacy D. Smith

        If he does become a Top 10 quarterback, this will be one of the best teams in the AFC (perhaps the NFL). I hope you’re right. Right now I don’t think he’s Top 10, but I’d love for him to prove me wrong.

  • Scott Mahurin

    Best at what, exactly? Check down passes? He’s good…but, not elite.

  • Angel

    Not even close to being elite. And being called the BEST?! That’s funny.

    • Danny W

      I wouldn’t think that if he improves this year again, (over 100 rating again) that it would be out of the realm of being considered elite.

      • Thomas Sparks

        Exactly! And under this system, with these coaches, Bowe will improve, if he can stay healthy. It sounds like Smith & Bowe are already getting the timing down. And Bowe is great at YAC!

  • Altarium

    Even though it’s not true right now (I can’t see into the future and won’t discount anything amazing out of love for the Chiefs)… this highlights again the HUGE difference in confidence of our QB. Big change from comments like “we have a good guy, we have a hard worker, he can get things done”.

  • Wilford Bremley

    I understand he’s just supporting his QB. Alex is a good player, but I want what Pederson is smoking.

  • Jason Collins

    No more!!! No more!!! The delusional optimism in my home town is killing me!!! The chiefs might when 7 games… Maybe.. But that’s not bad. Players need time to learn. Smith is basically Cassel… Slightly better. There are only two legit probowlers JC and DJ. The rest backed in by default. Just stop!!! They don’t even have a one elite receiver. Bowe? Yeah right. No…

    • Stacy D. Smith

      Alex Smith is not the best QB in the league, but he’s also NOTHING like Matt Cassel.

      • ladner morse

        Stacy, how many actual games have you sen Alex Smith play? I think I’ve only seen 3 or 4. I saw both playoff games the year before last and he looked good in those games. The the season before that the Chiefs beat the 49ers and he looked just okay then.. but that was before Harbaugh took over.

        I think a lot of what we’re basing our evaluations of Smith on are the first four years of his career when he had a new OC every season. Plus, I’m now convinced Smith has progressed to a point where… once this season is over… he could be considered a top ten QB. We’ll see.

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Maybe a half-dozen. Enough to know that he’s in no way the best quarterback in the league. Manning, Brees, Brady, and Rodgers all have broader skillsets that can take over a game when necessary. Smith’s only flashed the ability to have that kind of impact on a game.

          I’ve also seen enough to know that he’s also a significantly better quarterback than Matt Cassel. He’s better with ball placement, decision making, and pocket presence. Cassel never completed anything close to 70% of his passes.

          I’m excited about the guy. I have high hopes. He’s got an uphill battle to become a Top 10 QB though. Hopefully he gets there.

          • Thomas Sparks

            Stacey, I have agreed with you on 99% of your comments, but not on this one. IMHO, I think taking SF to the NFC Championship Game 2 year’s ago & losing by a such a slight margin, too boot! And then to go through 3/4 of the season last year, proving he wasn’t a fluke, knowing he had Colin “The Freakish Phenom” Kapernick breathing down his back for a chance to start, (which I think was in the plans to take place, regardless) Alex still had the best completion % those 2 years and more than average TD/INT ratio, is more than flashing!
            And he did perform great under pressure, in BIG games! We are just so used to seeing Cassel buckle under pressure, and play the fool, I think it is hard for us Loyal Chiefs Fans to imagine having an Elite type QB! We shall see…….. Chop It Up, CHIEFS!

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Which part do you disagree with?
            You think Smith is a Top 10 QB?

            If so, who are the 9 quarterbacks that round out that list?

          • Thomas Sparks

            I not saying he is a Top 10 right now, Stacey. What I am saying is, because the season has yet to even start, if he is as good as Dorsey/Reid say he is, in Reid’s system & with Reid’s coaching, he could be at least a Top10 QB in this league.
            I was just disagreeing with your view of him flashing his ability to be a QB that can win, under pressure, in big games. I just think he has shown quite a bit of moxie under the pressure of staying composed and keeping his head in the game for ALL 4 quarters, as well as stepping it up when necessary (whether it be to score in the fourth quarter or getting prepared for the Post Season games that you HAVE to put up a W).
            In the last 2 years his completion % alone speaks to that. He just seems like a real GAMER, from what I’ve seen and not just a flasher. Plus, he had to put all of that early failure to produce during his first 5 or so seasons behind him and not let it effect his future. Most of his failure during those times were more the Merry-Go-Round of O coaching schemes and the bad coaching in general.
            Plus, the last 2 years he HAD to perform, as they had a youth movement going on, & Kapernik had been there that whole time, Harbaugh took over.
            I just have to believe with Coach Reid’s help & system & knowing he’s THE expected leader and core of this team, without a doubt for a few years, he is going to play his best ball! I also tend to trust our new GM/HC’s intuition than any fan.
            I know it’s hard to expect BIG things this year, after we had to suffer through the train wreck last year. But the whole scenery has been revamped and Reid, as well as Dorsey bring a new optimism and aire of urgent professionalism we have not seen since Peterson/Schottenheimer!
            It is going take a team effort, most definitely, but I can already see the players being more upbeat & excited to play in both new O & D systems! It may not happen this year, for sure, but 2-3 years & I think we are going to have a scary NEW identity! Maybe Cinderella’s shoe will fit us, as the season progresses, but I still remember with Vermeil, Trent Green was missing his rcvr’s the whole first year, but after that year look what he did! NFL is such a game of split seconds & inches, that SYNC is the hardest thing too instill with such a large personnel turnover!
            Gel fast enough or not this year (and it may take a few REGULAR Season games to adjust), they are going to be a FUN team to watch and on the rise! Of course, just MHO.

      • Jason Collins

        Their career numbers are almost identical. Do you know why SF let him go for a rookie? Smith can’t make consistent outside throws to WR, just like Cassel. TE and RB only for 3 more years, please??? Lol

        • Stacy D. Smith

          Understanding their numbers requires a closer look. Smith has been trending upward the past two seasons. Cassell hasn’t.

          • KCMikeG

            I understand the concern with our WR group but Reid’s offense heavily utilizes the RB/TE position. In fact the stats from his years in Philly show every year that a RB or TE was the #2 in receiving yards and sometimes #2 & #3.

          • micah stephenson

            If Cassel played for the 49s the last 3 or 4 seasons he might trending upwards while if Alex Smith played for the Chiefs the last 3 or 4 seasons he would probably be trending downwards. Smith is better than Cassel but I’m still trying to figure out how much better.

          • Troy Utt

            Micah, I believe after seeing Smith in camp you have to admit the brass made the right call selecting him to lead the team??? I have been impressed watching him since camp opened, whether it was the short game, intermediate pass, or a timing route downfield. The ball has been on the money hitting the receiver in stride.
            We already knew he had the mental tools to do the job, & he has quickly asserted himself as a leader & role-model! Given his knack to do what it takes in the Red-Zone, I believe we will see that trend continue & walk away with more 7′s than 3′s!!! Bottles up to a good Season!
            WAR CHIEFS!!!

          • Jason Collins

            Are you worried that all of the plays Smith makes in camp is to TEs? He can’t make throws to the outside. A good defensive team will kill him.

          • Stacy D. Smith

            I’m not worried. The myth that he only throws to runningbacks and tight ends has mostly been busted. He can throw the ball down the field. We all know he doesn’t have a great arm, but he does have the right mechanics to make opposite hash throws.

        • Jeremy Parkercom

          Kap was not a rookie he is going into his 3rd year

      • Danny W

        If he actually reads a progression he will already be 20 fold better than Matt Checkdown Cassel.

    • Jeremy Parkercom

      Please explain why you think Bowe isn’t an elite reciever and don’t say because he drops passes, cuz that ship has sailed.

  • kcpauly

    I don’t care what who, or where what, ranks him if he wins games…..I am loving the difference in mindset and confidence this year what a refreshing change for this franchise…come on season start.
    Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ladner morse

    mwright84… a blogger at, shall we say, another web site… and a long time 49ers fan who is 51 years old and says he’s seen every snap of every 49er game since he was 10 years old had this to say about Alex Smith…

    “Harbaugh’s offense is like three dimensional chess and requires a
    cerebral quarterback – most plays consisted of several options, and
    required the QB to read the defense, adjust the line, and call the right
    version of the play. It was generally understood by ‘Niners fans and
    the beat reporters that Alex was a savant at this part of the game. He
    knew how maximize the system to win – which is why Harbaugh liked him,
    and why Andy Reid probably wanted him. He’s an extension of the coach on
    the field, getting everybody in position to win.”

    http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=115&f=1837&t=11675748

    Alex Smith… “a savant”. Can’t wait to see that.

    • Jason Collins

      That’s why they traded the savant and sat him down for a rookie. 1+1 should = 2

      • ladner morse

        Many 49er supporters believe Kaepernick will redefine the QB position while it is commonly agreed upon that the QB position is a mental game as much as anything else.

        Who knows yet. Kap may redefine or Smith may win the big one. We’ll see.

        • Jason Collins

          My point is, Jim didn’t see in smith what chiefs fans are seeing in Smith. Who knows more about smith, Harbaugh or chiefs fans? Harbaugh wouldn’t have traded smith if he was that talented. Harbaugh knows QBS, he was one. I hope you’re right?

          • ladner morse

            Who knows more about Smith, Pederson or you?
            Plus, I don’t hear a lot of Chiefs fans saying he is the “Best.” I think that’s you misinterpreting. When a coach of Pederson’s caliber makes such a statement it brings out all of the fan’s who support the “possibility” that this could be true. I’m simply saying… lets see. This season will tell a lot.

            Plus, Harbaugh’s choice to keep Kaepernick may not have been based so much on Smith being judged as a worse QB but being valued a better trade chip. Kap is younger and their owner is not going to continue to pay two QBs the starters pay. Then… why would any team keep two starting QBs when they could get back 2 second round choices. Add the fact that keeping both could divide the locker room if one of them has two bad games in a row and you can see there are many reasons to not keep two starting QBs. In that case the Vet usually wins the loyalty in the room. Smith had to go. He actually had a more proven record of progress.

            The reality is… Harbaugh is taking a chance on Kaepernick and the Chiefs are taking their chance on Alex Smith.

            I think Kaepernick can be a superstar and I think Smith can be super good in this offense. We’ll see.

          • Jason Collins

            If pederson thinks he’s the best QB in the league, I obviously know more about Smith.

      • FaAmos

        Colin wasn’t a rookie, he was in his second year. Peanuts I know but if your gonna say it at least get it right.

  • Doc

    Better than a Castle, Quinn, or Thigpen! I’ll remain hopeful. The only reason AS was still on the bench after his concussion was that CK was producing on the field. Not like our Chiefs of past where when a starter was out for a while they immediately regained their starting position when they returned – regardless if their replacement was producing on the field (I.e., Grbac for Gannon, LJohnson for Charles, etc.) I’ll remain optimistic until AS proves otherwise. Go Chiefs!

  • Thomas Sparks

    If Dorsey/Reid are truly bragging on him, I think he could become an elite QB fast under this new Offensive Scheme!
    Last years trio of Pioli/Crennel/Cassel is like comparing Apples & Oranges! That debacle in 2012 has me a little on my heels heading into this season, but I think Clark Hunt listened to the right friends & pulled the right strings to get these 2 great NFL minds together.

    Patrick, your right about focusing on the Chiefs and so far, it sure seems like Dorsey/Reid are staying focused! I want to see a new fire burning in this team to WIN every damn game and if Reid can keep the blinders on the team, I think we are in for a quick turn around of enthusiasm and attention to detail! Maybe not this year, but stranger things have occurred!

    In any event, I think the Chiefs are going to be FUN to watch this year under Reid and his new style of play!

    GO RED & GOLD!!! I want to see the Sea of Red Rocking Arrowhead and actually have something to get exited about!

    I think Clark knew he had too totally revamp the team and actually listened to US! Let’s get Loud & Rowdy and show Clark our appreciation! Arrowhead desperately needs it’s RAUCUS reputation back!

  • Adam Schwartz

    Cassel had 1 season of exp…1, I have seen smith play a bunch and there were far more elements to the equation than just smith, he is more than capable of winning, it’s about what’s been put around him that is the question

    • Thomas Sparks

      Very True Adam! When fans started tagging him Cassel 2.0, it really struck a nerve! Smith is soooo much of an improvement over Cassel, there is NO comparison! I still can’t believe Pioli put his GM job on the shoulders of an unproven NFL QB commodity! News is ALL the QB’s in Minnesota are struggling to cohere as a unit. They had a ton of personnel turnover & it is not easy to GEL quickly , when that happens!

      I am sure happy we have Reid, because, so far, he has shown no penchant to let up on his quick, aggressive approach to running the O! He knows how to get the most out of players and at least our top core playmakers (Charles, Bowe, McCluster, even Moeaki is looking good). Hopefully, Jon Baldwin can get his mojo rolling in real games!

      I think Dorsey/Reid have added the right pieces so far, if we can stay healthy, gel successfully through the season, & Alex Smith is what Dorsey/Reid have said he is & becomes the Leader we need, it could be an interesting 17 weeks! A lot of if’s, but it is at least worth pondering over! Go Redmen!
      One more thought; I can’t wait to see Fisher knock the crap out of a veteran!!!!!!

      • Troy Utt

        If watching Fisher during drill’s here at camp is any indication of what we have to expect… The right side is going to be just fine!!! Seeing him overtake the defender during isolation drills(2on1) had everyone cheering! With Albert & Fisher anchoring the line I believe Alex will have the time he needs to execute. The one fact I have not seen stated is that Smith was the top (or close to) in the Red Zone! That is an area that is huge for us… It will be nice to come away with 7 instead of settling FG, or yet again turning it over on downs. Irregardless… what side of the argument anyone is on, Alex Smith was/is the Best QB available to run Reids hybrid WCO. With the proper surrounding cast there is no doubt he will be tops!

  • Danny W

    I don’t know about best in the league but if he can read a progression outside of one receiver and then an automatic check down, I may just cry tears of joy. I haven’t seen that kind of quarterbacking since Kyle Orton dawned his porn stash at One Arrowhead Drive. Before him Trent Green. Read a progression don’t send your receivers duck hunting over the middle, maybe get them a ball ten yards down the field were they can catch it in stride or at least not have to stop they’re route and jump for it. That’s four more games in and of itself. Best quarterback in the league?! Let’s take this whole new quarterback thing in baby steps. I don’t know preseason then regular season results. Yeah good place to start. Let’s just hope this isn’t smoke signals of a big time contract coming before season starts. That would be dumb.

  • chief4ever

    Hopefully we find out we have the steal of the year: Tyler Bray.

    • Troy Utt

      This sir is what I am holding on to… While I have not been this excited about a QB in KC since Green, I believe we have the best STABLE of QB’s we have ever had… I would have been fine with the Chiefs drafting Bray in/or about the 3rd rd as he was originally slotted. Falling to us as an UDFA made it an all the more welcome gift! To be honest I have not been that impressed with Daniel here in camp thus far… fumbles, wobbly passes, balls arc with no zip. (At the same time the next set he could go out and tear it up down field!) My point being Bray has shown enough to make the 53 man roster, & KC is not keeping 4 QB’s. Bray very well could wind up being more than the steal of the year…

  • Troy Utt

    When the Chiefs initially signed Trent Green how many “KC fans” were up in arms about the signing? How many comments did I see about his knees’s? How many jokes did I see about his time in TB? The point is Green is now used as the marker for the last good QB we have had to captain our Chiefs. I know only time will tell, but in the last couple of years Alex Smith has proven that given the tools, he can produce. (Which is more than we had on Trent after he was injured, & we traded for him from STL) We already know he has the mental tools, as he has now learned 7 different systems, & coached Kaep from the sideline… Based on the last couple of years and what I have seen in camp, I am excited for the first time in a long time! WAR CHIEFS!!!

    • Thomas Sparks

      You pretty much said it all, right there, Troy!

  • chief4ever

    Coach Pederson : forget all the stories about this interview… training camp and “writers” and “TV personalities ” need something to cackle about…No matter what you do with your life – If you don’t start everyday thinking/working to be the best, then you are not seeking your full potential or using your unique human qualities. Go Pederson, Go Smith, Go Chiefs !!!

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