Chiefs quarterbacks all entering a make-or-break year

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The Chiefs quarterback situation has rarely been one that the rest of the league stood in awe of.  In fact, throughout Kansas City football history, it has been down right embarrassing. I mean, Steve DeBerg has a real argument for being in our top-five all time. His competition? Steve Bono, Matt Cassel, Elvis Grbac, and Rich Gannon (remember this is Chiefs history, not Raiders). That’s not impressive by any means.

Alex Smith has been a bit of a savior to the franchise in that regard. No, by no means is Alex Smith a top-tier quarterback that you build around. What he is, and has been, is stable. He’s probably not going to go out and win the game by launching bombs down field. What he will do is allow the rest of the team to do their job without making the back-breaking mistakes. And by just doing that, Smith finds himself ahead of most of our lackluster quarterbacking history.

However, at some point, the Chiefs are going to have to find that guy they can build the team around. Sustained success is a rarity in the NFL without a top quarterback. Apart from the Ravens, there hasn’t been any team in the past decade to consistently be a competitor with a middling quarterback. And a one or two year run isn’t cutting it. We’re talking consistent; that would be at least five of the last 10 years.

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But has the KC front office found that guy? Is it the good-not-great Alex Smith? The hometown hero, Chase Daniel? The undersized Aaron Murray? The all-the-physical-tools Tyler Bray? Or are we simply treading water until we find our guy?  This season is going to go a long ways toward answering that. All of the current Chiefs quarterbacks are in make-or-break years for their future.

Alex Smith may not be a “world-beater”…but he’s beaten more teams than he’s lost to as the Chiefs quarterback. That’s a step in the right direction at least. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Smith

No bones about it, Alex Smith is the starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs for 2015. He likely also has a lock on 2016 as well. Smith’s contract is one that is tradable in 2016, but before that can happen, the Chiefs would have to know that they have a better option ready to go.

Alex can put that to bed with a strong year. If he can come out and lead the Chiefs to some postseason success, then he will silence a lot of critics. The Chiefs will have done what they could to set Smith up for success, too. A new wide receiver cast and an upgraded offensive line should allow the veteran quarterback to move the ball down the field more efficiently.

But if Smith isn’t able to significantly improve on his 2014 season, then the Chiefs have to seriously consider their options. Alex Smith is not going to get stronger at this point. He has to prove that he is a quarterback capable of taking this team to the top NOW. And that’s what makes 2015 a make-or-break season for him.

Next: What about Mr. Daniel?