Greetings Chiefs Kingdom and happy hump day to you all. I wanted cover a few topics with you today that are weighing on my mind a couple days before the team goes to battle against the Tennessee Titans. The Kansas City Chiefs are 2-0 in preseason.
They have shown us depth at many positions so it’s likely we’ll be seeing some players who are cut on opposing team’s rosters. That is tribute to Kansas City’s front office and I commend them on their efforts to build a deep roster. What I do wonder is if the head coach and general manager can make hard decisions for the greater good of the team.
The quarterback controversy that’s really not a controversy.
We have noticed that Chase Daniel has looked much more fluid running the offense than Alex Smith has. I know that Daniel is playing against backups but it’s uncommon for backups to look better than the starters even in preseason. Below you’ll see a comparison of the two quarterbacks statistically in preseason so far.
Alex Smith : 17-28 passing for 123 yards (61%) 1 TD/ 2 INT 53.1 rating
Chase Daniel: 25-33 passing for 271 yards (76%) 4 TD/ 0 INT 139 rating
If Smith were to carry this sub-par performance into the season would Andy Reid be able to stomach benching a player that was recently rewarded handsomely with a new contract and play Daniel? Not many coaches would do it, in fact once upon a time a similar scenario presented itself to the Chiefs.
The year was 1997 and the game was against the Pittsburgh Steelers where Elvis Grbac left the game with what would be diagnosed later as a broken collarbone. The backup quarterback who would replace Grbac for the remainder of the season was the wily veteran Rich Gannon. After losing the first game he started in Grbac’s absence, Gannon won five straight against Denver, Seattle, San Francisco (44-9), Oakland (30-0) and the Chargers (29-7). Kansas City had a first round bye after going 13-3 for the season and that bought just enough time for the organization to make one of the worst moves in history which was starting Grbac over Gannon against Denver in the playoffs.
Kansas city fans across the globe know that the Chiefs would have more than likely won at Arrowhead with Gannon starting because he had better chemistry with the team. So, would this front office respond differently? If Smith were to play bad enough or have some kind of injury that made him miss several weeks and Daniel succeeded, would they replace Alex?
One team more recently did respond the right way. In March 2012, the Seattle Seahawks signed Matt Flynn to a $19.5 million contract and drafted Russell Wilson in the third round a couple of months later. After Wilson’s performance in preseason the team decided to go against dollars and start Wilson. That takes some SERIOUS courage to do because if Pete Carroll’s wrong he’s looking for a new job shortly after.
Reid and Carroll are actually similar in their coaching styles, they’re both very much “player’s coaches.” I don’t see Andy making that drastic of a change from a couple preseason performances but do think he would have made the right call with the Grbac and Gannon scenario.
What I’m watching for on Friday night’s game.
In the two preseason games, the offense has heaved a deep throw the first play of the game and not connected. I would like to see one successful connection on Friday to give Smith a boost in confidence to throw the deep ball more often.
Based on what I saw the last week from Tennessee, the Chiefs are going to be strongly tested by the Titans defense in their rehearsal game before the regular season. They are more than likely going to be short-handed once again on the offensive line so Reid is going to have to be creative with his play-calling to protect his players while still trying to improve overall chemistry with the offense.
My expectations are not for the offensive line to suddenly improve especially with two starters likely out. I’m hoping that Smith knows he’s probably going to have less time to throw and makes quicker decisions. The team needs to heal up in a hurry with the start of the season around the corner. I honestly wouldn’t mind if the team strayed away from the tradition of playing three quarters and just played a quarter or two to spare themselves from any significant injuries like what we on Sunday with Jordy Nelson.
That’s what’s on my mind. What’s on yours, Addicts?