Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has taken a tremendous amount of heat over the last few days. The criticism is justified, considering Smith looked like a lost puppy all night against the Green Bay Packers, starting the game 2-of-7 for 39 yards.
Smith has endured plenty of people calling for him to be benched in favor of Chase Daniel, who looked amazing in the preseason. On Wednesday, Smith spoke to the media and hit on a litany of topics, included his tendency to flee at the first sign of trouble. Per the team:
“I think the thing that gets you, that can get you, is eyes and feet. And when pressure’s coming, I think, as the game wares on, it can affect a quarterback’s eyes and feet and really that’s what a quarterback plays with back out there. When you’re well trained, and that’s why you’re doing all of those reps – to make sure your eyes and feet are well trained.
And pressure sometimes can make those two things do funny things – feet are off, your eyes are in different places, so I think it’s important. Even when there are games like that, it’s not always clean, you have to keep those disciplined.”
Last week, Smith was struggling in the face of consistent pressure, but he was not the only player who didn’t do his part. Beyond the offensive line looking like it bet money on the Packers, the receivers were not getting open and Andy Reid’s play-calling was deplorable. Reid must be better, but certainly, most of the blame lies in the execution of the calls.
“Obviously our coaches do a ton of evaluating and doing the best they can to put us in situations. But yeah, for us it’s your job to go out there and, all week, prepare for your opponent, know exactly what you’re doing on all the different looks and go out there and play fast and execute. We have to go out there and make plays and I think it comes down to the little things.
I think when you look on film, we all sit there and take our turns of having our mistakes. When you do that, all of the sudden it adds up. We all had our turn. Before you know it, we’re playing a good team and you’re in a hole. You just have to do a better job of consistently executing, consistently doing your job and it’s all 11 guys doing that.”
One of the biggest problems has been third down, where the Chiefs have been beyond putrid.
“I think there’s a lot of things to point to on third down. Certainly I think the biggest one is a lack of execution, just lack of playing good football. I think we’ve had a bunch of mental errors, we’ve had penalties, we’ve put ourselves in third-and-longs – and those things, as well, kind of play into it. We have to do a good job of, when we’re in third down, moving the chains. I do think it comes down to execution. More often than not, those are the little details.”
Finally, Smith spoke about the need to get the ball rolling against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Kansas City started fast against the Houston Texans but has struggled early each of the past two weeks.
“Not even so much offense, that’s just not how we’re thinking. It’s to go get a W. I think for us, offensively, it is to come out early and let’s get into a rhythm, let’s score some points. Start faster, certainly more than we did last week.”
Frankly, Smith needs to be better if the Chiefs are to beat the Bengals. Cincinnati is absolutely beatable, but it is a good team. Smith has to go out and throw the ball around a bit, getting some chunk yardage.