Chiefs 2015: Arrowhead must address the elephant in the room

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2. Alex Smith is the offense’s glass ceiling.

Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The liberal and conservative sides of this argument have been at each other’s throats since the organization made the trade with San Francisco that brought Smith to Kansas City. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. He’s not a failure all unto himself, but his struggles cannot be fully attributed to a makeshift, inexperienced offensive line either. No, there’s a third option — Alex Smith just isn’t the right kind of quarterback for this era of professional football. At least not without an absolutely loaded team surrounding him.

It’s not Smith’s fault that the front office has failed to give him reliable offensive weapons until this season. He can’t be blamed for a second-consecutive year of glaring offensive line issues. His general manager John Dorsey is responsible for the protection he lacks. The Chiefs gambled thinking they could rely upon young, and discarded, line talent to keep Smith upright. They couldn’t have been more wrong. That said, Smith exacerbates protection problems like few quarterbacks in this league. Even when he has time to throw, he rarely makes defenses pay for failing to get pressure on the quarterback. Sunday’s outing was the fifth-highest regular season passer rating Smith has had since joining the team and it still somehow resulted in zero trips to pay dirt.

I believe Smith can win with the right pieces surrounding him, but I’ve lost faith that this regime will give them to him before it’s too late. Smith, for all intents and purposes, has 1.75 seasons left in Kansas City. He still doesn’t have a solid line group and he doesn’t yet have a competent No. 2 wide receiver. Those have been perennial problems in Kansas City and I’m not convinced anyone has time to wait on the administration to sort that out. The clock’s running out on Smith’s contract feasibility. The Chiefs should make drafting a quarterback in Round 1 a priority in the next NFL Draft.

Next: One last cause for concern