Feb 19, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey speaks to the media at the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
This feels an awful lot like the Chiefs are in need of a rebuilding season. A complete organizational overhaul. From John Dorsey on down. And that would most certainly include the fan who fell out of grace with the fans a long time ago – Alex Smith.
It seems like Smith is always at the center of negative attention, and the first name thrown around when there is failure. To some extent that is an expected part of his job. NFL quarterbacks get an elevated portion of the praise and glory in good times, and elevated portion of the blame in bad times. That is just how it goes.
And when your team has this much talent, and is playing this badly, then being the guy under center is going to earn you plenty of ire. Smith knew (or at least he should have) that when he first took the job.
As a result his days with Kansas City are almost certainly numbered. Though, because of contract constraints, that number is likely pretty large and will keep him on the roster through next season. Considering a large portion of the fan base has already written him off like an ex in a bad break-up, 2016 could be an awkward year.
But was Alex Smith a failure as a Chief? I don’t think so.
I have no illusions about Smith a great quarterback, or some upper echelon guy that can put a team on his shoulders and march them through the playoffs. He is by no means that guy, and he never has been. Everybody wants a signal caller who can overcome all their teams deficiencies. But very few of those players exist. And they tend to stay in the same place for almost all of their career.
No, Smith is limited and much more comfortable with consistent short passes underneath than trying to stretch the field. That is no automatic recipe for failure. But for this guy to find his groove, he needs a solid system around him that is enable him not to be the focus of the offense. But so does almost every other quarterback in the league.
But the thing is, we always knew that about Smith. All of that. He is better than several at his position, and worse than several. He was brought in as the best option available to try and manage the dumpster fire left at that position by guys like Damon Huard, Tyler Thigpen, and Brady Quinn.
He has not set the world on fire, and he has yet to lead a game winning drive in the last five minutes of a game in a Chiefs uniform. So he is by no means your first pick when the chips are down late. But does that make him a failure?
Depends on how you measure failure.
Next: More than meets the eye?