Moving on from Alex Smith: Easier said than done

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It’s definitely the hot topic these days, even following a win.

The fan base is pretty much fed up with Alex Smith as the quarterback.  A lot of people want him gone, and there are even some of my now former followers on Twitter that are even preparing to cheer for him being injured.  Now, the callousness (and flat out douchebaggery) of some of the poorer fans aside, it’s pretty understandable why so many want him gone.

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Alex Smith is not what fans want in a quarterback.  Now, that should not be confused with whether or not he is good enough, or if he can lead a franchise.  Smith has proven he can be a major piece of a winning team.  That has happened.  However, one thing he will never be is a gun slinging highlight machine.  He will never be the guy who airs it out all across the field making opposing defenses look silly.  No, all Alex Smith will do is run the offense given to him.  He’s vanilla.  He’s white bread.  He’s boring.

Does that make him the source of all the Chiefs current problems?  No, not at all.  Hate to break this to some of you, but a team playing as poorly as the Chiefs are not one of anything away from turning it around.  Plenty of problems to be addressed, most notably an offensive line that makes it nearly impossible for Smith to be successful even if he were playing well.  And Smith has essentially been the same player that he was when the Chiefs went 11-5 and 0-7 with him.  So placing all the blame on Smith is inaccurate at best.  And one aspect of Smith that is definitely under-appreciated is the fact that he has not shied away from shouldering the burden, while also refusing to throw his teammates under the bus.

HOWEVER, Smith is A problem.  And he is a problem that the Chiefs need to put some major thought into correcting.  While simply swapping out quarterbacks is not a cure-all for the current issues facing this team, it could go a long way in changing the identity of the organization and give us a few more avenues of success.

I know some of you are already typing: “It’s not that difficult, just put in Chase!”

Well, you are wrong.  Very, very, wrong.

Alex Smith has largely stood alone in front of the media and fans in shouldering the blame for this season. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Making The Change

The first thing that Chiefs fans need to understand is that the season is not over.  I don’t care if it is over for you…you don’t matter…at all.  There are 53 active players, 10 practice squad players, 5 players on injured reserve, 27 coaches, and a number of front office and scouting personnel that will continue going on as though this is not the end of the world.  I say that to you so you understand the mentality of the professionals who are out there making the decisions for this franchise.

Andy Reid is not going to change quarterbacks just because the fans are tired of Alex Smith.  He is also not going to change quarterbacks just to see what he’s got in the other guys.  Andy Reid is going to go with the quarterback that he believes gives this team the best chance to win on gameday.  Reid believes that is Alex Smith.  The earliest we should believe this will change is when the Chiefs become mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, and that is still a long ways off (only five teams in the AFC even have a winning record right now).

However, even at that point, a change is not guaranteed.  Why not?  Because even after the Chiefs are eliminated from playoff contention, Andy Reid and many others in this organization still have jobs to compete for.  They still have a chance to salvage things to build on for the future.  And Smith provides a better gauge for the players around him than the unknown commodities of Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray.

Next: Who could we turn to?