2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Smith back as starter Chiefs prepare for opener

    2013-09-05 15:38

(Eds: Updates throughout. With AP Photos.)
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - It's been nearly 10 months since Alex Smith started a game in the NFL.

In between, the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs sustained a concussion, had his job in San Francisco ripped from his hands, watched from the sideline as the 49ers marched to the Super Bowl, was traded halfway across the country and forced to start all over with a new head coach.

So to say Smith has been counting down the days until he leads the Chiefs onto the field Sunday in Jacksonville would be an understatement. In reality, he's been counting the seconds.

``It's tough to put into words,'' he said. ``From about mid-season last year, I was thinking about where my next opportunity was going to come and when this presented itself, I jumped at it and now it's here. The season is here, week one is here and this is what we've been working for.''

It's not like taking the game's first snaps will be a novel concept. Smith started seven games as a rookie for San Francisco in 2005. He started all 16 games the following year.

In fact, by the time Smith was traded to the Chiefs for a pair of draft picks this past offseason, he had started 75 of the 80 games he had played with the 49ers. That included every game two years ago, when he went 13-3 and led them to the NFC championship game.

Still, it's been a while since Smith took the opening snap in a game that counted.

``I don't think taking a game off is going to affect a guy like Alex. He's started a lot of games in the NFL,'' Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. ``He knows how to handle an opening day, and he's started his preparation for this game weeks ago. He'll get himself ready to go.''

The last time Smith made a start was Nov. 11, 2012, against St. Louis. It was in that game that Smith sustained a concussion. He threw a touchdown pass in an eventual 24-24 tie despite some blurry vision, and then was pulled from the game a short while later.

Smith didn't play the following week as Colin Kaepernick made his debut, and then 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh elected to stick with the younger quarterback for the remainder of the season.

At one point, Smith said he felt like he lost his starting job without doing anything wrong, and he later said he wanted to ``stick it'' to his detractors. It was assumed that Harbaugh was among them, but Smith said he was merely speaking in generalities. The message was obvious nonetheless: The former No. 1 overall pick is once again playing with a chip on his shoulder.

``For me it's going to be about getting the win. That's all I'm thinking about,'' Smith said this week, downplaying his first regular-season start since last November. ``Playing good football, playing smart football, I think that's what puts you in position to win games.''

Several teams that expressed interest in trading for Smith, but he made it clear in March that Kansas City was his preference. He was intrigued by playing for Andy Reid, who'd tried unsuccessfully to trade for him during his years coaching the Eagles, and the possibility of quickly turning around a 2-14 franchise that featured six Pro Bowl players was alluring.

Once the traded for Smith was made, the Chiefs started to build around him.

They made sure wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was happy by giving him a new deal, and then signed free agent wide receiver Donnie Avery. They upgraded at right tackle by drafting Eric Fisher first overall, signed veteran tight end Anthony Fasano and drafted another tight end in Travis Kelce.

Now, it's up to Smith to make sure all the pieces work.

``They don't need to do anything other than execute the offense and do what they do best, let their personality show and play the game,'' Reid said. ``I'm speaking for all of them, but at the same time, that's what I expect from Alex, too.''

If that happens, the Chiefs just might get their season off to a winning start.

``That's all we're talking about and what the focus has been,'' Smith said. ``Especially a team with a lot of new faces and a new coaching staff, coming together and reinforcing what we've done by getting that first win, it would mean a lot.''

Notes: DB Husain Abdullah (left foot) and OG Jon Asamoah (right calf) did not practice. LB Nico Johnson (right ankle) took part in individual workouts that the media was allowed to see. ... Special teams coach Dave Toub said WR Dexter McCluster will be the primary punt returner. DB Quintin Demps will handle most kickoffs with Davis possibly getting an opportunity.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group