2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chiefs' Smith eschews gaudy stats for simple wins

By DAVE SKRETTA - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-17 14:50

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Every time Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is flushed from the pocket, it seems that one of two things happens: He uses his fleet feet to scramble for yards, or he throws the ball away.

Neither of which is a bad thing.

The Chiefs have never had a quarterback who can make things happen on the ground with the same nimbleness as Smith, nor have they had one in recent years who is smart enough to throw the ball into the third row of seats rather than take a sack or force a pass into coverage.

''Listen, he's taking care of the football, and when it counts, he makes the plays. I appreciate that,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ''We're winning football games and he's doing a nice job of managing it, and everyone feeds off it, both sides of the ball, his ability to manage it.''

The Chiefs knew they weren't getting Peyton Manning or Tom Brady when they shipped a pair of draft picks to the 49ers to acquire Smith in the offseason. But they also knew they were getting a quarterback who would value possessions and minimize mistakes.

In short, they wanted a quarterback who was selfless.

Smith is only under contract through next season. It would behoove him to start putting up the kind of gaudy statistics that might earn him a lucrative new contract.

Instead, he's content to throw the ball away at the expense of his own completion percentage, which is at its worst in six years. Or accept check-downs and dump-offs at the expense of his yards per attempt, which likewise is its worst since a forgettable 2007 season in San Francisco.

''There are times when a guy comes clean and he has to sail it away, because the timing of the route has been disrupted. He's done a nice job of that,'' said Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, a former quarterback. ''I know it reflects on a quarterback's completion percentage a little bit, but that's part of the game, and then you come back and get them on the next play.''

Even his completion percentage doesn't mean a whole lot to Smith, though.

''I mean, that statistic, it's not something I'm directly looking at. It's what throws should I have made? What decisions should I have made differently?'' he explained. ''You look at things on a play-by-play basis. Could I make a better decision? Could I make a better throw?''

In some cases, the answer is a resounding yes.

Several times he's missed an open receiver downfield, calling into question his ability to throw the deep ball. He's also struggled to get the ball to wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who has just 20 catches after signing a $56 million, five-year deal in the offseason.

But there are a lot more reasons for those shortcomings than Smith not doing his job. Bowe has received the majority of defensive attention this season, and an offensive line that features a rookie right tackle in Eric Fisher has had difficulty giving Smith time to scan the field.

''Alex has a big arm, he controls the offense and he makes plays when he has to,'' Bowe said. ''If I'm taking two people, he's going to get the check-down. We're going to play conservative. We're not going to make mistakes.''

So far, that approach has been working. The Chiefs (6-0) lead the NFL at plus-12 in turnover differential, one year after tying Philadelphia at a league-worst minus-24.

A big reason for that: Smith has thrown just three interceptions. Only the Broncos' Peyton Manning has thrown fewer picks while attempting more passes.

''I've always been impressed by Alex,'' said Texans coach Gary Kubiak, whose team faces Kansas City on Sunday, and who'd no doubt love to have a quarterback valuing possessions right now.

''He's brilliant, smart,'' Kubiak said. ''I had a chance to visit with him when he was coming out. I think he fits exactly what Andy wants to do. He has the opportunity to make plays with his feet when things break down. I've always been a fan.''

So is Reid, who tried to acquire Smith when he was coaching the Eagles.

''He's got things he needs to keep working on. The thing that's most important right now is he continues to get reps with his receivers around him,'' Reid said. ''You've got to be sharp and on the same page with one another, and they're working through all of that.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Peyton ManningJan 30 12:52p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning may make a decision on whether he plans to return for another season in the near future, according to his dad, Archie Manning. Archie [ More ]

Brandon MarshallJan 30 10:42a

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall may not return to the team in 2015, in the opinion of ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright. The thinking is that Marshall and WR Alshon [ More ]

LeSean McCoyJan 30 02:32a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy has said he would restructure his contract to lower the $11.95 million cap hit for 2015, but he will not take a pay cut.

Larry FitzgeraldJan 29 05:52p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald's new contract should be able to get worked out this offseason, according to team president Michael Bidwill. 'Larry and I have met about it, [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 29 01:12p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) was administered a human growth hormone test by the league Wednesday, Jan. 28, and he believes it was directed at him after he [ More ]

Austin CollieJan 29 03:33a

Free-agent WR Austin Collie (Patriots) signed a contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

Tom BradyJan 28 12:33p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (illness) admitted that he is currently battling a cold, but he said he expects to be 100% ready for the Super Bowl Sunday, [ More ]

Brandon MebaneJan 27 11:23p

Seattle Seahawks DL Brandon Mebane (hamstring) said Tuesday, Jan. 27, that his hamstring surgery went well and he should be full go for the team's offseason program in April.

Richard ShermanJan 27 11:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) has torn ligaments in his elbow, but he is improving daily and he is no longer receiving treatment for the injury.

LeGarrette BlountJan 27 08:33p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount should be a factor in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 1, in the opinion of Boston Herald writer Karen [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJan 27 07:43p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was directed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to meet with a league-assigned psychiatrist following Peterson's suspension. The National Football League Players Association is now [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 27 12:23p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is an offensive weapon that the Seattle Seahawks are focused on shutting down during the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1. Seahawks head coach [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group