Kansas City Chiefs Officially Introduce Quarterback Alex Smith

Brett GeringCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2013

Left to right: John Dorsey, Alex Smith and Andy Reid unveil the quarterback's Chiefs jersey.
Left to right: John Dorsey, Alex Smith and Andy Reid unveil the quarterback's Chiefs jersey.

After weeks of anticipation, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey officially introduced quarterback Alex Smith to local fans and media Wednesday evening. 

An otherwise tight-lipped Dorsey unrolled the figurative red carpet for Smith in the Chiefs' opening statement, briefly reviewing the quarterback's key selling points.

Smith then followed up by offering a glimpse into how the trade unfolded:

"[The 49ers] made it clear that they were going to release me, and the process started about potential teams [that may express trade interest]. There was no doubt in my mind that this is where I wanted to be; it wasn't close. Everything pointed here for me."

In the build-up to his San Francisco departure, Smith acknowledged that Kansas City headlined his wish list of potential landing spots. As the 49ers' season drew to a close, he claimed, "Options were kind of laid out. And for me, without a doubt, the Chiefs were the team I wanted to be [traded to], even before I knew they were an option."

Smith relayed that, due to league rules and his Tuesday night arrival, he hadn't talked to any of his new teammates yet. He did, however, list the Chiefs' nucleus of talent—along with Reid's successful track record with passers—among the determining factors when narrowing his options. 

In the wake of quarterback Chase Daniel signing with the team (per Reid Ferrin of KCChiefs.com), Reid was asked about the rumblings of a potential quarterback controversy. The Chiefs coach stated that, in general, competition spurs progress, and he believes that Daniel will certainly push his peers. But Reid assured, "Alex is the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs."

According to Danny Parkins, host of 610 Sports Radio's The Danny Parkins Show, Smith's arrival shouldn't spark any foreseeable changes to the team's salary cap:

A relieved Alex Smith approached his first formal introduction to Kansas City with the same collected aura that he became renowned for in San Francisco.

No player has charged through a Sunday tunnel without a critic waiting to lambaste him at any opportunity. And Smith is far from the exception. 

Skeptics have already drawn parallels between him and quarterback Matt Cassel, who, coincidentally, finds himself staring at an odd-man-out scenario similar to Smith's own. Doubters pledged allegiance to Chase Daniel's camp before Smith's jersey saw its first flashbulb. 

No. 11's spirals don't scream toward fingers like chain-moving kamikazes—he's not Michael Vick. His arm strength is bound to elicit echoes of "Cassel" and recycle life in a concocted quarterback quandary. 

In reality, Smith presents a significant upgrade at the game's most pivotal position. He's a pinpoint-accurate passer (70.2 completion percentage throughout 10 games in 2012) who thoroughly understands the game and shows command at the line of scrimmage. And, perhaps most importantly, his leadership provides a backbone that Kansas City has lacked since Trent Green departed KCI for Miami.

When Alex Smith first traveled to San Francisco, he oversaw a struggling 2-14 franchise in the midst of a coaching change. Following an annual carousel of head coaches and/or offensive coordinators, he eventually led his team to a conference championship game—decided in overtime by a 49ers fumble during a punt return—under Jim Harbaugh's supervision.

Smith gets a second chance in Kansas City. However, by the end of his first, he still accomplished more in two seasons with quarterback guidance than the Chiefs have in the past 19 years.


Alex Smith's press conference can be viewed in its entirety at Livestream.com. Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com.


Email: gering.brett@gmail.com