Chiefs vs. 49ers: Alex Smith Sees Those Rookie Safeties

OAKLAND CA - AUGUST 28: Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers passes against Tommy Kelly #93 of the Oakland Raiders during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 28 2010 in Oakland California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

With Jon McGraw out last week, the Kansas City Chiefs sported a pair of rookie safeties in Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis. I think most of us, as well as Todd Haley, would agree that they're not your average rookie safeties. Haley said again this week the entire 2010 rookie class is "ahead of curve."

In game one, San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers had a nice day throwing for 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In that game, Berry was often paired up against TE Antonio Gates, who did most of his damage in the first half before the Chiefs started to put extra defenders on him. In game two, the Chiefs held the passing game relatively in check, save a big play (65-yard touchdown) to WR Josh Cribbs.

In game three, against the San Francisco 49ers, QB Alex Smith says he's going to keep an eye on those rookie safeties.

"Yeah, those are the things you're aware of, for sure," Smith said to reporters. "Yeah, the inexperience back there, you know, potentially something to try and take advantage of when you can."

Though I think overall feeling on Berry is positive, he's made a couple of (expected) rookie mistakes. It's a tough task to ask someone in their first NFL game to cover arguably the best tight end in the game.

"I think, maybe obviously week one, Monday night, he's going against [San Diego Chargers TE] Antonio Gates quite a bit, as a rookie your first game and you're covering one of the best tight ends in the game," Smith said. "Obviously, that's a big test, and as you can see towards the end of the game they are doubling and tripling him down there in red zone."

Read more of what Alex Smith -- the "11th Smartest Athlete In The World" -- over at Niners Nation.

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