Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN's Trent Dilfer was the one who really got the Alex Smith-to-the-Chiefs ball rolling when he said at the 2013 Super Bowl that Andy Reid had a small "courtship" of Smith last year. The Chiefs did end up making the trade with the 49ers -- it's not official yet but agreed upon -- and Dilfer reacted to the move on ESPN.
Trent Dilfer is a former teammate of Alex Smith when the two played together with the San Francisco 49ers from 2006-07. Dilfer calls him a "dear friend" but also says despite that the 49ers hit a "home run" on the trade, picking up a second round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and a conditional third round pick in 2014.
On ESPN's NFL Live Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after the trade broke, Dilfer reacted to the news.
"I think it's a very good fit, if that's the first question," Dilfer told Trey Wingo on NFL Live. "Andy Reid wants to run an offense that's complex, that's based on quick decision making, that takes a high level of functional football intelligence from the quarterback. I think Alex has all those things.
"I think one thing Andy's really wanted to do in his offense over the past few years that he hasn't been able to do, is add a real line-of-scrimmage dynamic with a lot of checks, with protection, adjustments - something that I would put Alex kind of in the master category in the NFL, in that category. He's a guy that can control the line of scrimmage as well as anybody in the league. So it gives Andy and (offensive coordinator) Doug Pederson a lot of versatility in what they can do offensively.
"And he's not going to be asked to throw the ball consistently down the football field, challenged with his arm; it will be more with his brain and the completion-passing game and managing the run game. Alex can do all those things very well."
Andy Reid had a pass-first offense in Philadelphia and Dilfer said he will always have a pass-first offense. So, even with Jamaal Charles, Smith is going to be a big part of this.
"It's going to be pass-driven," Dilfer continued. "There's going to be multiple formations. There's going to be a lot of what I call 'gimme completions' in Andy's offense. Every quarterback that's ever played for him loves it because you're guaranteed 10 completions before the game starts whether they're on screens or bubbles or slips or easy routes to the tight end or isolation routes in the back.
"So, Alex has never been able to play in that type of offense - it's always something he's craved to do, even when we played together in San Francisco. We were always fighting for more first-down passing - it's really the easiest. It's almost stealing in today's football to throw the ball on first down. Alex has never been able to do that consistently, and I think you'll see more of his skill set come out the more he's asked to do on early downs."
We haven't seen Smith since midway through the 2012 season. Colin Kaepernick was so good that it's easy to forget that Smith was playing well.
"The last time I saw him play was on Monday Night Football," Dilfer said. "I saw it with my own two eyes, and he was what, 18 for 19? That was pretty darn good. And that was one of the games the Niners came out and did throw the ball on some early downs in the first half and got some of those cheap completions, those 'gimme completions' I was talking earlier about.
"So Alex can do this. I understand why people are skeptical. I know Alex very well - played with him, he's a very dear friend. Not only is he a talented football player and can play really good football for a team, he also adds kind of that bridge factor for any new head coach coming into a new organization. He'll be a coach on the field. He'll be a great leader in the locker room. He has a great deal of mental and physical toughness, which unless you're on a football team, you don't value nearly as much as we do.
"Alex will be a tone-setter for this new Kansas City Chiefs team. And I think that may be the most valuable thing he brings to this team, is a new mentality, a work ethic, a toughness from the quarterback position that they haven't had in a while."
Damn. That's a hell of a reaction. I, uh, don't have anything nearly that good.