I am completely shocked by the reaction to the Alex Smith trade. I rarely post on here, but I felt the need to speak up after seeing the reaction to this trade. How quickly Chiefs Nation turns on their beloved. EVERYONE loved the Scott Pioli hiring, then...he traded for Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel...everyone LOVED him for that.
Everyone LOVED the Romeo Crennel hiring as head coach.
Everyone was excited about Dorsey and Reid, and I read yesterday many of you are already beginning the "Save our chiefs" movement AGAIN.
Give me a break.
None of this is as simple as everyone makes it out. Pioli's downfall was not drafting a developmental QB in case Cassel didn't turn out (which is what happened). It was time for him to go...and he's gone.
Can we let the ink dry on Dorsey's contract before throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
Who is the best QB on the market who has NFL experience? It's Alex Smith. PERIOD. Chiefs got him. Do you really want to go into a season in the NFL with Geno Smith, who had a 70% completion percentage against college teams that MIGHT have 1 POTENTIAL NFL caliber defensive player, in which the entire team is working on stopping and game planning around? The same Geno Smith who is throwing to 4.3 speedster in Austin or even Stedman Bailey?
You guys talk and act like Geno Smith is completing 70% against the Packers in Lambeau Field. You know who IS ACTUALLY doing that in Lambeau Field? Alex Smith is (I'll get to that in a minute).
Everyone on here wants to talk in "Absolutes". I get it, make an argument to prove your point...However, It's almost ridiculous on here.
For every Matt Ryan there is a Mark Sanchez. For every Andrew Luck, Donovan McNabb and RGIII, there is a Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith. Yes, we need to develop a young QB who is drafted higher than the 5th round. But guess what? WE CAN STILL DO THAT! Take off your 2012 Draft goggles. To find 3 elite QB's (Luck, RGIII, Wilson) and 3 decent starters (Tannehill, Weeden, Foles) is an absolute outlier and not the norm if you look at the past drafts. Will this trend continue? Maybe, but you can be so blind to just go "All-In" on a rookie QB because of it.
Again, it's not an absolute. Every team, player, year, situation is all different. Supply and Demand plays a role too.
Now, let's all calm down. Let me explain in more detail.
So, on one post...you have an upset Chiefs fan talking about the Dolphins passing on Matt Ryan for Jake Long. Wow, this must be proof that you must now ALWAYS draft a Quarterback with the first pick, right? No question about it. Because Matt Ryan became a franchise QB, this should now be the lone example of what NOT to do. WRONG. Never-mind that your scouts, cross-checkers and scouting directors suggest there is not a QB worthy of the top pick in this year's draft. These are individuals you invest MILLIONS in, who travel and are professional scouts. Their job, 60-80 hours a week is to scout and evaluate players. Can this QB throw into tight windows? Can he read NFL defenses? These are things we as fans can't translate, but THEY (scouts) can! In fact, they've known about these players for YEARS. They talk to coaches and spend thousands of hours on each player and build extensive profiles. Trust me; they know these players WAY better than we do. Andy Reid and Dorsey have spent 15+ years with Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick....yet, let's ignore these men and listen to some guy who watches some YouTube highlights of Geno Smith throwing to a wide open 4.3 receiver, which he will rarely see in the NFL. If Mark Sanchez goes to the Falcons instead of Matt Ryan...guess what? The Falcons are the Jets right now. Think about that, what if Mark Sanchez was in that draft and went to the Falcons there. Nope, that doesn't prove a point, so we will ignore that argument.
Can we please understand that every player is different and every situation is different? We didn't hire Andy Reid to be OUR puppet...we hired him, because he KNOWS quarterbacks and has SHOWN he can bring us that QB we have always lacked. Let's sit back and let him do his thing. He obviously see's something in Alex Smith he likes. He tried to get him last year with the Eagles (according to Trent Dilfer). What if Alex Smith to Andy Reid is what Drew Brees to Sean Payton was? Who knows? Alex Smith was on pace for around 25 TD's and 10 int with an extremely high completion percentage and QB Rating...so Andy Reid is seeing something in him that has developed to the point of bringing him in as an Eagle.
There is more to QB's than stat's. If that is your sole basis for your argument, you're missing the big picture. Look at what Tyler Thigpen did for us back with Chan Gailey in 2008. 21 total TD's and 12 int's...
He went to the Dolphins and yet he never started for them? They drafted Ryan Tannehill...but, Thigpen put up such good stats in 2008? Why? Because those stats were in a gimmicky offense and they were always losing. He wasn't evaluated as a Starting caliber NFL player. Otherwise, he would have been dealt for a 2nd rounder, just like Charlie Whitehurst and Kevin Kolb. Stats don't drive trades and demand...skill set and scouting drives the demand. Stats usually coincide with the skill level. But, don't get lost in ONLY the stats.
Back to my main point...for every scenario of Jake Long drafted over Matt Ryan, there is a Mark Sanchez scenario or Tim Couch or David Carr (the list goes on and on) that is a nice counter argument. Again, it's not absolute, either...and none of this should be debated that way. Time will tell on Geno. That's it. In the meantime, you have to hire the right people and trust their opinions. Andy Reid knows QB's guys...We have proof of that.
EVERY one knows the importance of a Quarterback...and if this was last year, we would have drafted Andrew Luck. However, there is not a QB worthy of the #1 pick guys...and, for the Chiefs to trade away the 34th pick, shows us there isn't much difference between Geno Smith and the Landry Jones or Tyler Bray's of the world. No doubt, the Chiefs discussed missing out on Geno and Barkley and instead picking up a Bray, Manuel or Jones in the 3rd or 4th round. They must have felt good about this decision based off the evaluations of their scouts, cross-checkers, scouting directors and THEIR OWN EYES. If your scout has Geno only marginally graded out higher than all of the others....and those grades are not high, you can't go "All in" on that guy. That's how you get fired in the NFL.
Thus, the deal for Alex Smith.
Alex Smith is BETTER than Matt Cassel. Plain and simple. I don't care what Smith did in the beginning of his career. It's a known fact, that most Quarterbacks take some time to develop...and what IF, just what IF something clicked in him and he's on his way to becoming an elite QB? Could he flop and be Matt Cassel or Kevin Kolb? Of course! Could he prosper and be Matt Schaub or even a Drew Brees? Who knows, but I do know he is in a QB friendly system and his completion percentage was 70% with a 7.97 average in 8 games, while Cassel had a 58% completion percentage with a 6.48 average in 9 games. Yet, you all say he is Cassel 2.0?
LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCE IN THOSE NUMBERS! Higher completion percentage and was averaging further per throw.
Well, Smith must have had a much easier schedule than Cassel, right? WRONG. Pass defense based off Yards/Game in ()
7 of 9 games for Alex Smith were top 15 Pass Defenses.
3 of 9 games for Matt Cassel were top 15 Pass Defenses
Yet, Alex Smith put up much better numbers.
What did Cassel and Smith do against the actual elite defenses?
Smith against #5 ranked Arizona Cardinals on the ROAD: 18-19 for 232 Yards and 3 tds and 0 int. (157 Rating)
Smith against #2 ranked New York Jets on the ROAD: 12-21 for 143 Yards and 0 tds and 0 int. (78 Rating)
How about going up against Aaron Rodgers AGAIN (remember Alex Smith beat Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs in 2012) in the first game of the year ON THE ROAD. IN LAMBEAU FIELD...did you hear that? On the road, in one of the toughest places to play. This is the HOME OPENER and you have Aaron Rodgers as your Quarterback as well. What does Alex Smith do? He beats Aaron Roders AGAIN. Wait...he must have just been a game manager, right? I'm sure the defense won the game as Alex just handed the ball off? WRONG AGAIN.
Here is his line, ON THE ROAD, IN LAMBEAU against Aaron Rodgers for the Packers home opener:
20-26 (76%) for 211 yards and 2 tds and 0 int for a 125 rating and a QBR of 83.5 and a WIN.
How about Matt Cassel's stats against the better teams?
Cassel against #1 ranked Steelers on the ROAD: 11-26 for 154 yards 0 tds and 1 int (46 rating and game losing int thrown)
Cassel against #7 ranked Bengals at HOME: 8-16 for 93 yards 0 tds and 0 int (pulled at the half).
Terrible. Yet, Alex Smith is Cassel 2.0? This is a large upgrade.
Ok, all these are different teams and different schemes. Did Cassel and Smith play the same team at all within the same few weeks? They sure did. Let's compare
WEEK 2: Cassel against the Bills: 23-42 (54%) for 302 yards and 2 tds and 1 int
(They lost 17-35. Cassel padded his stats late in the 4th quarter with a TD and yardage. Still he had a 83 rating and a QBR of 42)
WEEK 5: Smith against the Bills: 18-24 (75%) for 303 yards and 3 tds and 0 int
(They won 45-3. Smith had a 156 rating and a QBR of 99)
That is a close benchmark of the difference between Alex Smith and Matt Cassel. Again, Alex Smith has developed into a much better QB than Matt Cassel and it's not even close.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Cassel threw an interception in every game but 1 (8 of 9 games) (The 1 game he didn't, he was pulled at the half).
- Smith only threw interceptions in 3 games (3 of 9)
- Something clicked with Alex Smith this year...he was getting better and better. From the Arizona game on, here were his stats
- 26-28 for (93%) for 310 yards and 4 tds and 0 against the Cardinals and Rams the last few games he played (#5 and #15 pass defenses). This is the NFL folks...you just can't discount this as a game manager or gimmicky or anything. Something is trending up here.
- Smith is 2 years younger than Cassel and under a friendly contract that only pays $8 million over the next 2 years. That is incredibly cheap for a QB who is trending upwards and led his team to the NFC Championship game beating Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers in the process. He would have beat Eli Manning as well, if it wasn't for a Kyle Williams fumble. How you can discredit these accomplishments is crazy. Game managers don't beat Aaron Roders and Drew Brees in the playoffs.
Here is what I do know....Matt Cassel has gotten WORSE. He has digressed. Alex Smith has progressed, gotten BETTER and BETTER each year. Some quarterbacks take a while to develop. They can't all be Andrew Luck and RGIII. The 49ers are a better team...but is it because of the QB play? What if Cassel led the 49ers? Are the Chiefs that far off, really? Who would you rather have? Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCLuster and Dwayne Bowe or Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. That's easy, having Jamaal Charles should have made Cassel BETTER...not worse this year. No excuse. Teams were stacking the box against the Chiefs to stop Charles and Cassel STILL was terrible. The 49ers have a better offensive line...but the Chiefs have rebuilt their line and it will be even better this year.
WITH THAT SAID:
Why is no one talking about the past TWO YEARS? Everyone acts like Alex Smith had one fluky good year. Everyone is saying he is just a game manager and Cassel 2.0. COME ON! It's just not true. No, this was a #1 OVERALL pick that was yanked around by bad coaching. He split reps with Troy Smith for God's sake. Multiple O-Coordinators and coaches. He obviously did not have the team around him those first 4 or 5 years that he has now. He wasn't throwing the ball to Randy Moss (in his prime) and Wes Welker with Coach Belicheck in his corner like Cassel (Mind you, Cassel took over a team that went 16-0 the prior year and led them to 11-5).
Look what Alex Smith has become when he was given continuity and a better team. Look, he was once evaluated at some point to be a Franchise QB. Maybe something clicked and he is ready to tap into what teams saw in him when he was rated so highly. Look back at Brees, Schaub, Flacco and even Kurt Warner and these guys all got better later. They were always better with CONTINUITY. They developed through the years. You change O-Coordinators and Coaches every year...show me a successful QB. Look what Smith has done with a good coach and continuity? Why can't Alex Smith be one of these guys who settle's into Elite player? Especially, with Andy Reid behind him. I have the stats to show he is on his way to doing just that.
I don't care that Cassel did good in 2010. You and I both know that was against a cream puff schedule and once he faced the Raiders and Ravens the last few games he was TERRIBLE. Cassel can do well against teams with no pass rush and no defense. But, the second he gets flustered...it's over. Teams figured Cassel out and now blitz him like crazy, knowing he will most likely get flustered and turn the ball over. And that is EXACTLY what has happened. This is the NFL...teams learn how to stop you. So, if you are getting worse, this is a MAJOR problem. If you are progressing, that means MUCH, MUCH more to me.
While everyone is so obsessed with comparing the past five years...let's just compare the past two years.
- Matt Cassel: 2011/2012:18 GP 321-546 (58.7%), 3,509 yards, 16TD's,21INT,6.42Average(71.6 RAT)
- Alex Smith: 2011/2012: 26 GP 426-663 (64.2%), 4,881 yards, 30TD's,10INT,7.52Average (97.4 RAT)
It's not even close guys. Alex Smith is a much better QB, while playing a more difficult schedule, while Cassel has been terrible playing a much softer schedule. You could argue Cassel has some better weapons in Bowe and Charles than does Smith as well. Smith has a better O-line, but that is also a part of scheme as Alex doesn't hold the ball forever like Cassel.
Let's compare Alex Smith's numbers to some of the other top QB's with similar games played
- Roethlisberger: 2011/2012: 28 GP 608-962 (63.2%) 7,342 yards,47TD's,22INT,7.61Average(93.5 RAT)
- Matt Schaub: 2011/2012: 26 GP 528-836 (63.1%) 6,487 yards,37TD's,18INT,7.93Average(93.8 RAT)
Let's look at the 2012 Season Super Bowl winners previous 2 years
- Joe Flacco: 2011/2012: 32 GP 629-1,073 (58.6%) 7,427 yards,42TD's,22INT, 6.93Average(84.3 RAT)
- Alex Smith: 2011/2012: 26 GP 426-663 (64.2%), 4,881 yards, 30TD's,10INT,7.52Average (97.4 RAT)
I'm not sitting here telling you, Alex Smith will be the next Drew Brees or Kurt Warner. Only time will tell what happens. What I am showing is he has been trending upwards and now is going to a QB guru in Andy Reid. Yes, he hasn't thrown for a ton of yards and shown to be in that elite category. You just can't compare him to Matt Cassel over the past few years, though. Alex Smith has won in the playoffs and beaten elite QB's over the past few years. He's closer to Flacco and Schaub than he is Cassel. He's putting up efficient, high quality numbers that enable his team to win games. PERIOD. Alex Smith was 20 years old when he entered the league and has the experience of being the #1 pick in the draft. Has lost his job and gone through multiple coordinators and coaches. He's led his team to playoff wins and seen it all. He's smart, a leader and works hard. He was within a Kyle Williams fumble from taking the 49ers to the Super Bowl after beating Drew Bree's and Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs. How you can say he's a retread and compare this to Cassel or Bono or Grbac isn't comparing the facts. None of those guys have the resume that Smith has. Saying the Chiefs got screwed in this deal is wrong as well. That is the market for a starting QB.
Let's look at the QB Trades over the years:
2013: Alex Smith traded for a 2nd rounder and a conditional (3rd rounder/2nd in 2014)
2012: Carson Palmer was traded for a 1st rounder and a 2nd rounder
2007: Matt Schaub was traded for two 2nd round draft picks
2009: Matt Cassel was traded for one 2nd round draft pick
2011: Kevin Kolb was traded for a 2nd round draft pick and a 4th round pick
2010: Charlie Whitehurst traded for a 3rd round pick and a swap of 2nd rounder's
2003: Drew Bledsoe was traded for a 1st round pick (Bills)
2001: Matt Hasselbeck was traded for a 3rd round pick and a swap of 1st rounder's
2001: Trent Green was traded for a 1st round pick and a 5th round pick
1998: Rob Johnson was traded for a 1st round pick and a 4th round pick
How many of these guys were the #1 pick of the draft, led their teams to the NFC Championship game and had a 30/10 TD/INT ration with a Rating above 95 average over the prior 2 years other than Alex Smith?
Let's put it to rest. The Chiefs didn't get taken...the draft does not have a QB evaluated high enough for them to gamble. Coming off a 2-14 season, they aren't in a position to be gambling. If Geno is a bust, then this team is set back a few more years. Then what? Not good...and I can't blame Clark Hunt, Reid or Dorsey for not wanting to go down that road. A 2nd rounder is the Price of doing business to get a POTENTIAL franchise QB. Franchise QB's DO NOT GET TRADED guys. Obviously, the 49ers were using these trades (above) as a Comp to get Alex Smith. He wasn't getting released, either....he was going to be dealt or kept. Kaepernick is not making anything and having Smith back him up is very valuable...especially a Running QB like Kaepernick, and his contract was way too reasonable to not be dealt. Besides, why risk calling the 49ers bluff and they trade him to someone else? Then what? You really want Jason Campbell or Matt Moore to go along with a rookie in the second round, as opposed to Alex Smith and a rookie in the 3rd round? Really?
What's funny to me is this...The Chiefs draft Geno Smith and he sucks and turns out to be Akili Smith...then, everyone would say how stupid Dorsey and Reid are in a few years and calling for their heads.
Now, you have a QB who can turn this team around quick and compete. You can draft according to Best Player available in that Tier (yes, it's not BPA alone...it's BPA in their tier they rated. Geno and Barkley must not have been in the alone in their tier on the Chiefs draft board, thus the trade).
We now have the flexibility to take the Best Player Available or trade back. NONE of these QB's was NFL game ready anyways...so; just draft one of Nassib, Landry Jones, EJ Manuel or Tyler Bray with your 3rd or 4th rounder.
Then....You let them ALL compete
1. Alex Smith
2. Ricky Stanzi
3. Alex Tanney
4. Landry Jones/EJ Manuel/Ryan Nassib
Let them all compete for the #2 and #3 spot.... Don't you think this is much better than a rookie QB who none of the teams have rated as a sure fire can't miss prospect? Yes, Geno complete 70% of his passes, but so did Colt McCoy guys....and we know how that turned out. There is more to all this than stats.
Put yourself in Dorsey and Reid's shoes...would you tie your saddle to a Rookie QB, with all your high level evaluators telling you he's not worth the top pick? I sure wouldn't. This doesn't mean they can't draft a QB and still develop him.
I know we are all fans....but this "All is lost" and none of these guys know what they are talking about is non-sense. We have the privilege of looking back and telling everyone what they did wrong. How would you like to have someone do that at your job? Please don't boo Alex Smith and stop with the twitter crap. Alex was drafted at 20 years old and has been through a lot. He has a great coach to work with and a talented team around him that will be healthy this year...let's see what he can do before jamming up twitter and booing someone. The reality is, its supply and demand...there are no QB's out there and no rookie QB's worth going "All in" as your starter for 2013. Trading for Alex Smith was the right thing to do and the only thing to do. That's the only absolute out there.
Give it time guys...look at the facts and let's focus more on the past few years of what Alex Smith has done. Besides, that's all that matters anyways right? What if I wanted to pay you based off what you did in 2008 and totally discredited the employee you've been the past two years? And when it came time for your pay increase I compared what you did in 2008 to what another employee did last year named Jeff Jones who was terrible. Even though you have sold a ton and brought me a ton of business the past two years, I just focus on 2008 and call you Jeff Jones 2.0. That would never happen in the real world, because business is all about what you have done for me lately. Not 5 years ago.
Sorry for the long post....I'd just like to see more balance and real life common sense on how the Chiefs work. I trust Andy Reid much more than a YouTube, Arm Chair GM online.
If you want to get married, do you decide you are going to marry the first girl you are attracted to because it's time to get married? What if you went out with her a few times and just new she wasn't the one. What if you had millions of people calling for you to marry her, because you haven't been married in their lifetime! They don't care, just marry her!
Business and life doesn't work that way. We need a franchise QB or an efficient one who will help us get back to the playoffs. Not force feed us a player who shouldn't be there. This is something the Raiders would do.
Alex Smith over a 2nd rounder who won't help us much next year is the right call. Nice job Andy and Dorsey...now go draft a QB to develop and compete as a backup in the 3rd-4th rounds.
In Andy Reid I trust