"You want to get a feel of the offense now," KC Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said, "in particular, when you're new at it. So you get a feel and you want to test it out, so if there are close throws, challenge it, see what you can get away with. If it ends up being an interception, ok, it's an interception. You learn from it, these are smart guys, so they learn from it, then once they get into the season, they're not experimenting with it on game day. They know what they can get away with and they know what they can't. And they're able to use the offense to their abilities."
It still comes down to Alex Smith. He has to read the defense and make the right decision. And then he has to make the right throw, too. While Smith says he wants to stay aggressive, and that's something Reid talks about, he also reminds us that this isn't just about going deep as often as you can. It's about taking it when it's there, not forcing it.
"He wants us to be aggressive," Smith said. "I'm always trying to make the right read and throw where the defense is telling me to throw constantly. You don't come out here and try to predetermine anything like, ‘Oh, I'm going to chuck it deep this play.' I'm constantly trying to trust my eyes, what I see out there, and trust my reads and prepare for it in isolations."
As a fan, I just want to talk about that those players where he does chuck it. Reid acknowledged that there are going to be some risks involved.
"Go ahead and take your shots, see what you can get away with, within reason," Reid said. "If it's a close throw, there are going to be a few of those in the National Football League on game day, so you need to know what you can get away with on each route and how you work it."
This aggressive talk is something new for Chiefs fans. The past four years we've been told that the job of the quarterback is to not screw things up. Not turning the ball is a successful play, we would say. Except that's not how quarterbacks improve and that's not how they're consistently successful. They have to take chances, as Reid talks about above.
This is going to be a fun season because it should a fairly large change from the previous regime and the previous offense. We all thought Todd Haley would come in and star chucking the ball but that never really happened, due to a kickass running game and obvious limitations at quarterback. I'm excited to see an offense whose top priority is to score points, not just avoid mistakes.
Smith also acknowledged one important part of all of this. In the offseason, without pads on, things are tailored towards the offense. The next step will be doing it in training camp against their own defense. After that it will be exhibition games and then, finally, games that count.