How much better can Kansas City Chiefs expect Alex Smith to get?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After Alex Smith came off a career year, how much better can the Chiefs expect him to play in the future?

I was looking at some of Alex Smith's career numbers the other day. Last season, his first in Kansas City, he set career highs in completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns. His completion percentage was over 60 percent, he threw for 23 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. A very good season given what we knew about Alex Smith coming into this thing.

As the Chiefs talk about a new deal with Smith and keeping him in Kansas City down the line, it's fair to wonder how much better the Chiefs can expect Alex Smith to play.

After the best season of his career, is it fair to expect him to improve significantly in 2014? Is it fair to think he can throw for more touchdowns and more yards while keeping his interceptions down? Is it fair to think he can keep his completion percentage above 60 percent as the passes increase? I'm not sure what the answers are here. How much better should he get?

Herbie Teope of Chiefs Spin recently had a piece quoting some guys with ties to Andy Reid and his offense, indicating that it takes at least a year (if not more) to become fully comfortable with the playbook. So there's some hope that there will be natural improvement from the Chiefs offense simply because they understand more of the offense.

Smith is currently entering the last year of his contract. The Chiefs are going to give him a contract extension at some point and he's going to be making more money than he is now. When that happens, is it OK to expect him to improve upon his numbers? Or should we hope he matches what he did in 2013?

I really, really hope that 2013 wasn't the best of Alex Smith. Not that I'm saying it was a bad season -- it was a very good season -- but I want to have optimism about the future of the team.

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