There are a lot of intriguing parts of the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs not just because of the new pieces but because of the new pieces in such key places. The head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, quarterback, front office and a lot more. So when there's all this change then familiarity can help those all these new people who are coming into the fold.
One such connection for Alex Smith is KC Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. The draw of Pederson, a first-time coordinator who will not call plays, is that he once played under Andy Reid, too. Pederson was a member of the Packers backing up Brett Favre in the late 90s when Andy Reid was there. He also came to Philly in Reid's first year to serve as the starter until Donovan McNabb was ready.
Not only does did Pederson play for Reid, giving him insight that not many others have, but he and Smith are also running similar offenses, just 14 years apart.
I asked Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson if there were any plays that he ran in 1999 under Andy Reid that he's teaching to Alex Smith today.
"A lot of them, a lot of them," Pederson said.
"That's one thing I did back in January or February is I spent time going back to those years when we had success, when coach Reid was year in and year out in the conference championship game in Philadelphia for several years."
The Eagles were in four straight NFC Championship games from 2001-2004.
"I went back to study that offense and really see what's clicking," Pederson continued. "It's really our core West Coast stuff, the stuff I grew up with way back with Green Bay. I wanted to bring that stuff back here and implement that stuff because it's still a good offense and expose our guys to it."
Interesting. I asked Alex Smith the same thing. Is what he's running today all that different from what Pederson did?
"Yes and no," Smith said. "Some of it not at all. Some of it's the exact same. They've been doing it that way for a long time going all the way back to the beginnings of the West Coast.
"A lot of it has changed as well. It's evolved. And I think it's going to change here as we find out what our strengths are."
That's the big unknown here -- how will Reid and Pederson adapt their offense to the Chiefs strengths. Will they still be pass-happy? Use Jamaal Charles more or less? I don't know.
"But as far as what it looks like on paper and how we're saying it," Smith continued, "no, some of it's identical."
There will be tweaks though. Will Alex be part of those tweaks?
"Absolutely," Smith said when I asked if he would have a say in the playbook. "And I voice it all the time (laughing). Whether or not they take, it's up to them."
Alex seems to like Pederson, for what it's worth. "As a player, I really appreciate that, every day being coached the same way and taught the same way."