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Chiefs see Sean Smith as a 1st team player, despite putting him on the 2nd team

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The Chiefs head coach and defensive coordinator explain the decision to put Sean Smith on the second team.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Year two of Sean Smith's three year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs isn't starting off in the best way. Smith was demoted shortly after he was arrested this offseason, and he's remained on the second team cornerback for the start of training camp.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said the decision is a football related decision.

"We look at Sean as a first team player," Reid said Saturday, via quotes sent out by the Chiefs. "We need all of those guys and we need two deep at the corner, but we feel like that two deep is equivalent to starting players. That's where we're looking.":

That's true that they'll need more than just two cornerbacks. But the top two cornerbacks are going to play the majority of the time so it's an important position. Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton says Marcus Cooper and Ron Parker, who replaced Smith, have just been better.

"We just thought coming out of the spring, the way it shook down that the other guys were a little in front. -Bob Sutton

"We just thought coming out of the spring, the way it shook down that the other guys were a little in front," Sutton said. "So we went that way as we started camp. He is in the hunt and he has just got to keep working."

If there's one thing to improve, Sutton says, it's technique in press coverage.

"I am going to keep saying this for these guys, especially out there: when you line up as close as I am to this microphone, you don't have a lot of time to make adjustments so you've got to be able to play great technique. So those guys have got to drill down and you've got to become consistent in that technique then. So those are all the things, and that be for Sean, Phillip Gaines, (Sean) Parker, I don't care who it is. All those guys are in the same boat. They've got to keep working technique, technique, technique."

Read Sean Smith's perspective in this piece from the (other) AP.

Obviously it would be a disappointment if Smith isn't a starting cornerback in Week 1. He is one of the highest paid players on the team so naturally you expect those players to be the best at their position. Parker has been in the league a number of years so you can either look at this as his best and first chance to prove himself or you can view it as the fourth stop in his fourth year in the NFL.