X Marks the Spot : No. 2 Problems

( Author’s Note : I like a good poop joke. Many are hidden in here)


The Elephant in the Chief’s 2014 room? Regardless of free-agent Jeremy Maclin returning to Missouri to reunite with Andy Reid....the team doesn’t have a no. 2 WR.

In the past & current Chiefs West Coast system - the X Wide Receiver is the no.2 WR.
The Z (formerly Dwayne Bowe) has been the primary target.
Maclin has the ability to play the Z , but is mostly recognized for his work in the X position on the line-of-scrimmage.
Many of his plays over the past two years involved him playing a form of Slot on the weak side ( but still being the primary hot-read)

Around the NFL some X WRs are the top target / Z WRs are the second. It's probably 60% vs 40%. In some franchises that run Air Coryell you'll find might find two X wrs ( Pittsburgh ) or multiple Z wrs ( Green Bay )

Truth be told, in 2013 Donnie Avery was the best no.2 outside WR they’ve had since Johnnie Morton. Take a moment to groan. I did.

It's Year 3. The Chiefs don't have a solid 2nd WR. This time it's the Flanker that we need to worry about.

Is this the fault of John Dorsey? Is it Andy Reid’s system? Is it part of an even bigger worry that Chiefs fans should examine? Or is it even a problem at all?



The research behind this piece is primarily based on targets > completions.

When studying film on a quarterback it’s more important to get an idea of where their eyes & mind go. Although a Quarterback will usually have 4-5 targets out in the open - a West Coast quarterback is similar to Basketball. The QB will only read 3 of the available targets. Many timing routes reduce that to 1-2 targets.

Touchdowns, Interceptions, and Yards are all factors worth studying when discussing Smith. Those stats are not to be discounted. Yet those stats can only be expanded AFTER discovering where his mind is.

Playcalling changes game to game, season to season. If you know the patterns the QB makes you can create your defense around those patterns.

Studying a West Coast Quarterback like Smith, who runs a complex system that doesn’t wait long for a play to develop, you’ll learn that they’ll know where they want to go before the snap.

The following chart shows Alex Smith’s 2010-2014 seasons. I began with 2010 because it was the first full season of the "resurrected" Alex Smith.



Going (to ) No. 1 (Z, FLANKER)

Z - Flanker X - Slot Out Y - Inline TE SL - Slot WR Running Back
H - Joker / H-Back / F WR

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 TOT AVG OVR SF KC
101 115 127 103 95 541 108 28% 31% 26%
93 95 61 33 36 318 64 16% 22% 9%
80 34 57 71 21 263 53 14% 15% 12%
72 31 36 104 59 302 60 16% 12% 21%
45 35 39 39 87 245 49 13% 10% 17%
35 33 50 83 31 232 46 12% 10% 15%
426 343 370 433 329 1901 380 1901 1139 762

One of the biggest misconceptions with Alex Smith? He doesn’t really use his no.1 WR. Mathematically this is anything but true. Smith throws to his FLANKER a lot. 2013 was the only time he targeted a player (Charles) more than his Z (Bowe or Crabtree). Charles beat Bowe by a whopping 1 target.

The misconception with Alex Smith & No.1 WRs comes from the idea that Smith can’t throw DEEP or is afraid to. (we’ll get to a further discussion later on this in the article)

But the fact is that Smith’s no.1 WR is more than just a decoy or run blocker. Even if they aren’t getting on Sports Center - they’re valuable to him & the offense that he runs.

While Smith was with the 49ers, the inconsistent Michael Crabtree was being targeted more than All-Pro Vernon Davis. In 2012 - the year Smith became a "in-demand franchise Quarterback" he threw to X-turned-Flanker Crabtree 127 times & Davis 61.

At 28% career target rate at no.1 WRs, you feel safer that Jeremy Maclin won’t be used in Kansas City’s offense - if you can create plays that he and Alex can gel with.


Y : Standard In-LIne TE vs Move TEs (aka Jokers)

Most of Alex Smith’s memorable plays as a 49er involve Vernon Davis. For the record, Davis is one of my favorite players in the modern era NFL.

We currently have a league filled with Tight Ends that have more size and athleticism than we've ever seen before. Yet very few can be hands-to-the-ground traditional tight ends. PFF can analyze Davis as much as they want , the respect that safeties give Davis as a blocker helps him & his coordinators as a deep threat.

In the 49ers or Reid's version of West Coast offense, it’s not uncommon for the TE to be the second most targeted player.


Triangle patterns with a TE ( see graph ) are to West Coast offense are the equivalent of watching Tom Osborne Flex Triple Option Football. Drew Brees has been the Eric Crouch of the NFL when it comes to mastering the Triangle.

In the time it takes your mom to say Ndamukong Suh , Smith must decide the mismatch between his TE , WR, and third option - and pass. Although the triangle can be run in any formation , the Chiefs run it from the pistol with Y,X,Slot or Y, X, RB on the strong side. By playaction-ing weak , Smith will usually have a clearer window and thus clearer decision with who to throw to.

Almost every one of these plays also has a route runner causing a "brush pick". Similar to basketball - the opponents Defense is going to have a 3 on 2 situation - with one man open. If none of this works , Smith will likely run or throw away the ball.


Travis Kelce is as athletic as Vernon Davis. He’s even a phenomenal run blocker. However he is truly at his best standing up and split outside in the JOKER role (his best run blocks game from him being split right w/ running momentum). It’s not that I doubt his in-line or lead blocking - but the Chiefs do have a "need" for an in-line blocking TE w/ Fasano leaving.

With the Chiefs offensive line in rebuilding having a fist in the ground Tight End is still important even though - in theory - Kelce would be targeted more in the passing game. A larger, more traditional tight end could also open up players like Kelce & Thomas - allowing both to use their YAC ability and not get so many hits-upon-catch that take tolls on players seasons.


The further you spread Kelce in the Triangle , the more headaches you’ll give the defense. With his route running ability & speed having him create "screens" for Maclin or getting him to mismatch against Nickelbacks will spread the field for the defense - which ultimately helps Charles & Reid the most.

If Maxx Williams becomes a Chief, don’t start to conspiracize. His addition would not only help the run & screen blocking game ( that Kelce is involved with ). For Defenses it becomes determining how to cover the University of Kentucky’s Backcourt.

Williams has some scouts who question him as an in-line blocker. So Blake Bell of Oklahoma could be a Day 3 prospect to keep your eye on.


HALF BACK: Jamaal Charles is the greatest Chief ever

Probably the biggest change for Alex Smith’s passing game is the inclusion of Jamaal Charles. In a bittersweet way, Jamaal’s screen passes are the only offensive component that remain from the Scott Pioli era.

The targets that Charles received last season did decline. 104 targets to 59 (which is closer to his career average) .

It’s a possibility that Reid not only wanted to keep Charles healthy but safe to assume that Reid wasn’t feeling the Offensive Line’s chemistry / execution in practice. But it’s also a credit to Travis Kelce taking advantage of defenses trying to prevent Charles from making a Home Run play.

Progressive Offenses will create their triangle with a speedy slot WR.



If you want to stump for Alex Smith-Is-Only-Getting-Better , perhaps you could say that he went from 20% of his throws in the Bay Area going to the Slot & 4th WRs to 32%. The now-very-wealthy-for-no-reason-at-all Dexter McCluster had 50 fewer targets this year in Tennessee.

In 2013, Smith took more risks (83) on Dexter McCluster than he did on Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, and basically any player on the 49ers not name Crabtree or Davis.

The same could be said of Travis Kelce who had 87 targets in 2014.

A huge reason why many college game managers don’t translate falls on their inability to adapt to different Talent Pools than the Talent Pools they had in college. Smith utilized Charles & Bowe’s coverage and hit the open 3rd man in the Triangle.

You can make the argument that Alex Smith isn't a gambler. But he plays Poker like the best card-readers out there. As long as he's healthy , I can't imagine D'Anthony Thomas or some other player having a strong year from the slot for the simple fact that teams are going to adjust to the triangle and cover Kelce / Maclin. This could also be a rookie WR that we take on - especially if Maclin plays the X a bit more than experts anticipate.



So Alex Smith has had 83+ target seasons with his No. 1 WR (Crabtree, Bowe) , Slot WR ( McCluster ) , Inline TE ( Davis ) , Halfback ( Charles ) , and Move Tight End ( Kelce) .

But there’s one piece of the puzzle that seems to be missing. Alex Smith really doesn’t throw to his 2nd outside WR.


With everyone’s favorite Chief’s drunk uncle, Jimmy Raye - Alex Smith threw to Josh Morgan 80 times. It was in the Air Coryell system that. Everyone who watched Smith in college knows that Smith shouldn’t have been put in the first place.

Despite that one decent year. Overall, 14% of Smith’s throws go to the No.2 WR.Easily the lowest amount to any No.2 WR in any system with any QB that's played over 3 years in the NFL.


Z - Flanker X - Slot Out Y - Inline TE SL - Slot WR Running Back
H - Joker / H-Back / F WR


2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 TOT AVG OVR PHI
105 111 120 117 95 104 87 103 95 937 104 24% 23%
88 135 63 91 115 96 122 71 21 802 89 20% 22%
70 43 64 112 79 98 88 33 36 623 69 17% 17%
75 118 74 55 91 69 67 104 59 712 79 18% 17%
42 33 57 58 76 81 76 83 31 537 60 14% 13%
34 23 52 24 24 35 47 39 87 365 41 9% 7%
414 463 430 457 480 483 487 433 329 3976 442 3976 3214

While in Philadelphia , 22% of targets went to the No. 2 WR. This goes far beyond the Maclin and Jackson puzzle. Despite not having the talent of Maclin or Jackson - Kevin Curtis , Reggie Brown , Donte Stallworth were all major parts of Reid’s system.

Donnie Avery was targeted 71 times in 2013. The second highest amount of targets Smith has given his no.2 target. But the second lowest of Reid’s career.

While in Philadelphia, Reid’s no. 2 WR averaged 101 targets per yer. Smith has averaged 53.



Z - Flanker X - Slot Out Y - Inline TE SL - Slot WR Running Back
H - Joker / H-Back / F WR

Emmanuel Sanders? Oddell Beckham Jr? Brandin Cooks? Kelvin Benjamin?

The Chiefs ended last year’s offseason with slot-receiver D’Anthony Thomas.

Many Chiefs read their grandchildren the fairytale "How Dorsey Drafted WRs" before bedtime. It’s no question that John Dorsey’s ability to draft wide outs on Day 2 was the most favorable trait of his resume.

Jordy Nelson , Randall Cobb , Greg Jennings , James Jones , JerMichael Finley might have been the deepest talent pool ever assembled - ever.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 TOT AVG OVR GB KC
119 125 101 62 103 95 605 101 24% 22% 26%
113 85 56 98 71 21 444 74 17% 20% 12%
62 87 96 73 83 31 432 72 17% 18% 15%
54 64 55 104 39 87 403 67 16% 15% 17%
72 33 92 87 33 36 353 59 14% 16% 9%
30 50 37 30 104 59 310 52 12% 8% 21%
450 444 437 454 433 329 2547 425 2547 1785 762

EVEN with Mike McCarthy’s spread out system - the no.2 starting WR in Green Bay still fielded 20% of the targets from Aaron Rodgers.

Although I have a lot of love for Albert Wilson, Dorsey has only brought in Donnie Avery to compete at this position. 32 year old Jason Avant is currently penciled in for replacing Avery next season.

In 2011, he had 81 targets. 4th most targets on the Eagles roster.

Between 2010-2012 , Dorsey had at least 3 of his Top 5 targets receive 85+ targets. Alex Smith has yet to accomplish this.



Z - Flanker X - Slot Out Y - Inline TE SL - Slot WR Running Back
H - Joker / H-Back / F WR

49ers Smith



KC past two seasons





























Before the 2013, people wondered how everything would work together. Smith averaged 380 targets with his Top 6 targets while part of the conservative 49ers.

In Kansas City he average 381. 1 more pass target than Alex Smith’s San Francisco average.

Dorsey and Reid went from 101/88 Averages w/ their no.2 WR to 46.

KC past two seasons








































The following graph shows Alex Smith, Andy Reid, and Dorsey’s average per position before coming to KC. Expectations is the avg of the 3 together aka what fans should expect based on their prior seasons.

Despite Alex Smith increasing in other categories , the "gains" have not outweighed the expectations average by any means. Andy & John's average is not matching with the output of Alex Smith. Even if you want to counter that Charles is a better running back than what Green Bay or Philadelphia brought to the table - Smith is not spreading the ball in the diversified manner that was successful in Philadelphia and Green Bay.

Is 47 passes that big of a deal? It’s an additional 3 passes per game.
What about Smith reaching Dorsey’s & Reid’s average prior to KC? That’s 5 downs of passing.



How Much Does This Matter ?

A major part of this research was to not only analyze "why" Smith doesn’t throw to his no. 2 WR , but also fully understand why it would matter in the first place?

If you think in terms of Basketball , many teams that do well have 3 solid starters and 2 decent ones. The three best scorers get the ball more often than the other two who set screens and cause mis-direction.

A ) If any Three Players on the field are getting the ball , does it matter if it’s WR, TE, HB, H-Back?

B ) Isn’t Alex Smith making his paycheck if he reads his 3 best players ?

C ) If Smith ignores 1 side of the field and abuses the side he is most comfortable with does that affect the game?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

The more you spread the ball , the more time your opponents will have to prepare. Think about the Spurs vs Heat last summer. On a talent level the Heat were superior. However the Spurs were harder to prepare for.

Bill Belichick's take as GM & West Coast Offense Coach has survived on a 1st half & 2nd half offensive gameplan. As soon as he feels like he’s exhausted his resources, Bill thrives off of bringing in new pieces to the puzzle.

The Chiefs have seen Dexter McCluster & Travis Kelce thrive in this theory.

Putting the X-receiver into true production can only help the Chiefs offense. It’s safe to say that opposing weak-side safeties/corners/linebackers will know that the 20-Yard-Go-Routes are decoys - hypothetically leaving more room for them to be in position to catch the ball.

So ....Why doesn’t Alex Smith throw to his 2nd WR ?

According to Pro Football Reference , Alex Smith threw

LEFT ( outside of the hash-marks ) : 100 times
RIGHT ( outside of the hash-marks ): 111 times
BETWEEN (the hash-marks) : 261 times

By that standard , Smith is still throwing to his FLANKER a great amount (over 50% of all throw involve Flanker hitting the middle).



SHORT SIDE vs LONG SIDE (running & passing)

Smith prefers to throw to players heading to the short side of the field. With Jamaal Charles you want to use the LONG or open side of the field for play action to offset the safeties and linebackers.

Throwing Weak Side is more risk-averse. You’re throwing the same distance in yards, but the angle means you’re throwing it further and at a place where the WR will not be using any of their body to hit the ball.

Charles can cut and accelerate better than most running back in history. Charles uses the Left Tackle for weakside run-blocks more than most running backs ( who run strong side or interior and plow for Yards After Contact ).

Teams will prepare to cover the weakside run more than strong side. ( Making the TRIANGLE much easier in the Strong Side than Weak Side ) This allows the play action to jump linebackers weak & loosen up the strong side of the passing game ( where historically Smith has been his best )

Charles uses the Left Tackle for weakside run-blocks more than most running backs ( who run strong side or interior and plow for Yards After Contact ).

With Smith’s no.2 stretched on the long side, he rarely has them part of his read.

In San Francisco , Gore ran to the strong & center - Smith still wasn’t prone to throwing to X.


eyeing SHORT & MEDIUM THROWS > Long Throws

Smith’s No.1 WRs have been solid at short throws. His No. 2 WRs are more built for speed screens.

Even though his no. 2 WR will have single coverage deep , he rarely gambles ( or has the time to).



Smith isn’t a huge fan of throwing in front of players in medium/long range. He prefers hitting a player a 1-foot window in front of them so they can hold it to their chest. He wants targets to slow down more than speed up for their catch ( ie he cares more about the yards than potential yards after catch or contact ) .

The X WR’s best route should be a GO. Infact that’s what will make Amari Cooper more money than say Ty Montgomery.



Smith isn’t afraid to throw away the ball. He’ll go through progressions and throw away without trying to pace himself for a 4th read with an open player. Although he can scramble , he’s not very accurate while on his feet.



Smith does call audibles. However , it seems that Smith conservative mind audibles between Run & HPA passes. Whereas Peyton Manning , Tony Romo , and Drew Brees look for a kill shot in weak coverage.

The RULES of a WCO Quarterback

- If you can end your drive on a TD, Field Goal, or Punt you have a high percentage of winning the game.

- If two players are open, throw to the closest to the LOS

- If it's too close to call , base your judgement from practice ( this is pre-determined in film room )

If it's EVEN it's OVER

In certain offense ( I don't think Smith uses this rule ) , if an X WR is EVEN with his DB, then the QB should pass because WRs will have a higher % of getting flagged or the ability to get their fingers on the ball. This rule is also why Richard Sherman & Patrick Peterson will be paid "Quarterback" money.

Photo Jeremy Maclin



Charles "weakening" the strong side causes the strong side ( ie Flanker > X ) to become a favorable target to Alex Smith - is part of the equation.

Yet , it has to be stated that GMs ( especially Dorsey ) are aware that Smith is not a fan of throwing to his weakside.

One of the things that has yet to be mentioned is that Jeremy Maclin has made the majority of his money from lining up on the LONG / OPEN side of the field. Maclin is on of the best 20+ yard fade/corner runners in the NFL. ( Usually trips - with an extra X , TE , &/or Tailback running Long).

Although Maclin is talented enough to be used across the field (he’s lined up in the Philadelphia backfield before) , it’ll be interesting to see if Reid plans to see how Alex would do with more open formations.

Common logic is that Maclin is an upgrade over Bowe. He is. But perhaps a wide out with a stronger frame to play the short side of the field is what the Chiefs will be targeting in 2015.


The Chiefs will use Maclin in short side situations and specialized screen, but one would hope that he and Smith work together on weakside X routes.

Not to jinx the team , but building a team with the idea that Charles is here and 100% for another 4 years is unrealistic.

Teams do not respect Smith if Charles is not in the lineup , so this year should focus on Smith learning how to spect Smith’s all-around passing game. The more you have to gameplan in the week prior , the harder games will be.

It’s Andy Reid - and although I think he wanted to try to win a Championship w/ solid D and conservative QB play - but the Chiefs & Smith struggle when down 2 TDs.

KC needs a strong, reliable Flanker ( perhaps Multiple Flankers ) in this draft. Speed is important , but ones that can take a hit and hold onto the ball are key.



Michael Crabtree is not only Alex Smith’s all time favorite target, but hes also a pretty decent flanker - especially for this system. Before you get too excited -at this idea the Dolphins and Raiders or Jaguars will overpay Crabtree and test him out with routes that he won't do well at. There are too many people - including Crabtree - that still want to believe that he can be the Michael Crabtree that many people thought would be the no.3 overall pick the year we got Tyson Jackson.

Crabtree re-invented himself as a Flanker after difficult seasons as a X WR. He had a harder time getting used to lining up on scrimmage and getting separation past faster corners.

Putting him in as a flanker he was able to use his body to break tackles and get more separation on slant routes. Crabtree probably won’t be available by the time I write this. However this is how the Chiefs and their fans should be imagining this offense.

Giving Alex a WR that has similarities to Michael Crabtree/ Dwayne Bowe/Greg Jennings that can make yards in short spaces will compliment the passing game from all of the statistics we’ve covered.



I love love love Breshard Perriman. To me , adding him to the roster now would mean that you have the defense giving pause to 4 of the 5 targets on the field ( Maclin , Perriman , Kelce , Charles ) - which means that a lot of room would be vacated for played like D’Anthony Thomas / Demetrius Harris / etc.

Perriman’s drops are his biggest factor. He dropped about 13% of his throws. KC has had a habit or curse of drafting butter fingers WRs - Baldwin , Bowe , Morris - in the 1st round. That being said , he’s probably the biggest game changer in this draft.

Stanford’s Ty Montgomery could be a consolation prize here. He’s less sexy than most WRs , but has a Mario Manningham blue-collar WR tone to him that could fill the flanker need as well. I'm also a person that fully believes that USC / Pac-10 athletes get overrated around draft time and rarely meet the round they're drafted in ( for every Clay Matthews there's a lot of busts ) but Nelson Agholor is very reliable if you can accept his frame.

***My next article will cover WRs / Routes / Scouting



Before giving up on Demetrius Harris, the Chiefs should contemplate getting a 2nd TE who can play inline / strongside.

Harris's blocking in screens let alone inline just isn't there yet.

There could be creative ways to handle this , however Kyle Rudolph of the Vikings would be a prototype that would fit well.

Unfortunately this draft is weak in "in-line" Tight Ends. This trend will likely continue for some time as the College Spread has changed Tight Ends forever.

Blocking / Screen / Bump skills are essential in making this a fearful offense. KC could also go for the best athlete and fine-tune their inline skills to work in the system. Maxx Williams is considered to be one of those prospects - but some scouts aren't convinced that he'll end up being a great blocker. Same goes with U of Miami’s Clive Walford.

I wouldn't be upset in the least if either were drafted in the 2nd-5th round. KC doesn't need to try to find a Leonard Pope block-only TE. But having depth here would be highly beneficial down the stretch.


The Chiefs could also try to run 3 TE sets with Kelce being used as a Z WR. Players like Devin Funchess ( Michigan ) & Wes Saxon ( Southern Alabama ) could great to use in 1st , 2nd, and goal packages in place of D’Anthony Thomas for their ability to block for Charles find separation for mid-range yardage.

Creating a Triangle w/ 3 TEs is something that Andy was known for doing w/ Favre in Green Bay.


X > Y

The counter argument to these solutions is for KC to draft a X WR or ignore system fits for BPA. This includes drafting Dorial Green-Beckham or Devin Smith. Maclin was more of a X / Slot in college as was DeSean Jackson and they made a formidable team.

To me , the only way that drafting players that fit that mold would be beneficial to the Chiefs is IF they used them in the Slot > outside. I'm not positive that D'Anthony Thomas is the best Slot WR for the triangle. I don't know. What I can say with some certainty is that Alex Smith isn't someone who I see throwing weakside unless it's Jeremy Maclin lining up on the line-of-scrimage.



Maybe drafting a Bryce Petty would be a smart option for KC. He’ll need a year ( Not a fan of college QB going from 1 read to 3 read systems ) but if you see what Andy did with Kevin Kolb - he could play a specific system with a better mind/arm combo to hit weakside WR in medium-longish throws.

Does he need a year? Maybe. But it hasn't hurt Andy Reid in drafting QBs in the first 4 rounds before this. Not sure it hurts now.

Note : If RGIII ever hits the trade market, he could be an interesting Andy Reid matchup. Reid could really coach him to throw better on the strong side (his weaker game) and bring him a better arsenal to assist his weakside longer throws.

But let’s focus on Smith and the now.

Maclin Albert Wilson / Draft Pick / Free Agent Demetrius Harris / Rookie TE D'Anthony Thomas Jamaal Charles Travis Kelce

KC past two seasons ( avg )

Scenario A

Scenario B

Scenario C


115 (+16)

109 (+10)

113 (+14)


65 (-15)

50 (-32)

55 (-27)



80 (+17)

89 (+26)


60 (+3)


65 (+8)


50 (+4)

85 (+39)

78 (+30)


39 (+4)

42 (+7)

47 (+12)





Note - I don’t see Jamaal Charles nearing 104 targets again. Somewhere between 50-65 is more than reasonable.


Scenario A - No major changes at any position aside from Maclin & Demetrius Harris moving up the depth chart.

Let's say Chiefs draft Best Player Available once again. There shouldn't be shame in this. Great GMs try to win the future in the draft more than the present. If a player like Danny Shelton falls , you take him.


Scenario B - By Smith agreeing to reduce his salary, the Chiefs sign Alex Smith’s all-time favorite target Michael Crabtree ( to a 1 year deal ) or find a way to get a veteran Flanker - giving him two solid starters. They draft Center - Cameron Erving ( one of my favorite O-line prospects in years ) and go forward.


Scenario C - Chiefs draft Breshard Periman (Round 1) & Clive Walford (Round 2)


Thanks for the read by the away. I really appreciate the positive feedback or any feedback. It's a complex conversation for sure.


Thanks for the read by the away. I really appreciate the positive feedback or any feedback. It's a complex conversation for sure.

QUESTION : Is it possible for Alex to start throwing to his X / weak side at all - or do you feel like this is a lost cause?

Three people have asked me this online. I tried to stay less opinionated out of this and let the reader determine this on their own. That being said , Andy Reid & John Dorsey have spent two years catering an offense to Alex Smith more than Alex Smith changing for Andy Reid & John Dorsey.

On one hand, this shows you how nice it is to have a veteran coaching & front office staff we have. So in Year 3 do I expect massive changes for Smith? The math says it’s unlikely.

That being said… Alex is a very coachable Quarterback. I don’t think he lacks any major physical tools. But he’s not going to be a guy who looks in three different parts of the field when throwing very often. Just as I don't believe that he'll start throwing to his HI (deep) target more than his LO ( shallow ) any time soon.

QUESTION : Does this mean Alex Smith should be replaced ?

Hard question. I think Smith knows that his role is to get the team in Field Goal range and Not Commit turnovers. Reid & Dorsey know this too.

The best thing they can do is give him better targets down the line. The Chiefs have used a lot of their WR and TE depth for quality special team players who were never seen as options to eventually start. This doesn't discount special teams , but Dorsey should be doing his best to find players who could find themselves valuable in the 4th Quarter / Overtime.

QUESTION : You seem to be critical of the talent currently on the team even though your article clearly states that Smith has many issues that contribute to their stats being low ...

Again, the complexity of the situation is more than just one individual. The Alex Smith-version of Flanker for the last 4-5 seasons is not something that I see Maclin fulfilling entirely. I think he's a very different player than Crabtree or Bowe and could face potential injuries that have haunted him in the pass if he's running those types of routes.

Currently the Chiefs have :

Maclin ( X/Z/slot swiss army knife )

Wilson ( Slot / X )

Avant ( Slot / Flanker? )

D'Anthony Thomas ( Slot)

Junior Hemmingway ( Slot / Flanker )

To reference Dorsey's Packers

Greg Jennings ( Flanker / X )

James Jones ( Flanker / Slot )

Jordy Nelson ( X/ Slot / Flanker )

Randall Cobb ( Slot / PR / KR )

Although playing the slot means much more than being the 3rd Best WR , the Chiefs need help at Flanker & X. If god-forbid players get injured , KC is going to have a frustrating time - likely cutting roster spots to fill up starter spots. This should be conquered in the draft - as WR cores need offseason repetitions in a TIMING offense.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.