I have certainly spent some time questioning Alex Smith. Never personal; I think he’s a great dude. A competitor. And pretty much, the ultimate game manager. The guy who is good enough to get you in the playoffs, but bounced once you get there. The guy that Andy Reid and the Chiefs trust so much that they jumped more than a dozen spots in the draft to go get Pat Mahomes.

But let me say this. Alex Smith is a freaking pro. And a class act. Because even though he sees the writing on the wall. Even though he knows what that shiny Ferrari sitting next to him in quarterback meetings means, he’s going about his business and doing everything he can to help the team win. Because Smith is under no illusions that this is his team for much longer. He knows he’s a dead man walking. And because he’s a classy dude. He sat down and talked candidly about his future in Kansas City. Because when asked by Graham Bensinger if this felt like his last year in KC, Smith was point blank: For sure. It absolutely does. Without a doubt… It’s a tough pill to swallow.

That can’t feel good. Not after making the playoffs for two straight seasons. Not after winning 12 games last year. And to Smith’s credit he’s making it as tough on Reid and the Chiefs staff as he possibly can. Maybe THAT’s why the dude all but body-swapped with Tom Brady last week at Foxboro. Maybe THAT’s why he was firing the ball down field to guys like Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, shredding the Super Bowl champs for the most yards and points of any team in the Belichick era. Because Smith knows that he’s going to lose his job after the season. And after so many years of playing quarterback like some actuary assessing risk in real time, Alex Smith’s gonna go HAM THIS SEASON. Because WHY THE HELL NOT?

How crazy could that be? Sprinkling a little Cutler into Smith’s game. Taking more and more shots down the field after spending a career checking down to the guy in the flat. Adding a vertical element to an offense filled with playmakers, if only because you know the guy behind you can roll out of bed and throw a frozen rope 70 yards before his morning coffee. So instead of going in the tank and pouting. Or asking for a trade. Smith’s going the other way: He’s being a leader. He’s dropping 368 yards and four tds on the Pats. And in a crazy way, he’s making the Chiefs more dangerous than they’ve ever been before.

 

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