NFL Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Smith Will Improve Running Game

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t have much to be excited about. With only two wins and a miserable time both putting points on the board as well as defending offenses, they were awful in just about every aspect.

The one thing they enjoyed was priding themselves on boasting the AFC’s leading rusher in Jamaal Charles. Since entering the NFL, Charles has averaged healthy yards per carry, never dipping below five. Is there any possibility that it could be improved going into 2013? I say absolutely.

With new quarterback Alex Smith calling the shots at quarterback, defenses will have to learn to respect the passing game in Kansas City a bit more than they did last year. Known for being a “game manager,” Smith will be able to make the right throws in order to keep the chains moving.

He will not be asked to do too much as far as taking shots down field. The biggest way the ball will be moved down field is through Charles and his powerful and speedy ball-carrying. Because defenses will have to learn to respect Smith’s ability to make some throws here and there, they can no longer focus on attempting to stop Charles.

An aspect of Smith’s game that is often overlooked is his ability to show mobility outside of the pocket. Having somewhat of a mobile quarterback will also give the Chiefs another dimension of their offensive scheme.

If all goes according to plan, Charles will have more running room to work with knowing that defenses won’t be out to focus 100 percent of their attention on him. With Dwayne Bowe finally having a decent quarterback to throw him the ball, his game could be greatly improved this season as well.

Now, if only the Chiefs could keep an elephant out of their end zone.

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer and NFL contributor for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google+