The Kansas City Chiefs were tied for the worst record in the NFL last season at 2-14, but that team is long gone. Andy Reid is now the head coach and Alex Smith has taken over the quarterbacking duties that belonged to Matt Cassell last season. The Chiefs were bad last season, but they are expected to be improved this season.
There’s no question that having Reid as the head coach as opposed to Romeo Crennel last season will help improve the Chiefs by itself. Smith is also an improvement over Cassell at the quarterback position. However, one thing that the Chiefs can’t afford is for Reid to ask Smith to do too much for this Kansas City offense.
One of the biggest criticisms of Reid when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles, especially in his later years, was his insistence on relying on Michael Vick to carry the offense despite having a highly talented running back in his backfield. That can’t happen with Smith this season, especially with Jamaal Charles in Kansas City’s backfield.
Once Jim Harbaugh came to the San Francisco 49ers, Smith showed great improvement. His stats and effect on the game all increased noticeably and dramatically until his job was taken by Colin Kaepernick. However, one of the reasons he was successful under Harbaugh is because Smith was never the primary option and was never asked to single-handedly take over games. They relied on their running game first and then let Smith make passes and plays that were in his arsenal.
Reid needs to mimic this same strategy with Smith in Kansas City. He’ll have two talented backs in Charles and Shaun Draughn, who showed promise last season, and Reid should rely on those two first. Smith has the ability to lead an offense and be an effective quarterback, but Reid can’t afford to let Smith get in over his head. Ultimately, that would just set him up for failure, which the Chiefs and their fans have had enough of at this point.