When the Kansas City Chiefs acquired Alex Smith this off season, they were following new head coach Andy Reid‘s blueprint for success. They didn’t know they were on a treasure hunt. Smith was the first “X” where Reid wanted them to dig.
It wasn’t a complete mystery what they were in search of. Smith had NFL experience, and they had seen him produce, utilizing the air. Up until his injury last season he was leading the league in passer rating. Kansas City knew he was valuable, but they didn’t know exactly what was buried underneath.
On the second drive of the season opener in Jacksonville, (known as the River City) Smith unearthed himself.
Kansas City had gone three-and-out on the opening drive and trailed 2-0 on the road due to a blocked punt resulting in a safety. On third and long again, Alex took off and dove crown-first past the sticks for a first down.
The Chiefs went on to win 28-2. At halftime of the game, Smith led all rushers in yardage. Fools gold, right?
Chiefs’ halfback Jamaal Charles was also quite a find by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2008 draft. Reid inherited the wealth from the oilfields of Texas. Charles is a two-time pro bowler who holds the NFL all time yards-per-carry record with a YPC of 5.79.
Three games into the season, the Chiefs’ QB trails their top-fueled running back by 110 rushing yards, but leads him in YPC. Smith averages 5 yards per carry, Charles just 4.3. Alex’s longest rush is for 17 yards, Jamaal’s is for 18. Charles has 95 more carries than Smith.
When asked about it Alex replied “It’s something that I’ve always, as a quarterback, tried to take a lot of pride in.” He went on to describe his scrambles as “hidden yardages” that can be found in the passing game.
The treasure chest (Smith’s heart) has been opened and the contents revealed. Turns out he shines the brightest when the red “X” is on his back and opposing defenses are looking to bury him.
The trade with the San Francisco 49ers this off season is panning out well for the Chiefs. Andy Reid doesn’t sift through river silt or look to the air for gold, he digs for it.
Apparently, so does Alex Smith.
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia or “Like” him on Facebook