The inter-conference trade that sent Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers to the Kansas City Chiefs isn’t even 24 hours old, yet it’s being debated like it’s one of the more high-profile moves in NFL history. Of course, it’s far from that, at least right now, but could turn into a monumental move down the road.
Smith is a natural-born, West Coast offense quarterback if there ever was one. He thrives with the short, quick and/or crossing patterns that have become the staple of this specific offensive scheme over the past two decades. Now with a coach in Andy Reid who has perfected his own version of the West Coast offense, Smith’s best NFL years should be ahead of him.
Reid worked wonders with Donovan McNabb while using the West Coast offense with the Philadelphia Eagles and he will now employ that scheme in Kansas City with a quarterback even more suited to it. Smith certainly doesn’t have the deep ball touch or accuracy of McNabb, but within the shorter range of the West Coast offense, he can thread the needle while also putting quite a bit of mustard on the ball. In other words, he and Reid dare a match made in Heaven.
Now the Chiefs aren’t going to challenge the Denver Broncos in AFC West in 2013, but they will definitely be on the verge of playoff contention if not in the thick of the postseason in 2014. With two good drafts and a full year and offseason to implement his schemes and style in Kansas City, Reid will create a team built around Smith, who will prove that a former No. 1 overall pick can succeed on two different teams that were both the NFL’s worst when he arrived.