The Kansas City Chiefs enter their final day of a mandatory minicamp Thursday -- their final organized practice before training camp starts in late July, truly signifying the start of the Andy Reid and Alex Smith era.
Reid, entering his first season as coach, wants to push new quarterback Smith and the rest of the Chiefs offense to ensure the players learn and feel comfortable with a new system. If that means making mistakes while learning, Reid is at peace with it. He figures it’s a lot better to throw an interception in minicamp and in training camp than in the regular season.
As Smith continues to grow in the system, Reid wants him to get more aggressive to expedite the learning process.
“You want to get a feel of the offense now, in particular, when you’re new at it,” Reid said. “You get a feel and you want to test it out, so if there are close throws, challenge it, see what you can get away with. If it ends up being an interception, OK, it’s an interception. You learn from it -- these are smart guys, so they learn from it, then once they get into the season, they’re not experimenting with it on game day. They know what they can get away with and they know what they can’t.”
Smith, acquired in a trade with San Francisco in March, is on board with the experimental phase of Camp Reid.
“We’re finding out what we can do, what we’re capable of and really pushing these guys,” Smith said. “This is what the practice field is for. For me, what kind of throws can I make? Those types of things. That’s what these are for out here and for us as a group to find out. … (Reid) wants us to be aggressive. I’m always trying to make the right read and throw where the defense is telling me to throw constantly. You don’t come out here and try to predetermine anything like, ‘Oh, I’m going to chuck it deep this play.’ I’m constantly trying to trust my eyes, what I see out there, and trust my reads and prepare for it in isolations. And come out here and throw good ball.”