KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Regarding the Kansas City Chiefs’ inability to get the ball to a wide receiver for a touchdown this season, quarterback Alex Smith’s comments about tight end Anthony Fasano could be instructive.
“He’s a guy that you can really trust [with] a lot of throws," Smith said Wednesday. “You can see the last two years the types of catches he’s made in traffic with people around him. That’s certainly one of his strengths. Certainly as a quarterback you feel good throwing those balls into those tighter windows."
Fasano has developed into one of Smith’s receivers of choice when the Chiefs are near the opponent’s goal line. While Smith has aimed more passes inside the red zone to Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles (eight each), three of his four passes to Fasano in the red zone have gone for a touchdown.
Fasano's other touchdown this season was from 20 yards, or three feet outside the red zone. Fasano caught three red-zone touchdowns from Smith last year despite missing seven games with various injuries.
The point is that Smith didn’t say these things about Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery or any of the Chiefs' wide receivers. Judging from where he goes with the ball in red zone, it doesn’t appear he has that level of trust with any of the wide receivers.
“He’s always been a good player and somebody that the quarterback trusts," coach Andy Reid said of Fasano. “That part is an important thing."
It is an important thing. That Smith feels that way about Fasano can explain a lot.
“Tight end is important in this offense, not only to move the chains but to be a safety valve for him," Fasano said. “I think he takes advantage of that."