Count on this, but no more, from Alex Smith

One of the questions I frequently receive about the Chiefs involves their new quarterback, Alex Smith, and what they can reasonably expect from him this season. For someone who was once the top pick in the draft and then spent the past two seasons quarterbacking one of the NFL’s best teams in San Francisco, Smith remains somewhat of a mystery to Chiefs fans.

Alex Smith

Alex Smith

#11 QB
Kansas City Chiefs

2012 STATS

  • Att218
  • Comp153
  • Yds1737
  • TD13
  • Int5
  • Rat104.1

Here’s what we know about Smith: He doesn’t turn the ball over and he completes a high percentage of his passes. Smith threw just 10 interceptions in his previous 25 starts for the 49ers. He completed more than 70 percent of his passes last season.

So the bar should be set right there. Smith needs to throw an interception every 2 1/2 games and complete 70 percent of his throws or some number reasonably close. If he can do both of those things (reasonable expectations because he’s done them before) then the Chiefs are miles ahead of where they were at quarterback last season.

But if the Chiefs are counting on more from Smith, that’s a mistake. He hasn’t proved to be the type of player who can carry a team on his back, so the Chiefs shouldn’t expect him to be one now. They should coach him up and hope for him to become that guy.

If it doesn’t happen, they can’t be disappointed. Smith is the player they traded for and he’s the same player he was in San Francisco. He’s the kind of quarterback who needs help to be successful and the Chiefs should have known that when they traded for him. So if he doesn’t eventually become a winner, fault lies with the Chiefs and not with Smith.