KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs conclude offseason practice with today's final minicamp session but quarterback Alex Smith said they could quit before it even starts and still be well ahead offensively of where they were in either of the last two years.
"It's probably not even comparable to the last couple," Smith said. "The volume of football we have in, especially offensively, I think is a lot different than the last couple of years. We're able to do more [because] a greater percentage of our offense is in. We've been able to go out and execute it all, more than we have in the two years. We've been able to go out and make adjustments on the fly, do different things out there on the field. That kind of comes with guys knowing the system."
Smith indicated he feels this way not just because the Chiefs have been able to practice a larger share of plays from Andy Reid's voluminous offensive book. Smith said the Chiefs have also been able to make a lot of those plays work.
"We get our stats every day," Smith said. "They come back to us as quarterbacks. It's not even close that this has been our best offseason as far as any numbers in the passing game, whatever you're looking at: completion percentage, touchdowns, all that stuff."
Practice has seemed more balanced between offensive and defensive successes than in the past couple of years. That in and of itself guarantees the Chiefs nothing when the regular season begins.
But it's a start for a passing game that struggled to get the ball down the field all of last season. Smith and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, the Chiefs' prize free-agent acquisition, don't look like strangers. The two appear to have had a productive month of practice together.
"I think me and Alex are off to a great start," Maclin said. "I think our comfort level with each other is pretty high. It kind of feels like this is not our first rodeo. I think we've hooked up a lot in practice on timing, on plays where he is just kind of throwing the ball and trusting me to make the play and stuff like that. I think we'll want to continue to get better but I think we're off to a great, great start.”
Things can change when the Chiefs put on the pads for the first time at training camp. That's when the Chiefs will be able to place an emphasis on the running game. Offseason practice, conducted without pads, is mostly about the passing game.
"We probably have the biggest advantage this time of year because we can get the most out of this," Smith said of the quarterbacks and receivers. "I think the skill position guys on offense, specifically throwing the football, this is kind of our time of year. We don't have pads on so the run game is really at a disadvantage. It's hard to get a good look. The guys up front, the [offensive and defensive lines], they're limited. It's not real football for them whereas us, it's more realistic. You can really get a sense of timing."