Ever since becoming the #1 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, QB Alex Smith has been known to be a “game manager ” in his 12-year career. His persona hasn’t changed since moving to Kansas City in 2013, posting up a record of 42-20.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Chiefs picked QB Patrick Mahomes III as tenth overall from Texas A&M. Though Alex Smith will most likely be the starting QB heading into the 2017-18 season, Mahomes III will be the long-term option in the future. In order to keep his job, Smith must shine if the Chiefs have a run in the playoffs.
This is not the first-time Smith has been in this situation. In 2012, Smith had a position battle with Colin Kapernick for the starting QB spot after suffering in a concussion in Week 10 against the St. Louis Rams. Kapernick took his job and impressed, throwing 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions with a 5-2 record. Smith then got traded to the Chiefs after the season and has been there since.
Knowing his situation, Smith is not worried about losing his starting job as he has been it this spot before.The following is from Smith:
” If you’re not good enough and didn’t get it done, you’re not going to be around long. That’s just our culture. I know it. That’s the nature of the position. “
If Smith wants to keep his job, here’s what he has to do:
Conference Championship Appearance
65%+ Completion Percentage
30+ Total Touchdowns
4,000+ Passing Yards
10 Or Fewer Interceptions
If Smith is able to put up those types of numbers, it is likely he will keep his job next season. With QB talent such as Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Derek Carr in the AFC, the Chiefs need more production from their QB play. As the AFC gets better and better every year, it will be hard for the Chiefs to be one of the best teams in the conference since coach Andy Reid and Smith came to town.
Bottom line, it is make or break for Smith if he wants to keep his job and take the Chiefs to the promise land. As someone who has been in this position before, Smith knows what he needs to do in order to succeed. He would not want to end his career in Kansas City like he did in San Francisco.