Chiefs Musings: Kaepernick Addition Could Light Fire Under Smith
By Nick Athan
If the Kansas City Chiefs brass is serious about giving Quarterback, Alex Smith, one more season to prove he’s not a post season caliber signal caller, then perhaps they need to try a different approach. After being coddled by Head Coach, Andy Reid in four seasons, perhaps adding the man that ousted him in San Francisco, might elevate Smith to greatness.
For the record, I’m NO fan of former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. He’s lost his way as a leader, stepped onto the political stage with no true conviction behind it, and finds himself shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities to alter his weakened image. He could spend millions and it won’t likely change my opinion of him.
However, from my seat on the Chiefs train, when I view the chances Kansas City can manage anything greater than an 8-8 season with Quarterback, Alex Smith running the offense, perhaps adding Kaepernick to the roster – might just ignite a furor in Smith that we’ve yet to see.
If you notice around the NFL, starting quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Dak Prescott, Aaron Rogers and Derek Carr, outwardly show emotion and motivate their teammates to take their games to new levels. In Kansas City, though Smith is a leader, he’s never shown the ability consistently win post season games. In other words, the man has no fuse that ignites confidence in his teammates, that he’s the real deal playmaker to lead KC’s offense to post season success.
Forget the Andy Reid factor for a moment, you know the one about meddling play calling and mind numbing decisions with clock management, his trust in Smith is not good for this franchise. Sure, Smith has made some great plays, has a terrific regular season winning percentage, but its Super Bowl or bust for the Chiefs for Smith at this stage of the Reid era.
In San Francisco, Smith lost his job to Kaepernick watching him advance the 49ers to a Super Bowl. Sure, they lost that game but he did something Smith has yet to achieve in half the time as an NFL starter. I’ve heard rumblings that Reid would consider Kaepernick as a back-up to Smith this season. With Chase Daniel, signing with the New Orleans Saints, I can’t see Reid putting the back-up quarterback spot into the hands of Tyler Bray.
I’m sure if Reid approached Smith about adding the man who took his job, Smith would be outraged, and likely throw a temper tantrum, modestly resembling that of my infant son who wants his next feeding. However, if I was Reid, I’d ignore the outrage and sign Kaepernick just to motivate Smith.
Let’s face it Smith isn’t going to lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl. Heck, he can’t’ even win a post season game at Arrowhead with all the cards stacked in his favor, let alone does any Chiefs fan believe he can go on the road and defeat the mighty New England Patriots? Reality suggests based on his post season performance to date, he’s simply not driven enough to lead this franchise to the promised land.
Thus, if he’s motivated by seeing Kaepernick on the field next to him every day, perhaps that changes his internal demeanor. Let’s face it Reid can design an offense catered to Smith but it’s pointless to believe he can execute it game in and game out, so why not try a different approach. Reid is a smart head coach and he knows that Smith can’t throw the ball down the field with any consistency, he understands his propensity to panic in the pocket, and Reid understands that Smith isn’t a competent January quarterback.
I’m not sure what else Reid could do, other than keep putting Smith on the field, and praying to the NFL Gods, that someday the man shows some fire in his belly. Adding Kaepernick for no other reason than to light that fuse within Smith, who is playing his final season in Kansas City anyway, would be a calculating move that might just work.
On the flip side, I can’t see another NFL team that Kaepernick could play for other than Kansas City. Though I have my doubts he can be a starter for the Chiefs, his presence would go under the risk category that fits Reid’s current status as KC’s head coach – considering he’s entering the final year of his current contract.
Now, all this madness could be squashed if the Chiefs draft a young quarterback in round one but I still say that’s a smoke screen. Again, Reid and General Manager, John Dorsey, both have contracts expiring at the end of this season, and with no hints either will be extended, I can’t see them suddenly changing an organizational philosophy to draft a young quarterback with their top pick of round one.
The Chiefs are the kings of adding one veteran after another at the quarterback position, praying the other teams’ leftovers can turn into a five-star meal in another city. Thus far, only Hall of Fame Quarterback, Len Dawson, has proven he can win the big game. You think it’s time to do something different?
Rey Maulauga – The Chiefs are set to host former Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker, Rey Maulauga on Thursday. I’m told pending a physical that Kansas City intends to sign the inside linebacker. Though he’s 30-years old, and quite likely already played his best football, he’d be a solid insurance signing should, Derrick Johnson be slowed in his recovery from Achilles surgery.
NFL Draft Thoughts – Like I stated above, the Chiefs desire to draft a quarterback in round one, appears to be a pipe dream for the fan base. Realistically, I’m told Kansas City is eying three positions for their first-round pick, Running Back, Inside Linebacker and Cornerback. Each of those has merits and clearly indicate areas of needs for this franchise.
On Monday, I’ll offer my first Seven-Round Chiefs Mock Draft that might shed some light into what I’ve been told might be the direction Kansas City gravitates toward in April’s premier NFL Draft spectacle.