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Andy Reid wants Alex Smith to let it rip in practice

Alex Smith AP

One of the reasons Alex Smith held onto the quarterback job with the 49ers as long as he did was by being careful with the ball.

But while 10 interceptions over his final 25 starts is about as clean as it gets, he had just 30 touchdown passes over that same span, and Chiefs coach Andy Reid wants to make sure Smith’s not too quick to give up on potential big plays, especially in practice.

“You want to get a feel for the offense now, particularly when you’re new at it [and] if there are close throws, challenge it, see what you can get away with,” Reid said, via Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star. “If it ends up being an interception, OK, it’s an interception. You learn from it. These are smart guys so they learn from it and once they get into the season, they’re not experimenting with it on game day and they know what they can get away with and know what they can’t.

“It’s a new offense. I would tell any quarterback that comes in new that that’s what you need to do. I’ve told them all that. Go ahead and take your shots and see what you can get away with, within reason. But if it’s a close throw, there are going to be a few of those in the National Football League on game day so you need to know what you can get away with on each route.”

There have been some deep balls thrown in recent Chiefs OTAs, and while Smith’s not going to turn into Daryle Lamonica in one offseason, he’s willing to see where this goes.

“You want to stay aggressive,” Smith said. “But in the end I’m always trying to make the right read and throw where the defense is telling me to throw. You don’t come out here and predetermine anything, like ‘Oh, I’m going to chuck it deep on this play.’ I’m constantly trying to just trust my eyes and what I’m seeing out there, trust my reads and what I’ve prepared for and then come out here and throw good balls.”

Reid’s smart enough to know what he has to work with here. He just has to be careful he doesn’t push too hard to turn Smith into something he’s not.

Chiefs quarterbacks turned the ball over 27 times last year, so merely competent play will make a huge difference. And they have sufficient help on offense that Smith’s smart, spread-it-around style can help them win more games just by being efficient.

But if he starts doing things he’s not comfortable with or able to do, they run the risk of not being that much better.

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43 Responses to “Andy Reid wants Alex Smith to let it rip in practice”
  1. unbiasfan says: Jun 6, 2013 1:23 PM

    Alex Smith is the definition of mediocre

  2. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 6, 2013 1:28 PM

    To that end, they’ve given Alex a baseball to use in practice instead of a football. It’s so much easier to nail those deep throws with.

  3. marvin49 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:32 PM

    As a 49er fan all i can say is “good luck with that”. Thats been Alex Smiths MO since college. Urban Meyer once described him as “non-functional” until he completely understands an offense. He has to KNOW 100% that its the right decision before he’ll make it. If its grey, he won’t do it. Harbaughs system made decisions clearer and thats one of the reasons Smith succeeded. Asking Smith to make more chances tho…yeah….good luck with that.

  4. dontrunfromme says: Jun 6, 2013 1:37 PM

    Alex Smith = Captain Checkdown= game manager= Trent Dilfer
    Please don’t mention the mad bomber in a chief article

  5. asimonetti88 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:39 PM

    I hate to tell Reid, but Smith simply does not have the arm strength to make the big throws. He is a limited QB in that sense. He will not turn the ball over a whole lot, and will improve the Chiefs, but if they are expecting him to make big throws they will be left wanting. I wish Smith well in Kansas City though.

  6. nfloracle says: Jun 6, 2013 1:47 PM

    “‘Oh, I’m going to chuck it deep on this play.”

    It was this kind of thinking without defense reading that has Tebow on the unemployed roster.

  7. deathonwings410 says: Jun 6, 2013 1:56 PM

    He showed that he can put up big numbers, e.g. 2012 playoffs against the Saints.

  8. nineroutsider says: Jun 6, 2013 2:17 PM

    “I hate to tell Reid, but Smith simply does not have the arm strength to make the big throws.”

    Wrong, his problem concerns accuracy much more than arm strength. He actually throws a decent deep ball, but he struggles hitting the 10-20 yard routes. For whatever reason, he isn’t very accurate on those mid-range throws.

    Alex will do fine in KC. He’s going to be his own guy and not let the coaches force him into playing a style he can’t play. Play defense and run the ball; Alex will make enough throws to win games for them. Reid can’t fall in love with the pass though as Alex needs a strong running game. Who better than Charles to provide it. Don’t forget to run the ball Andy…

  9. rlm1241 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:22 PM

    Referencing Lamonica in a Chefs post? Awesome!

  10. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jun 6, 2013 2:33 PM

    Having watched every single snap of Alex Smith’s professional career…I can say unequivocally that Andy Reid traded for a quarterback who DOES NOT KNOW HOW to “let it rip.”

    He will “take what the defense gives him every time” and play it conservatively which is why Dwayne Bowe will be screaming at Smith privately until it becomes not so private in say, week 6.

    I don’t think Smith will hold onto his starting job with a mediocre arm and a suspect Chief’s O-Line

  11. jrebar88 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:47 PM

    Another division championship for the Broncos. Another last place finish for the chiefs. Some things just never change.

  12. afcdomination says: Jun 6, 2013 2:58 PM

    -thereisfootballwestofjersey says
    “which is why Dwayne bowe will be screaming at smith privately until it becomes not so private in say, week 6″

    really? can you please provide some quotes that prove this to have any truth to it? I mean really, did bowe throw huard or croyle under the bus? did bowe complain last season with brady Quinn and matt cassel?

    sorry, but Dwayne bowe wont be going public with any concerns about targets. this is one of the many reasons KC felt comfortable paying him. his diva reputation is overblown

  13. cali49er707 says: Jun 6, 2013 2:58 PM

    As a 9er fan who watched every Alex Smith snap he took as a 9er, I will just say good luck Andy. Alex frustrated the $h!+ out of me during games for holding onto the ball too long & seemingly playing scared. Maybe it was from Nolan/Singletary days when he was pulled for making mistakes but he just seems to be afraid of the what if.He thinks too much out there. He needs to just trust what he’s seeing out there &just play.

  14. nightofthehipple says: Jun 6, 2013 2:59 PM

    A fresh start for Alex Smith and. Andy Reid…two talented high character fellows. I love it! I smell a wild card birth.

  15. neilanblomi says: Jun 6, 2013 2:59 PM

    Guys try reading the title. He wants him to let it rip in practice. That means he wants him to just throw the patterns without worries right now IN PRACTICE. He just wants him to get familiar with all the routes and throws in the system Andy Runs, without fear of error because its PRACTICE.

  16. kdgwolfpack says: Jun 6, 2013 3:00 PM

    I like how nervious the possiblity of Smith having a good season makes all the 49er fans, and I don’t blame them. They have to be a little scarred after Kaepernick choked in the Superbowl. Clearly after only a few starts you have no idea if you have a franchise QB or not. You don’t even know if it is an upgrade, the Chiefs for sure know that much. Having the Chiefs make the playoffs and the 49er miss it this year (which is a good possiblity considering the compition each face) would make this about the greatest trade in history, for the Chiefs anyway.

    49er fans will for sure have one eye on Smith and the Chiefs this year and for years to come. What they will see is a QB putting up better numbers then their own. Sorry guys, no take backs.

  17. kdgwolfpack says: Jun 6, 2013 3:04 PM

    “I don’t think Smith will hold onto his starting job with a mediocre arm and a suspect Chief’s O-Line.”

    Clearly no idea what you are talking about. Maybe the best O-Line in the league. If Smith loses his job it will not be this year or even next.

  18. hedleykow says: Jun 6, 2013 3:12 PM

    I wonder if Reid also gave Bowe the green light to not drop passes thrown his way, since it’s only practice.

  19. ninerfan81 says: Jun 6, 2013 3:13 PM

    Smith is timid going down the field. If the All Pro back goes for 1500+ then you’ll see him go down field off play action because there will be one on one coverage on 2nd or 3rd and short on the outsides but don’t count on him testing the defense in Nickel situations. People think I pile on Alex because he’s out of town now, I do not, I never threw him under the bus. I’ve always liked him but he drives you crazy because he does not look for the big play. It’s paramount that KC runs the ball well to keep him out of long down situations. Andy’s best bet is to bring him in slow and get his confidence up and comfy in the offense before encouraging him to test the back end.

  20. 49erstim says: Jun 6, 2013 3:19 PM

    First off….QBs don’t “let it rip” in practice anymore because the media keeps score now. Headline would read “Smith throws 4 Ints in practice…season on brink of disaster!” lol

    Secondly… If Andy brought Alex in expecting a gun-slinger mentality then I must question his football IQ…which Alex Smith has he been watching all these years? Listen, I’m a big Alex Smith supporter, but he has never been that guy and always states unequivocally that he is NOT that guy. You bring him in for efficiency. Andy, you landed a 20-25 throwing and 250 yard per game guy. That’s who Alex is. KC has the weapons necessary to be effective with that guy and a solid enough defense that you’ll stay in games IF you understand your own roster.

  21. jwil007 says: Jun 6, 2013 3:20 PM

    Im hoping Dalton will be more like Brees than Smith…Right now he is panning to be more like Smith….I hope not. eery comparison though….

  22. Iknoweverything says: Jun 6, 2013 3:20 PM

    So many expert scouts and coaches on here. Its really hilarious to read some of the posts from these people who have “watched every snap” and those that are Mel Kiper impersonators.

    To think that all of these people know more about QBs than Andy Reid is just too damn funny. How come Andy is a head coach in the pros and all of these knuckleheads is not?

  23. tombradyswig says: Jun 6, 2013 3:39 PM

    have you seen his noodle arm Andy!??!?!
    If letting it RIP is a 5-10 yd pass, so be it!

  24. MichaelWrites says: Jun 6, 2013 3:50 PM

    When you consider what Andy Reid did with Feeley and then with Kolb, he oughta be awesome with Alex Smith.

  25. mancave001 says: Jun 6, 2013 3:53 PM

    Smith just better hope that Andy Reid doesn’t decide to “let it rip.” You thought the tornadoes were bad before?

  26. ponderthedumpoffking says: Jun 6, 2013 4:01 PM

    unbiasfan says:
    Jun 6, 2013 1:23 PM
    Alex Smith is the definition of mediocre.

    —-

    True enough. Imagine if The Vikings could draft someone of that caliber.

  27. granadafan says: Jun 6, 2013 4:06 PM

    I’m still angry at my Niners for taking Alex Smith over local star, Aaron Rodgers who had incredible accuracy (tied NCAA record for consecutive completions against eventual champion U$C on the road) and a very strong arm. He ran a pro offense compared to a gimmick offense that Smith ran out of the shotgun under Urbane Meyer. The media driven complaints that Rodgers had mechanics was absurd. He held the ball high on the shelf. That’s all. It gave him a very quick and accurate release.

    Best of luck with Smith, Chiefs.

  28. aiiyiiyiii says: Jun 6, 2013 4:07 PM

    I like how nervious the possiblity of Smith having a good season makes all the 49er fans, and I don’t blame them. They have to be a little scarred after Kaepernick choked in the Superbowl. Clearly after only a few starts you have no idea if you have a franchise QB or not.

    You may have no idea, but it didn’t take Jim Harbaugh that long to figure it out. BTW, please understand that most 49er fans are pulling for Alex in KC. He’s a quality dude and besides, we need the Chefs to win 8 games to upgrade our 2014 pick to your 2nd rounder. Scared he’s going to show up Kap? Ha ha. I don’t think so.

  29. unlimidead says: Jun 6, 2013 4:09 PM

    “Having the Chiefs make the playoffs and the 49er miss it this year (which is a good possiblity considering the compition each face) would make this about the greatest trade in history, for the Chiefs anyway.”

    Hail to the Chief! Did someone forget about the great Joe Montana and what happened when he joined the K.C. roster? ;)

  30. wolff111 says: Jun 6, 2013 4:29 PM

    Kaep is going to show him who is the boss in week 2 pre-season. KC fans better not watch!

  31. nflcommissioner says: Jun 6, 2013 4:46 PM

    Reid must be talking about gas because that’s the only ripping I see Alex Smith accomplishing.

  32. seaeagle707 says: Jun 6, 2013 4:52 PM

    You make your mistakes in practice, so that hopefully you won’t make as many during the season. I like Andy’s philosophy here. Just get out there and go for it. If you make a mistake, so what? Move on to the next rep. Try the risky things until the stigma of risk fades. Doesn’t cost him anything to try and hopefully a better QB, comes out of it.

    Funny how all the Niners’ fans who used to hail Alex, as being “the” man under center, are now ripping him to the point of comparing him to Tebow. Only one of your positions could be the truth. So were you lying then, or are you lying now?

  33. 49erstim says: Jun 6, 2013 5:28 PM

    @seaeagle…. There have ALWAYS been those fans of SF who hated Alex and they trashed him while he was a member of this team. Go back and read articles from exactly one year ago. They were BLASTING him. Its a little unfair to suggest this is recent and only because he is no longer with the team. I always was and always will be an Alex Smith fan. Good guy, good in the community and locker room. Never a distraction.

  34. hurricanegrabowski says: Jun 6, 2013 5:38 PM

    And the winner of the most unintentionally hilarious headline goes to…

    Seriously “let it rip” and Andy Reid should never be in the same sentence. Ever.

  35. woodsidegil says: Jun 6, 2013 5:39 PM

    seaeagle707. Your continual pokes at the Niners are humorous. Please tell us what
    your boasting about the seasquawks is based upon…..waiting, waiting. Is it because you PLAYED in one Super Bowl when Jim Thorpe was a quarterback or all of your other accomplishments? You can actually begin busting your buttons when you actually do something besides come in 2nd.

  36. slick50ks says: Jun 6, 2013 5:40 PM

    Alex is a game manager who will have a better running game and receivers than he had in Frisco, but not near the defense.

    It’s enough to win more games, but I doubt if it’s enough to make much noise when it matters most.

    Regardless, the price was too high, period.

  37. asimonetti88 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:35 PM

    kdgwolfpack says:Jun 6, 2013 3:00 PM

    They have to be a little scarred after Kaepernick choked in the Superbowl.
    ———————————————————-

    Colin played well in the Super Bowl. 16/28 for 302 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 7 rushes, 62 yards, 1 TD. He was not the 49ers problem. Who knows, maybe if there was some better play calling on the goal line, he could have been a Super Bowl Champion. I do not put the loss on him at all and am extremely excited about him playing quarterback for us this upcoming season.

  38. seaeagle707 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:15 PM

    woodsidegil- Your Whiners won a SB in what century? You’re right we haven’t won one yet. But we still have time to beat the Whiners in time from inception until first championship. Now if we’ve done nothing in ten years, then you’ve done less than nothing. We both lost at a SB, but we have 5 NFCWest flags, and you have 3. Way it goes, chump.

  39. raiderapologist says: Jun 6, 2013 9:38 PM

    Smith holds the ball like it was a newborn baby. He doesn’t have the confidence to make “close” throws.

  40. rainponcho87 says: Jun 7, 2013 12:17 AM

    seaeagle707

    I don’t think it matters all that much when your team won their superbowls. Fact is niners have 5, should have won last year (blatant holding on the kickoff return for a TD). I also think the Seahawks were totally jobbed out of a SB win by the refs.

    I think people are just pointing out that the Seahawks don’t have much winning history because the Seahawk fans on this site and others are acting like the Seahawks are the greatest franchise in all of sports. Just trying to give you a little perspective. Your team is great and I think you will have a good season. How it all plays out nobody knows. But even if you win it all, you still have 4 more to win before you equal what the 49ers have done. Also, I am pretty sure the Seattle players don’t know what the hell a seahawk is and wish the uniforms didn’t have lime green on them.

  41. joetoronto says: Jun 7, 2013 4:41 AM

    Alex Smith is Jason Campbell, good luck “letting it rip.”

  42. jimmyjames65 says: Jun 7, 2013 7:14 AM

    With the right personnel, Andy Reid’s offenses run the screen as good as any. When executed properly, it’s hard to stop. A chain mover.

  43. 4ever9er says: Jun 11, 2013 4:40 AM

    @asimonetti88 says: Jun 6, 2013 6:35 PM

    Colin played well in the Super Bowl. 16/28 for 302 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 7 rushes, 62 yards, 1 TD.
    He was not the 49ers problem. Who knows, maybe if there was some better play calling on the goal line, he could have been a Super Bowl Champion.

    Here are 3 mistakes CK7 made during the last 4 plays in the SB that was costly. (while he didn’t go into detal he did say that he made several mistakes)

    1. 2nd down from the 7, play called is Sprint Right Option, he had a minimum of 4 yards in front of him and he decided to throw to Crabtree (which should have PI but that’s for another time.

    2. 3rd down from the 7, play called QB sweep left, he took to long getting out of the huddle and then took to long to get ball snapped, so Harbaugh called time-out to prevent delay of game.

    3. 3rd down after the time out, play called pass right, Ravens blitzed and he didn’t throw to the hot receiver which was D. Walker, he instead threw to Crabtree (Walker was at the Goalline wide open before he threw it to Crabtree)
    But those are little mistakes that I’m sure Kap will correct. But enough about the play calling, the calls were good they just weren’t executed.

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