Alex Smith gives Washington a viable option at quarterback

Getty Images

Weeks of bad press for the Washington franchise became overshadowed by Friday night’s news that quarterback Alex Smith has been cleared to resume any and all football activities. Beyond his heroic journey being immediately worthy of big-screen treatment is the question of whether Smith can win the starting job in Washington.

Smith knows a thing or two about adjusting to a different offense; he’s done it many times since entering the NFL as the first pick in the 2005 draft. (In 2006, Smith’s offensive coordinator was Norv Turner, the father of Washington’s new offensive coordinator, Scott Turner.) And Smith served as the starter for a supposedly rebuilding San Francisco team during the lockout year of 2011. That rebuilding team came within a muffed punt or two of building a bridge to the Super Bowl.

Three years ago, Smith led the league in passer rating, with 4,042 yards, 26 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He hasn’t had more than eight interceptions in any season since 2010.

From 2011 through 2018, his record as a starter (wins aren’t a quarterback stat, but good quarterbacks who are also good leaders undoubtedly influence a team’s ability to win) is 75-35-1.

Second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins has the draft pedigree and the potential. But in a year with so much chaos and turmoil, Smith’s ability to thrive in unusual circumstances and to overcome so much adversity could give the 36-year-old a chance to finish his comeback with something much more significant than receiving medical clearance to play after suffering a gruesomely broken leg that became so badly infected that he nearly died.

18 responses to “Alex Smith gives Washington a viable option at quarterback

  1. Well if Smith is really healthy he’s winning the job and its the best thing for Washington.

  2. In the season he got hurt, Smith was not playing well. Now a season and a half, plus a devastating injury, later the likelihood of him playing at anything near his peak level is very low. In addition to that, the team should not put him on the field–it’s just not worth the risk.

    The team invested in Haskins so they need to find out this season what they’ve got in him. Haskins has some positives and he needs the opportunity to prove himself. If he can’t cut it, draft his replacement next year.

    The worst choice for the team would be to start Smith. He’s the past, not the future.

  3. Smith is 35 years old, had the devastating leg injury, and mobility is a big part of his game. It must be a big cap hit to cut him, but its really time for both parties to move forward with their lives.

  4. The skins d line has a chance to be one of the better units in football. If the offense can limit the turnovers and get the running game going this teak can stack some wins.

  5. I don’t understand all the irrational disdain of Haskins. He has a total of 6 starts under his belt, and spent most of his time playing for a Coach (Jon Gruden) who has an aversion to “Athletic” Quarterbacks. The Washington Football Team is not going anywhere this season – give the new guy a chance. Alex Smith has been paid handsomely and will be alright.

  6. If Rivera is worth a lick as a HC (which I believe he is) he’ll stick with Haskins and either trade Smith to someone willing or keep him as an expensive back up. You don’t hedge your bets on a guy who hasn’t played in almost 2 years, is 36, and coming off of a SEVERELY broken leg and post surgery infection which quite literally almost killed him. All due respect to Smith and what he and his family have gone through during his road to recovery but Dwayne Haskins should be the starter for them this season. He got progressively better as he played more games and if Rivera attunes his offensive playbook to more of what Haskins had as OSU then he can dominate.

  7. there is still 90% chance that Alex Smith will never play in the NFL again. Just because he was cleared to practice doesn’t mean he can play mentally or physically.

    There is zero chance he will even get a shot to start with both Haskins and Allen in front of him. With a new system and a new coach it would be extremely dumb to start Smith, who even if healthy is nothing more than an average stop gap, when you have a young QB on the roster that you need to test. This is especially true considering Washington will again have a high pick next year since their roster is a mess.

  8. Great news about Alex Smith. Being cleared to play football means he is at least pretty healthy. Terrific outcome for someone who nearly lost a leg. And then nearly died.
    Not sure if he can play at the needed level. I guess we will see. But, WELCOME BACK.

  9. “there is still 90% chance that Alex Smith will never play in the NFL again.”


    I think that he has a 67.44% chance of playing again.

  10. Alex 75-35-1? Three years ago led the league in passer rating and had over 4,000 yards? Gonna be tough.

    Colin last season, 1-10 (four years ago) and averaged 177ypg for his entire career? Must be collusion.

    Glad to see an article about a QB trying to come back who isn’t named Colin Kaepernick. Especially since he’s actually trying to…. you know…. come back.

  11. He’s not played in 2 years,a nd isn’t the future of the club.
    Find out what Haskins has, if he shows no promise, then move on and draft a QB.
    The worst thing to do is waste years waiting to find out.

  12. Viable?

    He NEVER brought the team from behind as a Redskins’ QB. Never.

    He only beat teams with a losing record as a Redskins’ QB.

    He could not beat teams with a winning record as a Redskins’ QB.

    His viability is somewhere between death and life support.

  13. Alex, walk away from the game literally while you still can, i know your competitive fire still burns to play but you were lucky to already play for many years in this league and that injury you suffered almost killed you.
    Enjoy the rest of your life with your beautiful wife and kids, football is a vicious sport.

  14. For his own well-being and that of his family I hope Alex Smith never plays another game. The risk is just too great and in the end not worth it. I know he’s a professional athlete and competitive and all that but seriously, it’s time to walk away while he still can. Not worth losing a leg for.

  15. If healthy Smith is the best QB the Redskins have and at minimum would be a solid player to trade. They might only get a 6th or 7th pick, but he knows the Bears offense and would be a serious upgrade over what they have currently.

  16. That dude has stones of solid granite. If I was that age coming off a horrific injury, I’d be scared to step on a football field, much less actually play football.

  17. As a Seahawks fan I have always enjoyed Alex Smith from when he had awful coaches and support. The guy deserves a lot more credit than he gets considering he isn’t an elite talent (Yes I know he was the #1 pick) and produced a lot of high quality games that end with the W. If the Redskins want to win this season, they may want to see Alex Smith (assuming he is still himself… which is a big asumption) under center. Knowing the Redskins though, they will do the dumbest possible thing, so GL Alex.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.