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Alex Smith was Mr. Irrelevant of Pro Bowl draft

Alex Smith ChiefsAlex Smith has now experienced being on both ends of the spectrum for a draft.

The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft was the “Mr. Irrelevant” of the least relevant draft in football. Yes, Smith went last in the Pro Bowl draft, which was shown on NFL Network from Hawaii on Wednesday.

Smith went to Jerry Rice’s team, but what’s funny is that he wasn’t even picked. Players often went in pairs based on position so that the teams would be equally matched in those terms. Deion Sanders had the option of Nick Foles and Smith for his final pick, and he chose the Philadelphia Eagles QB. That meant Smith went to Rice’s team.

“It was new for me sitting in that green room that long,” Smith told NFL Network’s Chris Rose.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, these great players actually were offended if they weren’t taken in the fantasy draft. Sure, these guys have egos and pride, but the game is meaningless. Smith still admitted to Rose that he did feel somewhat chapped about being the last guy picked.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Smith said when asked if he was chapped.

I’ve been a well known Alex Smith detractor for years, so you know I think his spot as the last player picked was well deserved.

Andy Reid wanted to trade for Alex Smith while in Philadelphia

Alex SmithWhen Andy Reid talks about how highly he thinks of Alex Smith, he’s not just blowing smoke. He really means it.

The Kansas City Chiefs traded a second-round pick in this year’s draft and a third-round pick in the 2014 draft to the San Francisco 49ers to acquire Smith earlier this offseason. It sounds like that was a dream fulfilled for Reid. The former longtime Philadelphia Eagles head coach liked Smith so much that he tried trading for the quarterback while he was with Philly.

The Kansas City Star reported last week that Reid has “long coveted” Smith and that he called the Niners to inquire about trading for the quarterback. The New York Times said on Saturday that Reid acknowledged he tried to trade for Smith while he was with the Eagles.

“I just appreciate him and his work ethic and the way he goes about business,” Reid said during the week, via The Star. “He’s very diligent, and he gives his receivers an opportunity to catch the football. When he’s doing that and when we’re controlling the line of scrimmage with the different blocks we’re putting in, whether it’s pass protection or changing runs for the run game, he’s capable of that. So he does a nice job there.”

Smith frequently competed for the starting job in San Francisco and was supplanted by Colin Kaepernick last year. Maybe Reid was trying to pull Smith away while the former No. 1 overall pick was on the bench. Or maybe he just thought so highly of Smith that he wanted the quarterback regardless of the situation. We do know one thing — Reid isn’t the only one in KC who is high on Smith; last week, Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said he felt Smith was the best quarterback in the league. KC is definitely putting a lot of stock into Smith. I just don’t see him being the big-time player they envision, though it won’t be because of a lack of confidence instilled in him by the organization.

Helmet smack to Around the League

Kansas City Chiefs OC Doug Pederson: Alex Smith is best quarterback in league

Alex-Smith-ChiefsThe Kansas City Chiefs are excited to have Alex Smith running their offense after some rough seasons with Matt Cassel under center. The Chiefs signed Cassel to a $63 million contract after he filled in admirably for an injured Tom Brady in New England, and things never really worked out. Smith has more potential at this point, but let’s not get carried away. That means you, Doug Pederson.

Pederson, who is the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, had high praise for Smith when discussing his new signal-caller on Wednesday.

“Ultimately, every team has to have a quarterback,” Pederson said, via the Kansas City Star. “I think we have the best in the league.”

Smith was off to a great start last season with the San Francisco 49ers before he suffered a concussion and was replaced by Colin Kaepernick. That being said, the Niners had a fantastic defense and running game. Jim Harbaugh also figured out exactly how to use Smith to get the most out of him. Will the Chiefs have the same luxury?

“There are a lot of great ones, but over time Alex has proven he can get it done,” Pederson said. He’s a sharp guy, he brings a wealth of knowledge, he’s experienced, he’s a proven winner the last couple of years, and he needs a team to embrace him.”

Again, Smith proved he can get it done with arguably the best defense in the NFL offsetting his flaws. He may have to score more points and do more with less in Kansas City, which will be no easy task. Is Smith an upgrade over Cassel? I’d certainly hope so, but calling him the best — of even one of the best — quarterbacks in the league is a bit crazy.

49ers reportedly will try to trade Alex Smith before releasing him

alex smithAlex Smith has been a good teammate despite being demoted this season, so the 49ers reportedly will try to treat him well in return.

Smith had a good season for San Francisco before being replaced as the team’s starting quarterback after being concussed during a Week 10 tie against St. Louis. Colin Kaepernick replaced him, led the team to the Super Bowl, and has clearly emerged as the team’s franchise quarterback.

San Francisco is planning to part ways with Smith in the offseason. The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reported on Monday that the most likely scenario is Smith and his agent giving the 49ers a list of teams where he would prefer to be traded. The 49ers would likely seek a 2013 draft pick and potential 2014 conditional draft pick in return.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the Niners would try trading Smith first and that they would release him out of respect if they are unable to find a suitable trade. Rapoport says Smith’s agent has a good relationship with the team, and that the franchise believes Smith deserves the right to be treated properly.

Rapoport mentions the Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and possibly the Philadelphia Eagles as potential trade destinations for Smith.

Though Smith has played well the past two seasons, I don’t envision the former No. 1 overall pick as a long-term solution at quarterback for any team. He played his best with Jim Harbaugh as his coach and when he was supported by a stellar defense. We’ll see how he performs in a different situation. I’m not expecting much.

Aaron Rodgers: Alex Smith deserves to go somewhere he’s appreciated

After watching the San Francisco 49ers win their biggest game of the season on the road against the New England Patriots Sunday night, Jim Harbuagh probably feels a little better about his decision to go with Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith. Kaepernick threw some perfect deep balls and helped hold off New England’s improbable comeback, proving the Niners are a legitimate Super Bowl contender with him taking the snaps.

Smith was one of the most efficient passers in the NFL prior to his concussion, but that means very little now that he is stuck holding a clip board. Aaron Rodgers, one of Smith’s good friends, feels Alex is under-appreciated in San Francisco.

“Alex and I are buddies, we both got drafted in 2005 NFL Draft, and he’s been through a lot,” Rodgers told NFL Networks Andrew Siciliano, via Around the League. “I can’t imagine to have to go through that many offensive coordinators and the turnover in coaches has been tough for him.

“He comes in, he’s 70 percent completion, he’s 100-plus quarterback rating last year, he’s like barely over one percent interception percentage,” Rodgers went on. “He’s a great quarterback, he just needs to go somewhere he gets appreciated for the skills he has and hopefully he gets a chance next year.”

It’s tough not to feel badly for Smith. He overcame being labeled a draft bust to lead the Niners to a 19-5 regular season record over the past two years and an appearance in the NFC Championship game last season. Before his head injury in Week 10, Smith had completed 70% of his passes and compiled a passer rating of 104.1.

Such is life in the NFL. The problem with going to another team is I’m not convinced Smith is a great quarterback. The 49ers have arguably the best defense in the NFL, and it’s likely Harbaugh found a way to squeeze just enough out of Smith to win games with the help of a tremendous defense. Whether or not he can enjoy similar success with another team remains to be seen.

Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Alex Smith on being replaced as starting quarterback ‘It sucks’

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith spoke to the media on Thursday for the first time since coach Jim Harbaugh named Colin Kaepernick the team’s starting quarterback, and reports say he was full of disappointment.

“I mean, it sucks,” Smith said, via CSN Bay Area. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Smith was knocked out of San Francisco’s Week 10 game against the St. Louis Rams with a concussion. Kaepernick, a second-year player, replaced him that game and then beat the Chicago Bears the next week. Kaepernick kept the starting job even after Smith was cleared to return from his concussion.

The former second-round pick from Nevada led San Francisco to a Week 12 against the Saints, and Harbaugh officially named him the team’s starter.

Smith is discouraged that the concussion, not his play, cost him the job.

“Well, I mean, I don’t think talk is the place to do it. You state your case with your play, and I felt I did that. I feel like the only thing I did to lose my job was get a concussion.”

Though the concussion led to him being stripped of his starting role, Smith does not regret being truthful to the team doctors about his concussion.

“I think it’s a good thing that more and more is coming out about it (concussions). I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”

Smith had been playing well prior to his concussion, but the truth is Kaepernick is a better quarterback. He is faster, bigger, stronger, has a better arm, and is more dangerous on the field. But Smith shouldn’t be too down; the 49ers may need him again at some point over the next few months.

Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Vernon Davis still believes Alex Smith will be Niners starting quarterback

Alex Smith watched from the sidelines on Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers defeated the New Orleans Saints on the road in one of the NFL’s toughest environments. It was only Colin Kaepernick’s second career NFL start, and he turned it into his second straight victory over a quality opponent after playing lights out in a win over the Chicago Bears last Monday.

You would think that Kaepernick’s quarterback rating of 111.9 over the past two weeks would be enough to keep his job, but Vernon Davis doesn’t necessarily agree. After praising Kaepernick last week and saying he felt like the “handcuffs” were taken off of him during the win over the Bears, Davis now says he believes Smith will return to the starting lineup once he’s fully healthy.

“It’s difficult, but I think Alex is still the man,” Davis told reporters on Sunday according to Around the League. “In my heart I strongly believe that and you’ll know next week. I’m sure Harbaugh will make a nice decision who he wants to go with but right now we have two outstanding playmakers.

“I’m sure Alex is still our guy.”

Some say it makes no sense to bench Kaepernick given the way he has been playing, but Smith was playing equally well prior to his concussion. The Niners have run the ball effectively all season and have arguably the best defense in the NFL. The system they have in place is designed for a quarterback to succeed, so I’m not sure there is much of a difference between Kaepernick and Smith at the moment.

As for Davis, we have no way of knowing which quarterback he truly wants to see under center. What we do know is he gushed about Kaepernick after his season-high eight catches against Chicago but was held without a catch against the Saints. Perhaps that’s why he already misses his old buddy.

Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE