NFL Wire News

Chiefs QB Smith working hard on footwork


The Sports Xchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Footwork has been on the mind of quarterback Alex Smith as he has gone through the Kansas City Chiefs’ offseason program.

Smith has been concentrating on being more consistent in his throwing mechanics. Even going into his 10th NFL season, the fundamentals remain a work in progress.

“Footwork is something that never goes away; you are constantly trying to get better with your feet,” Smith said. “For me, it’s about working to be more consistent whether under center or in the (shot) gun. It’s something than when looking at the tape from last year, I was all over the place.

“It’s (footwork) really so important to quarterbacks. It’s the foundation of throwing and I’m working to get to a point where I’m consistent with that. I think with that you are more balanced and over the long haul you are going to complete more balls and throw better balls. I’m trying to be as efficient as I can.”

In nine seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Chiefs, Smith has completed 60.4 percent of his throws, but in his last 41 games he has improved to 66.7 percent. Last season, he turned in one of the most successful passing seasons of his career, completing 65.3 percent of his attempts.

Head coach Andy Reid and his offensive coaching staff are hoping that more consistent footwork will help Smith feel more confident throwing the ball farther down the field. Only 24 of his 464 attempts last season traveled more than 20-plus yards in the air. He completed just eight of those throws.

“Working with coach Nags (quarterback coach Mike Nagy) and Doug (Pederson, offensive coordinator) and really looking at my throwing motion here and there and it did change at times,” Smith said. “There are times when that’s called for; you are out there playing football and you’ve got to be able to change your arm angle and do different things.

“This is the time of year where I can work at that and get better.”

Improved consistency and accuracy will certainly help the Chiefs’ passing game, especially with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin on the field. Smith has spent a lot of time with his new receiver since Maclin signed as a free agent and he’s impressed.

“He does it all,” Smith said of Maclin. “You can’t pigeon-hole him in any one facet of the receiver game. You can move him inside, you can move him outside. He can do all of those things really well. He’s really smart. He sees the defense and understands what we are doing. He knows what we are trying to get.”

About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business