(Clark Hunt photos courtesy of Kansas City Chiefs)
Talk of Fame Network
The Kansas City Chiefs are a trendy pick to win the AFC West, but if there's a knock on the team its with its quarterback, Alex Smith.
Critics charge that he doesn’t take enough chances; that he doesn’t throw the ball downfield and that he too often manages a game rather than take charge of it. Maybe, but in the three years that Smith has been quarterback of the Chiefs they're 32-17, with two playoff appearances.
That’s not only good enough for Chiefs fans; it's good enough for their owner and CEO, Clark Hunt, who said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast that Smith is the right guy to lead Kansas City to its third Super Bowl.
"We have a lot of confidence in Alex," Hunt said. "In a lot of ways, he's the perfect quarterback for an Andy Reid offense -- (with) his skill-set, both in throwing the ball and running the ball, but probably, most importantly, in his intelligence.
"Andy likes to throw a lot at his quarterbacks, and Alex is just one of those very bright guys who's able to absorb it all, go out on the field and execute it. And with Alex we think we have a quarterback we think who could lead us not only back to the AFC championship game but, hopefully, the Super Bowl."
Hunt shares the same belief in his head coach, Andy Reid, whom he hired after Reid was fired by Philadelphia in 2013. In three years with the Chiefs, Reid is 32-17, with two playoff appearances – the same resume as the quarterback, Alex Smith, that Reid and GM John Dorsey imported from San Francisco. And his success was immediate -- with Reid winning his first nine games.
Reid's success -- then and now -- is no surprise to Hunt. He said he knew what he was gaining the moment the Chiefs interviewed their next head coach.
"We were coming off a couple of very, very difficult years in 2011 and 2012," Hunt said. "However, we had a team that I felt had some pretty talented players. In fact, in 2012, with a 2-14 record, we had six guys who made it to the Pro Bowl. So it was not a team that lacked talent.
"But we needed a mature coach -- a coach who had been there; a coach who could gain the respect of the players. And we were just very, very fortunate that Andy became available that particular offseason.
"I certainly jumped on him as soon as I could, in terms of getting an interview with him, and we just found that there was tremendous chemistry between him, myself and Mark Donovan who was the president of the club. We were able to get him on board about a wee later, and he's done a tremendous job in the three-plus years he's been with us."