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Let's All Get Behind Alex Smith! Or Not!! (M.E.T.) NO kirk talk---that goes in ATN forum

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8 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:


Forgive me if I'm not buying into the "Alex is a gunslinger who'll throw it into tight windows, unlike Kirk" narrative.  

 

 

I like Alex.  But I agree with this -- Alex being the gunslinger and being all things that Kirk isn't I think is a bit crazy.  Geez, Football Outsiders literally coined the term "Alex" to describe QBs who love to check down.   Andy Benoit was going on how Alex's conservative tendencies will make Jay pull his hair out -- compared to Kirk who he thinks is the much more aggressive player.  

 

I've said on this thread multiple times I think Alex is a good QB and I like that he can extend plays with his legs and I even don't have a beef with any who think he is better than Kirk -- but the idea that this dude is some gunslinger or even just aggressive and MR. clutch -- are going against the typical description.   I am with the PFF guy, is the 2018 Alex the 2017 version of himself or is he the guy from previous years before that?  I really don't have a strong opinion on that one way or another.  I got to see it play out.   

 

I gather some of the people who recall me being in the tank for Kirk might think i am not on board with Alex so any criticism is colored by that -- but not at all -- for me I am 100% on board with Alex.  He's a great guy, tough to not to root for him.  I don't like the trade but he isn't the one that made the trade so I am not taking it out on the player.  I've tried to digest all I can about Alex and thus far I don't get the vibe that he's just going to come here and tear up the league this season -- but I think he's a good-efficient QB.  I am more in the camp that Kirk is the better QB but I do think Alex will be close enough to the production we got from Kirk -- that's why for me its all about the supporting cast.  If Guice emerges and Reed stays healthy -- I think he has a big year.  

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Skinsinparadise said:

I've said on this thread multiple times I think Alex is a good QB and I like that he can extend plays with his legs and I even don't have a beef with any who think he is better than Kirk -- but the idea that this dude is some gunslinger or even just aggressive and MR. clutch -- are going against the typical description.   I am with the PFF guy, is the 2018 Alex the 2017 version of himself or is he the guy from previous years before that?  I really don't have a strong opinion on that one way or another.  I got to see it play out.   

 

I just listened to that guy talking with Galdi, and he said how the 2017 version of Alex was much more "aggressive" and threw the deep ball more, and was more accurate when throwing it.  Which is all true.  What he did not point out, however, was the fact that last year, Smith was still the 2nd worst QB at throwing balls into tight windows.  Only 12.7% of his passes went to receivers with less than a yard of separation.  The reason he was more aggressive last year was because of the ridiculous separation that his receivers were getting.  This myth that Alex Smith is coming in as an upgraded take chances kind of QB has to stop.  He has not changed at all over the course of his career.  He takes care of the ball.  He doesn't throw interceptions.  The downside to that is that he also does not take chances.  Something that frustrated the hell out of Gruden with Kirk.  The man in my avatar picture is the guy we should be pinning our hopes on in terms of how well our offense does this year.  

 

Source for the 12.7% number:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000915500/article/dak-prescott-matthew-stafford-among-top-10-tightwindow-qbs

Edited by DJHJR86

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Well yeah, of course his percentage of tight throws is going to be lower because why would he choose tight throws when he has more wide open throws available. The team with the most open throws will always have fee tight throws.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

I just listened to that guy talking with Galdi, and he said how the 2017 version of Alex was much more "aggressive" and threw the deep ball more, and was more accurate when throwing it.  Which is all true.  What he did not point out, however, was the fact that last year, Smith was still the 2nd worst QB at throwing balls into tight windows.  Only 12.7% of his passes went to receivers with less than a yard of separation.  The reason he was more aggressive last year was because of the ridiculous separation that his receivers were getting.  This myth that Alex Smith is coming in as an upgraded take chances kind of QB has to stop.  He has not changed at all over the course of his career.  He takes care of the ball.  He doesn't throw interceptions.  The downside to that is that he also does not take chances.  Something that frustrated the hell out of Gruden with Kirk.  The man in my avatar picture is the guy we should be pinning our hopes on in terms of how well our offense does this year.  

 

Source for the 12.7% number:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000915500/article/dak-prescott-matthew-stafford-among-top-10-tightwindow-qbs

 

I posted an article a few day back earlier than even when Alex was hot earlier last season he was throwing more bubbles-passes that didn't travel far than most QBs.

 

I get the whole thing about Alex being conservative drill.  And its what I alluded to a few days ago and got labeled by one person as a hater for it.   I like Alex, I don't hate the dude and I hope he has a career year this season.  He's a Redskin and a great guy -- I've got this guys back 100% and to that point as I've said here many times if we go into this season thinking this dude is a gunslinger and will do all the things well that supposedly (to some of Kirk's detractors, me not among them) Kirk let us down on -- especially as to being more aggressive and super clutch -- I think people are going to end up disappointed.

 

Andy Benoit who was like a God like figure to Kirk critics years back ironically has taken the lead on the idea that from what he has seen film wise Kirk is much more likely to throw into tight windows that Alex has been -- he goes on to say that Alex is so unwillingly to pull the trigger in tight windows that he will end up driving Jay crazy.

 

I think where Alex will be fun to watch is what he adds to the run game - RPOs, RO.  And if people want to make the claim that he will give up less turnovers and that will end up helping -- I can go on that ride, that's certainly possible.  But Kirk's critics main mantra was often be more aggressive and clutch -- and like I've said from the moment Alex arrived here -- that's exactly the same criticisms that are leveled at Alex let alone he's supposed to be a big improvement on those counts.   

 

Personally, I think Alex is going to be fine and good.  But I admit I do cringe a little (on twitter in particular) when I read all this about how Alex has moxie, he's more aggressive, he's the red zone guy, etc, etc -- when all of the above would be punch lines for Alex's detractors.  Heck even some of Alex's media supporters from KC in their radio appearances have said he has something to prove on those counts. 

 

Alex certainly has his strengths but I think the gunslinger stuff is really barking up the wrong tree on that count. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Skinsinparadise

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18 minutes ago, MisterPinstripe said:

Well yeah, of course his percentage of tight throws is going to be lower because why would he choose tight throws when he has more wide open throws available. The team with the most open throws will always have fee tight throws.

 

He's not known to throw into tight windows.  He's been in the league since 2005.  There was a year where the KC offense went without a receiving TD to a receiver.  That's insane.  Not throwing 50/50 balls and into tight windows was something that Kirk got killed for (by Gruden) last year.  A huge reason why he had his best year statistically, was because of the separation his receivers were getting.  

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

He's not known to throw into tight windows.  He's been in the league since 2005.  There was a year where the KC offense went without a receiving TD to a receiver.  That's insane.  Not throwing 50/50 balls and into tight windows was something that Kirk got killed for (by Gruden) last year.  A huge reason why he had his best year statistically, was because of the separation his receivers were getting.  

You seem to be hung up on this seperation statistic as a positive for the receiving Corp and almost a negative for the quarterback but it can be argued that the quarterback has as much to do with seperation at release as the receiver. 

Maybe Alex smith is exceptional at recognizing and reacting immediately to seperation. 

Maybe his field vision is way above average. 

Statistics are so easy to manipulate in an arguments favor. 

Edited by redskinss

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9 minutes ago, redskinss said:

You seem to be hung up on this seperation statistic as a positive for the receiving Corp and almost a negative for the quarterback but it can be argued that the quarterback has as much to do with seperation at release as the receiver. 

Maybe Alex smith is exceptional at recognizing and reacting immediately to seperation. 

Maybe his field vision is way above average. 

Statistics are so easy to manipulate in an arguments favor. 

In fairness, have you missed the tweaked and manipulated statistics in favor of Alex Smith’s ability as a passer?  It’s been all over the place by Skins fans.  I get it, who doesn’t want to believe in it prior to bullets flying?  But I believe he’s mainly countering the narrative that Alex Smith was whipping the rock in tight windows all last season because Reid finally allowed him to.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, redskinss said:

You seem to be hung up on this seperation statistic as a positive for the receiving Corp and almost a negative for the quarterback but it can be argued that the quarterback has as much to do with seperation at release as the receiver. 

Maybe Alex smith is exceptional at recognizing and reacting immediately to seperation. 

 

It's not a negative for the QB.  I'm just saying that it's a reason (or more a mirage) as to why people seem to think Smith has changed as a player, and developed into a more aggressive QB.  When he really hasn't.  He still makes "safe" throws when guys are wide open.  

 

Edit:He did last year and 2016 and compared.  KC was ranked 1st both years.

 

Edited by DJHJR86
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I keep seeing gunslinger. Who thinks he's going to be a gunslinger? People are excited because he takes care of the ball, always goes to the playoffs, can make all of the throws. He wasn't a gunslinger last year either.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

He still makes "safe" throws when guys are wide open.  

That coupled with 4000 yards and 11 wins. 

I'll take it. 

I know what you're saying and I agree, he's no Brett farvre  nor will he ever be. 

Was last year an anomaly based off of the weapons he had or has he matured some as a passer and maybe willing to chuck the rock a little more. 

Who knows but one thing I know is we're  gonna find out. 

Edited by redskinss

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1 minute ago, redskinss said:

That coupled with 4000 yards and 11 wins. 

I'll take it. 

 

Honest question.  Do you think because we now have Alex Smith, that the team (regardless of how well the defense is compared to last year, same with running game) has a better chance to win double digit games than it did under Cousins?

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Just now, DJHJR86 said:

 

Honest question.  Do you think because we now have Alex Smith, that the team (regardless of how well the defense is compared to last year, same with running game) has a better chance to win double digit games than it did under Cousins?

No I don't think Alex smith would have won double digit games last year either. 

And I liked cousins. 

But I do think Alex smith has much more experience winning and that can't be understated. 

Some people just have a knack for leading and winning and so far Alex smith has shown he has it and cousins hasn't. 

That certainly could change I'm just excited to see what smith cab do for us is  all. 

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My heart got out to Alex Smith.  From all accounts a stand up guy and at least an OK QB.  History tells us he will leave this organization beaten, busted, and with shots at his character on the way out the door.  It's what we do. :(

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9 minutes ago, redskinss said:

No I don't think Alex smith would have won double digit games last year either. 

And I liked cousins. 

 

Fair enough.  I just don't like the "all he does is win" narrative being painted, being that he had the benefit of a run game and an actual decent and healthy defense.  

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Just now, DJHJR86 said:

he had the benefit of a run game and an actual decent and healthy defense.  

 

One could also argue this is why he was more conservative from 2015-2016. He had a stacked defense and didn't have to do as much to win. Last year, when KC's defense went south, he had to air it out a bit more and had his best statistical season.

 

I think we can all agree he's no Favre, but hopefully Jay can coach him into being more intelligently aggressive. Smith is a smart QB so I think he'll do well, provided the rest of our team can actually give him some support.

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Honestly my first reaction when I heard about the trade was anger. 

I said to the bartender "Andy Reid that son of a **** got us again "

But Alex smith is our quarterback so I'm gonna try to look at it positively until I don't have a reason to. 

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2 minutes ago, ExoDus84 said:

One could also argue this is why he was more conservative from 2015-2016. He had a stacked defense and didn't have to do as much to win. Last year, when KC's defense went south, he had to air it out a bit more and had his best statistical season.

 

There really wasn't that much difference in the defenses of 2016-2017.  In 2016, they gave up a total of 5,896 yards.  In 2017 it was 5,842.  Average yards per game in 2016 was 368.5 and in 2017 it was 365.1  Average points given up per game in 2016 was 19.4 and in 2017 it was 21.2.  If anything, this would show that it had more to do with the emergence of Hunt coupled with the excellent separation his receivers continued to get.  

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Posted (edited)

I’ve literally not read one article, comment here or seen a video describing Alex as a gunslinger. 

 

For the record, I don’t have a feel as how to compare Alex to Kirk—It appears some feel both are conservative. My hope is Grudens system provides read oriented opportunities down the field for Alex and his legs are the difference.

 

I Worry about Smith’s red zone struggles consistently throughout his career(a guy not willing to make necessary throws or buy time in pocket to create). Same issues as Kirk for me. 

 

Its my opinion, the league is much more willing these days to “allow” teams to move the football between the 30s and stop the weaker QBs in this area. 

 

 

Edited by wit33
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1 hour ago, MisterPinstripe said:

I keep seeing gunslinger. Who thinks he's going to be a gunslinger? People are excited because he takes care of the ball, always goes to the playoffs, can make all of the throws. He wasn't a gunslinger last year either.

 

Exactly. Rex Grossman was a "gunslinger"...I haven't heard/read anyone claiming Smith was a gunslinger last year and will be one this year.

 

Besides, "gunsliinger" usually means throwing downfield, not throwing into tight windows. And tight window throws can happen one yard past the LOS by the best dink-and-dunk QBs. The article linked above basically says Smith didn't throw a lot of tight window throws, but when he did he was excellent at it.

 

By the way, for 2016:

 

Kirk Cousins rarely throws into tight windows. Cousins threw just 14.3 percent of his passes to a targeted receiver who had less than a yard of separation in 2016, the second-lowest among starting quarterbacks. Only 7.8 percent of his throws that traveled 20-plus air yards went into tight windows. General manager Scott McCloughan told Cousins he was going to "going to build this roster to where you can be average and still be good," and it appears that plan worked this season.

 

One difference being: neither threw tight window throws much, but when Cousins did throw into tight windows he didn't do well. Smith's tight-window throws improved significantly from 2016, landing him a #4. I mean, seriously...look at this **** here lol:

 

 

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When did becoming safe and careful with the football become such a negative?

 

I mean I get that running around and slinging it with a rocket arm is more "exciting," but does it necessarily translate to "better?" I'm not so sure. Would the same KC fans that beat the drum that "Alex is so conservative he will drive you crazy" be the ones that would piss and moan if Cousins were their Quarterback slinging it into tight windows from time to time but also throwing very costly interceptions in key situations? I bet they would.

 

This whole game manager, taking care of the ball, and not taking chances mantra that is generally perceived as a negative is really fascinating to me. How many offensive drives do you get a game? 12? What's a great day at the office if you are Alex Smith? I'd say 3 TD's and 2 FG's and feel pretty good about it. That means on more than half your drives on a great offensive day will result in failure. Smart QBs recognize that and instead of rifling it 30 yards down the field on third down that results in an interception, will take the checkdown five yards short of the marker and punt. Now the opposing team starts at their own 15 instead of own 40. And then if your defense gets a stop, all of a sudden you have flipped the field position game and likely start on your own 35 lets say.

 

^^ That's just an example, but that five yard checkdown I just alluded to drives fans nuts. I went to a lot of games over the years and I can't tell you how many times I heard fans screaming about that. Hell, I'm sure I am guilty of it myself. But sometimes it really is better to play for another down. Too many times I felt like Cousins took an untimely sack, or fumbled, or threw a game clinching interception. I think you'll see much less of that with Alex.

 

Racking up passing yards and passing touchdowns are nice and all. But what really matters are PTS/G. And Wins. Things like TO's, starting Field Position, checking your team into the correct play, using your legs to create and open up the run game, etc. are also very important but very underrated by fans because they don't show up in a Quarterback's stat sheet. 

 

In sum, I'm not even attempting to decide whether or not we upgraded at the position. I'll wait and see what Alex looks like in Jay's offense before coming to that conclusion. But I do not think we downgraded at the position simply because he's careful with the football and hasn't put up gaudy volume stats prior to this past year while Cousins has. Too many variables at play. Different schemes, different supporting casts over the years. What I do know is that Alex has won a lot of games over the years. And when he took over in KC, that was a 2-14 squad with no Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, etc. So I consider the supporting cast argument and the fact he was more aggressive last year to be irrelevant. He found a way to win with a completely different team around him before that. And that's what I want out of my Quarterback. Just find a way to win.

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1 hour ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

Fair enough.  I just don't like the "all he does is win" narrative being painted, being that he had the benefit of a run game and an actual decent and healthy defense.  

 

Well, all he has done is win. Of course, many things factor into this, but his QB play was a positive on teams he played with.

 

The 49ers made the wrong decision with Kaepwrnick in hindsight, we’ll see how it works out for the Chiefs. 

 

56 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

There really wasn't that much difference in the defenses of 2016-2017.  In 2016, they gave up a total of 5,896 yards.  In 2017 it was 5,842.  Average yards per game in 2016 was 368.5 and in 2017 it was 365.1  Average points given up per game in 2016 was 19.4 and in 2017 it was 21.2.  If anything, this would show that it had more to do with the emergence of Hunt coupled with the excellent separation his receivers continued to get.  

 

Yes, both the 2016 and 2017 defense were below average for the Chiefs. The 2015 year was the last year they were a good to great defense. 

 

Also, if you look further into last year’s numbers for the Chiefs, there run game was terrible more often than it was good. 

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Just now, HardcoreZorn said:

When did becoming safe and careful with the football become such a negative?

 

Good post, and I don't mean to simplify, but I think the key point about conservative QBing is more in the comparison between players. The question is should we expect much different than what we've seen with Cousins? 

 

Personally, I'm fine if Smith can have roughly the same statistics that Cousins put up. You get that from the passing game + a better running game (both due to Guice and due to Smith using his legs) and the offense will be better. Factor that in with what looks to be an improved defense and it's an exciting prospect. 

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5 minutes ago, wit33 said:

 

Well, all he has done is win. Of course, many things factor into this, but his QB play was a positive on teams he played with.

 

Do you feel the same about his playoff record?  Obviously he's not the only reason they went 1-4 with him in KC, but I find it rather odd that his regular season wins are heralded almost exclusively to him, but the playoff record seems to be placed squarely on Reid and the play calling.  

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23 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

Do you feel the same about his playoff record?  Obviously he's not the only reason they went 1-4 with him in KC, but I find it rather odd that his regular season wins are heralded almost exclusively to him, but the playoff record seems to be placed squarely on Reid and the play calling.  

 

Where was that stated? By whom?

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Posted (edited)

The knock on the "safe & controlled" QB is that they play that way out of necessity and when the game is on the line in the big moments, they are unable to do those extra things that can beat a good defense.    It doesn't mean you can't win a lot of football games with that kind of QB, but people get weary about those kinds of QB's being push out of their comfort zone against a good defense.


Kirk was sort of an example of this.  He never looked comfortable against the Giants defense for some reason, whatever their formula was, it seemed to get in Cousins head.  Even the Cowboys games sometimes.   It doesn't mean he never made good plays against those teams, of course he did, but he was often pushed out of his comfort zone with their style of defense and it often led to turnovers at the worst times.

 

I'd suggest while it is a valid criticism, the point is moot for now until this team actually becomes a contender.  Alex Smith is fine enough of a QB to take this team further then it has gone the past couple of seasons and for 2018, that is really what matters.  Once this team is losing the NFC championship game a couple times, then we can worry about what will get this team "over the top"

Edited by NoCalMike
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