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Chiefs QB Alex Smith Discusses Changes Along OL, Jeremy Maclin and More

Smith spoke with the media on Monday as players reported for offseason workouts

It was an eventful offseason for the Kansas City Chiefs, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

They signed free agent receiver Jeremy Maclin, traded for two-time Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs and signed veteran OL Paul Fanaika.

Plus, Rodney Hudson, who had started and played over 1,000 snaps at center over the past two seasons, signed with the Oakland Raiders.

That means there will be plenty of new faces in new places for the offense in 2015, which, when you're talking about three interior offensive linemen plus a receiver, significantly affects the quarterback position.

Smith spoke about the Chiefs offseason on Monday.

"It's kind of the nature of the business now with the turnover," Smith explained. "It's time for the personnel department to make us better and it's their opportunity to do that. Obviously, Ben [Grubbs], a player of his character is pretty special and to get an opportunity to make that move, I was extremely excited to see that for sure."


But perhaps no position along the offensive line is more important to a quarterback than the center, where Smith will work with a new starter in 2015.

"Obviously it's tough losing Rodney (Hudson)," Smith said. "He's a great player and he deserve what he got. He and I had a great relationship and it was so easy the last two years together, he knew what I was thinking and vice versa.

"Now it's going to have to be that next guy up. Coach (Reid) is going to play the best guy and we don't know who it's going to end up being, but we'll work with all of them. Obviously at this point with (Eric) Kush, I feel comfortable with him. He's been here a couple of years. We're good buddies."

While general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid have expressed the desire to create competition for all positions, the bond between a quarterback and his offensive line is paramount, which is why this time of the offseason is so important in creating continuity.

"I think the relationship between the quarterback and his offensive line is something that's unique," Smith said. "Those guys do so much of the grunt work, the dirty work. It's not pretty and they don't get a ton of attention.

"You've got to put in the time, build those relationships and be around each other. I think that's vital."

It was while vacationing with his family in Hawaii this offseason when Smith learned of his newest target at receiver.

"We had a conversation after I signed," Chiefs receiver Jeremy Maclin said of he and Smith. "He expressed how excited he was that I was here and I expressed how excited I was to be here."

Photos from the career of Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin

Smith believes the transition for Maclin won't be a difficult one.

"I think there will be a smooth transition," Smith said. "He's been in this system. He's heard the terminology. None of this is brand new for either of us, so to come together and talk, I think even from just today and watching a lot of film, we watched a lot of film the last couple years, obviously of him at the Eagles. Smooth. Great body language and easy to throw to."

Smith continued.

"I think [Maclin] is the type of receiver that excels in all areas. I think that's maybe his biggest strength, at least watching from afar and having seen him. I don't think you can pigeonhole him as just a speed guy and over-the-top guy. I think his game is way more complex than that and he can do a lot of different things."

For Maclin and Smith, Monday provided the opportunity to get together to throw and catch some passes to one another for the first time.  

"We just stayed inside," Smith said of Monday's workout. "It was good to get going the first day. It was good to get face-to-face and throw a little bit.

"We're really allowed to take the most advantage of this time of the year. It's tough. There are no pads, so linemen can't do a lot of their stuff. But for us, it's really no different. We can go out there and throw and work on those things and just be around each and talk. Get a sense of one another.

"This is the time to do that and really take advantage of that."

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