Previewing Kansas City Chiefs OTAs: Alex Smith Set to Lead the QBs

Checking out the Chiefs’ quarterbacks competing during OTAs

After leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 41-20 record as a starting quarterback over the past four seasons, including three playoff appearances in four years, Alex Smith is ready for his fifth set of OTAs under head coach Andy Reid and company.

Beginning Tuesday afternoon, the Chiefs will have 10 OTA practices spread out over the next three weeks.

Smith, who is entering his 13th NFL season, recently spoke about what he's hoping to get out of OTAs this year, particularly when it comes to his throwing motion.

"I'm talking just from a mechanical deal, but just being efficient," Smith explained. "Let's take on some wasted motion, see if I can speed it up, clean it up, all those things. This is the time of year to focus on that. This is the time of year to get into that footwork … I think as far as throwing motion, the stroke of throwing, being in good balance, finishing on balance, having good feet.

"You're so limited now with how many practices you get, so [we're] just trying to make each one count."

Much of the focus on the quarterback position for the Chiefs over the past month or so has been on first-round pick Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes, who had the lights shine on him during rookie minicamp, will soon see how the speed of the game will change from college and what level of understanding is required to find success in this offense.

Luckily for Mahomes, there's a perfect mentor for him in Smith.

"[Smith] understands what it takes to accomplish levels of excellence," general manager John Dorsey explained. "Alex Smith is going on five years (in Kansas City), he's the fourth-winningest quarterback in the NFL (over that span). Who better to learn from than that guy?"

Soon after Mahomes was drafted, Smith reached out to him.

"[Smith] told me to be 'all-in,'" Mahomes recalled. "He's a guy whose mind is always going. He's always thinking about football, and he's a guy that I can really learn behind.

"He said he would teach me as we go."

From the work ethic displayed by Mahomes during rookie minicamp, which included staying after practice with a few receivers to get some extra work, and also asking plenty of questions throughout practice, the next three weeks will be key for him to be on good footing heading into training camp.

Smith and Mahomes will be joined at OTAs by fellow quarterbacks Tyler Bray and Joel Stave.

Bray, who is the second-most tenured quarterback on the roster, is entering his fitth year with the Chiefs after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee in 2013. He spent the 2014-15 seasons on Injured Reserve. 

Stave was originally signed to the Chiefs practice squad in November of last year, and he came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 out of Wisconsin. He also spent time on the Seahawks practice squad (2016). 


Here's the Chiefs' schedule of OTA practices:

Tuesday, May 23         11:10 a.m.

Wednesday, May 24   11:10 a.m.

Thursday, May 25       11:10 a.m. * Coach Reid speaking to media

* *

Tuesday, May 30         11:10 a.m.

Wednesday, May 31   11:10 a.m.

Thursday, June 1         11:10 a.m. * Coach Reid speaking to media

* *

Tuesday, June 6          11:10 a.m.

Wednesday, June 7     11:10 a.m.

Thursday, June 8         11:10 a.m.

Friday, June 9              11:10 a.m. * Coach Reid speaking to media


Mandatory Minicamp:

Tuesday, June 13        1:20 p.m.

Wednesday, June 14   11:15 a.m.

Thursday, June 15       11:15 a.m. * Coach Reid speaking to media

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