Kansas City, Mo. The last couple of weeks have been all about dry-erase boards, hours of game tape and seemingly endless hours spent in a classroom at the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice facility.
The last three days? They have been a bit more fun for Alex Smith.
The new quarterback of the Chiefs finally got to spend some time on the field with coach Andy Reid and his new teammates, even if it came during a voluntary three-day minicamp — without pads, in the middle of April, in the echoing quiet of an indoor practice facility.
“It all seems like a blur,” Smith said, “but I think we’ve gotten in great work. We got a ton of reps in, practices were non-stop, there was no wasted time, and I felt like we took advantage of these days. We got better.”
The three-day minicamp is allowed under terms of the collective bargaining agreement to teams that underwent an offseason coaching change — a sort of get-to-know-you kind of workout, one that just happens to be invaluable to teams also undergoing an offseason quarterback change.
Everything has been theoretical for Smith since the trade that sent him from San Francisco to Kansas City. There have been thick binders full of plays, and film of the offense that Reid and new offensive coordinator Doug Pederson intend to run with the Chiefs.
But there hasn’t been an opportunity to get on the field until this week.
On Tuesday, Smith finally got the chance to have Reid and Pederson stand over his shoulder as he unloaded passes to Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster and the rest of his wide receivers. The work continued on Wednesday and wrapped up with some red-zone work on Thursday.
“Before now, everything’s been in the classroom,” Smith said. “We haven’t been able to come out here with coaches, so it’s all been white-board and film-room talk. This is where all the teaching goes on, where all the executing goes on.”
Bowe, who signed a five-year deal to remain with the Chiefs this offseason, said he’s already noticed a difference in practices under the new regime.
Things move a bit quicker, for one thing. There is no wasted time, no idle minute. And Bowe said the play-calling is totally different — “This guy likes to go down field, take the top off, and that’s something we haven’t done in the past, score a lot of points,” he said.