Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs, Alex Smith Taking Chances Going Deep

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs, Alex Smith Taking Chances Going Deep

Article excerpt

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The loudest cheers at Kansas City Chiefs training camp are reserved for the long balls. Alex Smith drops back, lets it loose and a moment later a receiver is cruising into the end zone.

The Chiefs have a bevy of wide receivers with the potential to burst a game wide open with a big play. No one understands that better than Smith.

"I don't care what group you put out there, you've got a bunch of guys that can go and a bunch of guys that are making plays," Smith said. "There's a ton of competition at that position right now, a lot of guys that are playing really, really well. It's exciting here as we get into preseason to see those guys get their opportunities there."

Taking chances down field depends on a number of factors. The offensive line needs to protect the quarterback and receivers need to get open and hold on to the ball. It also requires a quarterback making good decisions and being aggressive.

That's where Smith is making great strides, co-offensive coordinator Matt Nagy said.

"He understands that, if there's anybody that understands where we want to go with this offense and stretching people down field, Alex gets it," Nagy said. "But he's also going to be smart with his decisions, and he's proven that with his track record. We're going to use time in practice to take those down field shots."

The Chiefs have shown an eagerness to throw the ball deep and often down field. In just one short sequence during Monday's practice, Smith hit Jeremy Maclin for a long touchdown off play action followed by a running catch for a touchdown by Albert Wilson. Rookie speedster Tyreek Hill added another score using his blazing speed to get behind the safety.

The highlight of the practice was provided by Chris Conley, who extended in a sprint to snag a touchdown pass. …

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