Week 2 of the NFL preseason has kicked off, which means we are that much closer to the regular season. The Chiefs have broke camp at Missouri Western State University and now will play their first preseason game at home in Arrowhead Stadium in front of their home fans. And although the game won't count, there are many headlines associated with this game against the San Francisco 49ers. The most obvious being QB Alex Smith going up against his former team, who were forced to trade him this offseason after Colin Kaepernick took his job last season. And even Smith admits, it's not just any other preseason game.
From the Kansas City Star:
"We're playing my old team and a lot of the guys I played with for awhile," said Smith. "It's a preseason game and it's just another step. It's another preseason game and then again it's not."
Smith will also be making his debut in front of the "sea of red" of Arrowhead Stadium as he takes over for Matt Cassel as the franchise quarterback. So as fans adjust their eyes from seeing #7 taking the snaps regularly to #11, it's an adjustment fans are excited about. Smith got off to a tremendous start as a Chief, going 7 for 8 and 68 yards on the way to an opening drive touchdown against the Saints last week. He will look to build on that success against his former team.
But Smith is not looking to just play good enough for the Chiefs this season, he's got something to prove. In a recent article with the New York Times, he was quoted that he wanted to "stick it" to those who doubted him. He mentioned those quotes were not solely meant for Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers, but just those who doubted him over the years since being drafted number one overall in the 2005 NFL Draft. Chiefs fans are excited to see that fire coming from their new quarterback.
After losing his job in San Francisco, there was little doubt the 49ers were going to trade him. They had found their long-term guy, and Smith deserved another opportunity elsewhere. And he was granted that opportunity in Kansas City after being traded for two mid-round draft picks. Smith's former coach had this to say:
"It's personal with Alex," said Jim Harbaugh. "I feel like there's a great friendship there and a lot of history. He's a unique person. A very good, in all ways, a good friend. No longer on our team. Not a trusted agent anymore. I know the competitor he is and he wants to win and we do as well."
It's hard to find a more fierce competitor as a head coach than Jim Harbaugh. He left Stanford to go to San Francisco and turned Alex Smith and that franchise around in a hurry. He turned them into winners. Now the Chiefs inherit the guy who Harbaugh resurrected and he will play under one of the most winnable coaches in the last 14 years, Andy Reid.
Speaking of Andy Reid, he also will be making his first appearance on the Arrowhead sidelines on the home side while he sports Chiefs red. Fans will get a live on-the-field glimpse on what to expect this season from the new Chiefs.
Plenty of storylines heading into the 2013 opening game in Kansas City, but none bigger than Alex Smith playing his old team. And there would be nothing more that Smith would want than to add to his success from last week and play lights out verse his old teammates and coaches.
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