Red Zone

Q&A with Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith

Updated: 2013-09-29T16:04:29Z

By RANDY COVITZ

The Kansas City Star

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has been everything the club had hoped for after sending two second-round draft picks to the San Francisco 49ers for him last spring.

The two most numbers that have defined Smith are:

2-0. The Chiefs’ record.

4-0. Smith’s touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Smith has also proven to be effective as a runner and led the Chiefs with 57 yards rushing in last week’s win over Dallas. Here’s a Q and A with Smith heading into Thursday night’s game at Philadelphia.

Q. How much is this team wanting to beat Philadelphia for coach Andy Reid, the former Eagles coach?

A. “Yeah, we’re trying to win every game. This is the next one on the list. So I don’t think there’s any added to it, but we certainly understand what this is like for him. He was there for so long and going back and playing his old team; these are guys he coached and drafted and brought there. For us, you’re trying to win every game as much as you can, but I think we do recognize the situation.”

Q: What’s Philadelphia’s defense like?

A. “A lot of volume on the defense there. They show a lot of different looks, they bring a lot of different pressures. They try to confuse you, give you a lot of unorthodox looks. They’re very different from the defense we played last week. We have to be on our communication in a loud stadium. Everybody is going to have to be on the same page. The protection unit and the outside are really going to have to be on top of the details.”

Q: What’s the key to your offense?

A. “Execution, that’s it. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about being efficient on second down, putting yourself in good third down situations when you do have them, so that you can convert and keep the guys going. And then when you do get in the red zone, you have to be able to convert to points.”

Q: Are you comfortable running as much as you did against Dallas?

A. “Yeah, absolutely. I didn’t know it was going to happen like that, but it’s certainly something I do feel like, when I’m given the opportunity, I can make some change and be effective at times.”

Q: How much freedom do you have out there to change the play at the line and that kind of stuff?

A. “It just depends. It changes play to play, week to week. At times, yeah a lot of freedom, sometimes not so much. It depends on the situation.”

Q: Do you try to become more methodical when you’re on offense so that their offense isn’t on the field when you’re in the third snaps?

A. “No, I mean, no I don’t think we’re trying to be methodical on offense. I think we’re trying to execute and convert when we have the ball. You’re never trying to have three-and-outs, I don’t care what offense you’re playing. For us, we’re not playing an offense, their defense is our focus. But no question, we need to convert when we do have the ball, sustain drives and score points.”

Q: How much of a disadvantage is it for the visiting team on a short week?

A. “It’s tough. I’ve been on both sides of this since they started this Thursday night thing, and you throw travel in and that’s another thing on this short week for us. I mean, we don’t make the rules. That’s the schedule that is set up, and we have to go play it. With a short turnaround, you have to be even more efficient with your time as a unit, because we do throw travel in there, so you give up another day.”

Q: Do you find it fun to play on the national stage as the only game on the schedule?

A. “You love playing on a national stage. Anytime you get these games. The Thursday ones are tough, I have a mixed opinion. I think if you win them, they’re awesome because you get another little bye week in there, so to speak. They’re tough on the quick turnaround. I think it’s definitely tough on the teams that have to travel, but you have to find a way.”

Reach Randy Covitz at rcovitz@kcstar.com.

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