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Did former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith help his old team beat the Chargers?

Chiefs Mahomes shovel pass misdirection was an Alex Smith idea

Two shovel passes by Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes, in last weeks game against the Chargers, was an idea that former quarterback Alex Smith came up with during his years with the team.
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Two shovel passes by Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes, in last weeks game against the Chargers, was an idea that former quarterback Alex Smith came up with during his years with the team.

Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdowns against the Chargers.

Two of them might be courtesy of Alex Smith.

Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy revealed Thursday that the short shovel passes to De’Anthony Thomas and Tyreek Hill were masterminded by the former Chiefs quarterback.

Instead of handing the ball off for the two short touchdowns, Mahomes tossed the ball to his speedy receivers on a jet-sweep action.

So what’s the advantage to throwing it instead of handing it off?

“My man Alex Smith, he came up with it,” Bieniemy said. “I don’t have that answer. I wish I had that answer. But I will say this, it’s been good, it poses a little misdirection with the hand. With the quarterback, what he’s doing with his hands. You don’t know if he’s handing it or if he’s actually tossing it. It’s something that those guys have been pretty innovative about.”

Asked if Smith really was the one to come up with the adjustment, Bieniemy played coy.

“I’m not going to give away all the trade secrets, OK?,” Bieniemy said. “Some of those things are buried in deep, dark places. I’m not going to say yes and I’m not going to say no.”

For practice squad quarterback Chase Litton, working on the short tosses spices up practice.

“It’s different,” Litton said. “It’s not just normally just dropping back, doing whatever you usually practice on. It expands your game. It gives you different things that you can run for the offense. It gives you things that the defense has to worry about. We have a good time doing it. At the end of the day, it’s easy, and if we rep it enough, we can really use it.”

Litton isn’t the only one who enjoys working on the sleight of hand. All of the guys involved with the play are leaning on their acting chops to get the job done.

“We call it Hollywood, give it a little action or faking,” backup quarterback Chad Henne said. “Let our playmakers make the plays.”

So who’s the best actor out of the bunch?

“Got to be Pat,” Litton said. “He’s made it happen in games. People fell for it.

Brooke Pryor

Brooke Pryor covers the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL for The Star.

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