Junkies: Gruden's comments on Alex Smith 'alarming'

Josh Luckenbaugh
October 16, 2018 - 9:05 am

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins earned a hard-fought win over the Panthers Sunday, but once again Alex Smith didn't put up overly impressive numbers: he tossed two touchdown passes, but threw for a total of just 163 yards.

On Monday, coach Jay Gruden told reporters there's certainly room for improvement, as Smith is still getting used to the Redskins' offensive system.

"There's some things we have to clean up, get his eyes in certain progressions a little bit quicker," Gruden told reporters. "Sometimes he hangs on too long, giving guys too much of a chance, where he needs to get off of them and move on to the next guy. But for the most part, I thought he improved from last week to this week."

"There's still some improvement to do for everybody across the board. I like where he's at, I like that he's buying in, and he's learning."

The nature of Gruden's comments concerned The Junkies, many of them thinking Smith would have a better feel for the offense by now. 

"You would think a 15-year quarterback would know to get through the progressions quicker," Jason Bishop said Tuesday. "It sounds like Jay Gruden is talking about a second- or third-year quarterback. I mean, this is a 14- or 15-year quarterback."

"It's kind of alarming," John "Cakes" Auville agreed. "I think people just have to accept last year Alex Smith in Kansas City was an outlier from the rest of his career."

Smith recorded 26 touchdown passes last year with the Chiefs, by far his career high, and only the third time he'd thrown at least 20 in his career. Through five games this year, he has six. 

And with essentially the same weapons as Smith had in Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes has already thrown 18 touchdown passes. 

Smith said Monday the Redskins' potential on offense is "untapped," telling reporters the unit is still in the process of "finding out who we are, our identity as an offense." But should Redskins fans expect drastic improvement in Smith's numbers by the end of the season?

Cakes doesn't think so, but as he explained, Smith also doesn't have the same caliber of weapons on the outside as Kansas City. 

"If I'm Alex Smith, why would you throw the ball outside to Doctson and Richardson when you can go inside to guys like Crowder when they're healthy and on the field, Thompson, and Jordan Reed? Of course I'm going to take the more conservative route, especially when I don't have a relationship with the outside guys like I did in Kansas City."

"That might take a little more time to develop, but I don't see it getting remarkably over better over the next 11 games for the Redskins. I'd be stunned if he starts wheeling and dealing three or four touchdowns a week, I don't think that's what this offense is all about."

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