Here we are more than a week into training camp, and nobody's arguing about elite quarterbacks. Maybe it's all that bloody optimism floating around right now. At any rate, a discussion about being elite appears to have fallen into our laps courtesy of Doug Pederson, the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator.
Pederson just so happens to be a fan of newly acquired Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Imagine that.
Here's what he told the Kansas City Star this week:
"Ultimately, every team has to have a quarterback. I think we have the best in the league.
"There are a lot of great ones, but over time, Alex has proven he can get it done. He's a sharp guy, he brings a wealth of knowledge, he's experienced, he's a proven winner the last couple of years, and he needs a team to embrace him."
Quarterback records mean absolutely nothing. But since Pederson put it out there, we'll just point out that Smith is 38-36-1 through his career. He struggled through tumultuous coaching situations in San Francisco until the team hired Jim Harbaugh in 2011. Over his last two seasons, Smith's 49ers were 19-5-1, and that includes an NFC Championship game two years ago.
But he was benched for Colin Kaepernick halfway through the 2012 season, setting in motion his eventual arrival in Kansas City.
We'll leave that whole "greatest quarterback in the NFL" thing to the readers. Experience has taught us there's no quagmire like naming the most elite of elite quarterbacks, save for a ground war in Asia.
For the Chiefs, Smith does have a decent shot at being one of the franchise's best signal callers. After all, these folks had to suffer through four seasons of Matt Cassel.