Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports



Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has spent his entire NFL career trying to prove himself to his doubters. That was true for most of his career in San Francisco and is true once again with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Smith, who was the first overall pick by the 49ers in the 2005 draft, spent eight seasons in San Francisco before a trade in February of 2013 sent him to Kansas City. Smith had already lost his starting job to Colin Kaepernick on a team that had just appeared in the Super Bowl. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid immediately declared Smith to be their starting quarterback going into the 2013 season. Since then, he has been selected to two Pro Bowls and tallied 13,934 passing yards, 80 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions.

Those numbers include the Chiefs' 2017 season opening 42-27 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in a game that saw Smith throw for 368 yards and four touchdowns. Of course, Smith is again trying to prove himself. Looking over his shoulder, he can see the young and exciting rookie quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. Smith is in the final year of his contract and Mahomes, who was the tenth overall pick in April's draft, figures to be the future of the franchise.

Kaepernick, who replaced Smith for the 49ers during the 2012 season, continues to search for an NFL home. While Smith has never finished a season in Kansas City passing for fewer than 3,265 yards, the 49ers are still trying to figure out who their franchise quarterback might be.

The show "In Depth with Graham Bensinger" has posted several interesting videos of a recent interview with Smith where the quarterback touches on several topics related to those past 49ers teams. In the first, Smith discusses how dysfunctional the 49ers were prior to the arrival of head coach Jim Harbaugh and how difficult it was to hear the criticisms of former 49ers greats like Jerry Rice and the fans at Candlestick Park. Smith said he looked forward to playing on the road more than being in front of the home crowd during those tough times.

"I knew that it was really dysfunctional," Smith said. "I knew that this wasn't the way that successful places operated."



In another video, Smith looks back at his 2012 season with the 49ers when he lost the starting job to Kaepernick following a concussion and discussed what that was like. Smith felt like he was playing his best football at the time when Harbaugh sat down with him and said they were going forward with Kaepernick.

"Colin played well those couple of games and I knew he was obviously their guy," Smith said. "They brought him in, drafted him. I was kind of a leftover."

Despite being regulated to a backup quarterback, Smith remained a team captain and was out there for the coin toss during Super Bowl XLVII. That made it even more difficult for the quarterback.



Smith went on to discuss the pressure of being a first overall draft pick and the fear of making mistakes during his rookie year with a really bad 49ers team. He said he would stand on the sideline trying to figure out his completion percentage and other statistics because, for many fans and analysts, that was all that was looked at.



While Smith mentors Mahomes, the veteran quarterback believes 2017 may be his final year in Kansas City. Smith shared his perspective on job security and what it is like mentoring his future replacement.

"It's a tough pill to swallow," Smith said. He feels the Chiefs could have added someone to contribute immediately and help the team win now and take advantage of their window of opportunity.

Smith was shown a video of Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, who once said it's not his job to go out of his way to teach and then-young Aaron Rodgers. Smith is taking a different route with Mahomes and did the same with Kaepernick in San Francisco – a move that may have cost him his job with the 49ers.

"Colin and I got along great," Smith said. "He was always really, really respectful. He was always a really nice guy."



(h/t to Patrick Tulini and Al Sacco for the find)

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