It's "Eye on the Chiefs" day here at CBS apparently. And after talking extensively about the top pick in the draft, as well as left tackle Branden Albert, we're now ready to move on to new quarterback Alex Smith and his belief that the Chiefs can "win now."
Specifically, Smith was asked if he thinks the Chiefs can win now, and he said: "I think that's the case for every NFL team -- and if it's not the case, it's a problem. We're trying to win right now. I think that's the great thing about the NFL. You're out there and there are very few perennials. It's a battle every single year. You can go first to worst, worst to first. There is so much parity across the league.
"That's the mindset here, that's for sure. If it's not win now, then that's a problem."
Plenty of optimism from the new guy in town, eh? But it's wise. First of all, you have to be confident you can win. No one goes into offseason voluntary workouts thinking, "Man, I hope we can get to .500 this year!" (And if they do, well, that speaks more about the type of player they are than anything else.)
Additionally, the Chiefs are built to win now. They're not a dominant powerhouse, but they have plenty of talent. Multiple first-round picks remain on defense, including Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Tyson Jackson and Dontari Poe. The offense has Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles to assist Smith's production.
And the Chiefs now have Smith, who isn't just an improvement over the Matt Cassel-Brady Quinn experiment. He's also a quarterback who's overseen a quick, (almost) worst-to-first turnaround, helping the 49ers to a 13-3 record in 2011 after a nightmare 6-10 season. Smith believes that experience is something that will help him in 2013.
“Absolutely, without a doubt. Being part of that and seeing it," Smith said. "There are a lot of similarities there. I felt like we had a very talented team that underachieved the year before for whatever reason. New stock came in and there was a lot of turnover and change in culture, and we saw a group of guys buy in and saw what could happen. There is a lot more to it than that, but for sure you build on all your past experiences."
There actually are a lot of similarities, although the offensive line -- particularly with Albert's status being up in the air -- isn't near the level of the Niners in 2011. There are other differences as well, of course.
But the Chiefs, like the 49ers, upgraded their coaching staff tremendously. And the Chiefs, like the 49ers, have Alex Smith under center. So the Chiefs, like the 49ers, are optimistic for a big-time turnaround just a season removed from disaster.