The departure of Kirk Cousins and the trade for Alex Smith this spring left most fans a bit bewildered. Some thought Alex’s leadership, intelligence and athleticism would be a better fit for Jay Gruden’s system, while others thought the 33 year old was too cautious and didn’t like to take shots downfield.
So far in the early portion of the season, the Alex Smith experiment has been a bit up and down. He hasn’t made plays in some ugly losses, and he’s been a bit too careful with the football, and a tad bit gun-shy in the pocket, when he’s had the opportunity to further the lead or rally the troops during games.
Below are a few videos I’d like to point out from the Panthers game where I feel Alex may have left some plays on the field. You’ll see my commentary below the video in the tweet.
This first play is just an illustration of the RB and TE not being on the same page here. This could be because Bibbs has not been working with the first team offense for that long.
This is just a late read by Alex, and a play where if he sees it sooner, he can put the ball on Reed and allow him some RAC.
Panthers are in a cover 2. Alex wants to go to Doctson off the snap, but he’s bracketed. Should have recognized that coverage earlier and came right down to Reed. If he hits him sooner and in stride, this is an easy 1st down. #passingwoes pic.twitter.com/u2mBo6lGVM— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 17, 2018
Doctson was open on this play against a cover 2 look. Smith waits too long and misses his target.
Cover 2 look by Panthers with under 2 min to play in the half. Alex needs to throw this ball a full second earlier. The ball should be releasing when JD hits the 30. He waits too long and sails it wide. #passingwoes pic.twitter.com/0KSmHAPA4Q— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 17, 2018
Totally unacceptable, especially at this point on the field. Take what the defense gives you and put it in Hopkins’ hands.
Third and 10 from the 41. Alex ignores both underneath routes and takes the sack. This is unacceptable. At worst, you throw it underneath and get your FG kicker a bit closer. He hits either one of these guys and they at least get the ball inside the 35. That’s a makable FG! pic.twitter.com/gKcdzea2qO— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 17, 2018
This is one of the plays that infuriated me the most during he game. Alex is looking right at Richardson. Pull the trigger!
Absolutely WIDE open Richardson here. Smith looks his way but doesn’t pull the trigger. Instead, he takes heat, and tries to throw the ball away. Gets called for intentional grounding. Hitting PR could have gotten Skins to the 25. Instead it’s 2nd and 20 at the 43! #passingwoes pic.twitter.com/290GJwXQHe— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 17, 2018
You have to understand coverage, and you must know where your checkdown is. A quick flip of the wrist, and this should be a first down.
Wow, does Vernon Davis come open in the middle of the field!
It’s third and 2, and we do pick up the first down here, but Alex could have gotten a lot more if he’d recognized the coverage better pre-snap and saw the single high safety drop to 20 yards! Notice how open Davis is in the middle of the field. #passingwoes pic.twitter.com/xvjuenaneg— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 17, 2018
So, it appears Josh Doctson can get open...
Alex needs to take a shot somewhere here. No whistle means this is a free play!
This type of play is what Alex did well in KC. Misses a read here.
...And here’s what that play SHOULD have looked like!
Well done RPO by Newton here. LB and S get sucked up leaving receiver wide open on the slant. Luckily for Redskins, Norman strips the ball and Foster recovers. Alex Smith ran these plays well in KC last year. Not sure why we are not using them more. pic.twitter.com/4YaoHIvlrO— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller5681) October 17, 2018
The passing game to this point has not hit on all cylinders. I don’t know if Alex is to blame, the receivers are not running the right routes, or the coaches are not calling plays to Smith’s strengths. Maybe it’s chemistry - with both Alex and his receivers and the offensive line.
Do you think the Redskins are leaving a bit on the field in the passing game?
Who’s mostly to blame for the Redskins early season passing woes?
This poll is closed
The receiving corps
The offensive line