Alex Smith needs more preseason snaps
We tend to overrate how much starters play in the preseason. If a player struggles, then they need more snaps in the preseason. If a player throws a touchdown in his first attempt, shut him down, he’s ready for the regular season.
It doesn’t quite work this way.
Smith has thrown 14 passes this preseason and did not play in the first game. He looked sharp in Week 2, however, he only played one drive. In the loss to Denver, Smith was just off on a few throws. He had Vernon Davis open downfield and just missed him. It would’ve been a huge gain for Washington. He appears at times to be looking to Davis too much rather than trusting his outside receivers like Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson.
Russell Wilson has attempted 47 passes this August. Tom Brady 44. Cam Newton 38. Those guys are MVP's who have only ever been with one team. Alex Smith will end the preseason with 14 attempts in a new offense. #Redskins
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) August 25, 2018
Smith is one of the smartest players in the NFL and he has experience in a similar offense. So him knowing the playbook is not an issue. What is an issue is his comfort level with his receivers in live game action. You can’t replicate this in practice. Gruden should send Smith out next week for at least two series at Baltimore.
It’s important to note that Smith has played without slot receiver Jamison Crowder, tight end Jordan Reed and third-down back Chris Thompson. All three will—barring something unexpected—will be ready for Week 1 at Arizona.
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