Skins Quotes 9/12/18: Alex Smith

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Staff member
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

September 12, 2018

QB Alex Smith

On if the success of the running game helped the passing game:
"I think as a quarterback when you're throwing the football, anytime you have a run game like that, a defense has got to defend it. It opens up a lot of opportunities for us on the edge, in the perimeter, whether it's play-action pass, just spacing the field. A lot of favorable matchups I felt like we had [was] because of the run game going so well. I mean you love to have balance, any good offense has balance and obviously with us running the ball the way we did – I think kind of setting that tone – certainly a lot of stuff in the pass game came off it."

On why he is comfortable with RPOs and how it helps the running game:
"I think experience is the main reason. I've had a lot of experience with them since they've kind of come and go. Some weeks they are great. Some weeks they are not as great. I think the nice thing is that as a play caller, all of a sudden now you don't have to be right. In the past if you were having to choose between run and pass, you had to make that decision and kind of play that chess game as a play caller. Now, not as much, you kind of have them built into the same play call and the defense really dictates where the ball goes. So, like I said, some weeks they make a ton of sense based on what you are seeing scheme wise and from a personnel standpoint. Other weeks they don't and won't be as good."

On his impressions of the offensive line's versatility:
"Yeah, I've been really impressed with those guys and not just the starting five as a unit but I think that whole room. The kind of pride they take. The detail they have at their position and as a whole and I think the detail is in all aspects. I feel like they can do about everything and they take a lot of pride in being able to do a whole lot and they don't get pigeon-holed as a single player or as a group. They can do it all. They are good in space. They can pound it. They are good in pass pro [protection]. I think that's a strength, not only theirs, but as an offense and a team."

On how TE Jordan Reed helps the offense:
"I think the tight end position is such a unique position across the league. These guys are tweeners. They all do a little bit of everything. They have to block in the run game. They have to block in the pass game. They have to obviously be involved in route running as well and we move them around with shifts and motions and those kinds of things. I think these guys all have a lot on their plate, and in Jordan, you have a guy that is really special and unique at doing all those things. His ability to do a lot as a tight end – I mean he is capable of doing about all there is because he has obviously the skillset to do it. I think mentally he works really hard at knowing all those facets of his game. I think he's a difference maker without a doubt at the tight end position. It's different when he's on the field."

On the diversity of the offense and how it can change when facing a different defense:
"I think that's mindset you hope to develop and I think that's true every week. Last week especially, because we were facing a new coaching staff and a new defense, but every week there is an element of that. You don't know where their point of emphasis is going to be and I think throughout the week you prepare to have a sound game plan knowing that we don't know. We don't know whose turn it's going to be. You know? You don't know who is going to have that moment in that key situation and I think good offenses prepare every single guy included to do their job that when your number is called you make the play. You are accountable to the other guys on the offensive side and the team that you piece it together through playmakers and schemes – that you can't stop us all. That kind of mentality, I think you have to develop that and work at it."

On anything that surprised him in Week 1:
"I don't know about surprise. I think just anxious to see us when it really matters. I think all that stuff gets turned up, the intensity, the stress, the anxiety. All those things get magnified once they become real. So yeah, I was anxious to see how we handled that, travelling on the road, an opener, handling our emotions. I think because using them as a strength or sometimes letting them get the best of you and I thought our team as a whole handled that really, really well. There was still kind of the unknown, I think to just see how we handle it and I think it still is. Every week is a different thing and something else is going to come up and we are going to have to be able to handle it. That's an ongoing test.”

On how he will prepare for the game with the possibility of inclement weather:
"No, no secrets. I wish I had a secret or something that made it easy. No, it's tough; fundamentals, attention to detail when you handle the ball every single play in weather, and obviously that's a premium, you know, ball security, ball handling, in the pocket and things like that. I wish I had some kind of secret sauce or something but I don't. I just try to do the best I can.”

On comparing OL Trent Williams to other linemen he has played with through his career:
"Yeah again, I think it's a lot like the Jordan question. I don't want to necessarily compare the other guys I've played with but same thing, he's a special player. He's a difference maker as well when he's on the field. I don't feel like there is anything he is really limited in doing. I think as a left tackle, he can do it all. He's great in the open field. I mean, he's so strong handling any guys his size or bull rush or things like that. He's got great feet. I think all those things obviously make him that special."

On if he has been in awe of Williams:
"I mean, yeah certainly, you watch a lot of film over the years, you see plays, and I think everybody in the league knows the caliber of player he is and how special he is. It's always different though when you are on the same field as him, and you see it live, and it becomes a little more real. It's special to see on a daily basis."

On LB Ryan Kerrigan's streak of consecutive starts:
"I didn't know that. I mean, that is a ridiculous stat at that position. Any time you are playing in the trenches with those guys, it's a different level in there. Every single play, it's tough to avoid contact and I think credit to him. I certainly see how hard he works, taking care of his body, every single day he's in here. Whether he's working out, recovering, doing something, rehabbing, it's not by accident. I think having gone against him in the past too you see that same kind of relentlessness on the field. Obviously, he's the same thing, a really elite player when you're out there every Sunday helping us."

On his communication with the wide receivers and keeping them involved:
"I think talking about it like that; that mentality right? There was some unknown. We didn't know where that game plan was going to go and I think there are going to be weeks like that. There's going to be other weeks where it comes in bunches and all of a sudden we are going to lean on them offensively and we are going to need them and the ball is going to [thrown to a different receiver] a bunch. That's the nature I think of week to week and just who you are playing. I think the great thing is we got a bunch of selfless guys out there. I think all they care about is winning. Obviously, they want to be involved and included but [they are] team first guys. I think that's not always the case at that position around the league and I think it's kind of a credit to the mindset of those guys we have outside [at the wide receiver position]."

On the benefits and downside of him starting at quarterback early in his career:
"I don't know if there were many pros for me playing early. [Laughter] I feel like I dug myself a pretty deep hole that rookie year. Certainly though, playing, I mean, I started every single game, every snap that second year and for me that was invaluable. That kind of experience was invaluable for me. I do feel like that was a different situation in the year prior and these situations are all different. Some of these guys come out more ready than others based on how long they played and where they are maturity wise. How old they are, all these things, how much ball they played, so every situation is different. I don't think any two are totally alike. So, it's hard to compare. I don't think you really compare apples to apples, but I do know for me, I felt like I dug myself a big hole my rookie year and it took multiple years to kind of get myself out of that."

On the thought of being drafted to a team where he could have sat behind a veteran quarterback:
"I've had people ask me and things like that. I don't give that much thought. I mean, what's the point? No. I mean, they are totally different roads and it does me no good dwelling on that. I'm very thankful for where I'm at right now and the road I did have to go down. Certainly, there were tough times and things like that, but no, you can't go back and change it. So, why dwell on it?"

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