Alex Smith is a scarred player, Vernon Davis said. The 12-year veteran tight end meant that as a good thing.
“He’s playing at a totally different level than he’s ever played,” Davis said Saturday at the fifth annual White Party, benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.
The newest Redskins quarterback has seen the good, the bad and the ugly during the first 13 years of his career. There were enormous expectations as the No. 1 draft pick in 2005, but Smith never seemed to get fully settled in with San Francisco. He played under three coaches and six coordinators in seven years with the 49ers and, when the team reached the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, Smith watched from the bench as Colin Kaepernick directed the offense.
The organization then handed the keys to Kaepernick and traded Smith to Kansas City, where he played five seasons before he was dealt to Washington and replaced by Patrick Mahomes.
Davis, who was a teammate of Smith’s in San Francisco from 2006-12, believes all those trials and tribulations have prepared Smith for this moment.
“You can tell by an individuals’ scars, right?” Davis explained. “Based on their scars, that’s how they’re able to be successful. That’s why they’re successful, based on the scars that they have. Alex has been through so much. So many ups and downs. So many scars. So many offensive coordinators. Being traded from San Francisco. A lot of scars. The reason he’s successful is not by accident. It’s supposed to be. It’s inevitable.”
Those close to Smith rave about his intelligence on and off the field and say his raw ability is often overlooked. He’s not the flashiest, but he went 50-26 as a starter in Kansas City, was selected to three Pro Bowls and led the team to the playoffs in four of five seasons. He also reached career highs with 4,042 passing yards and 26 touchdowns in 2017.
The Redskins hope consistency at the position from a quarterback who never threw more than eight interceptions in a season with the Chiefs will hasten their return to the postseason. But that’s just the beginning of the expectations at Redskins Park; players, coaches and the front office believe there’s an opportunity to win on a grand scale sooner than later.
The organization has two winning seasons and one playoff berth in the past five years.
“It’s all about winning a championship,” Davis said. “We want to win that championship. That’s the reason why we do it. That’s the only reason. I feel like we have the guys on the team to do that.”
Saturday’s function, hosted by Davis and cornerback Josh Norman, supported the Boys & Girls Club and Norman’s Starz24 Foundation. The event, started by Pierre Garcon, was attended by more than 250 dressed head to toe in white at Decades in Northwest Washington. Auction items featured jerseys, helmets and paintings by Davis and director of player development Malcolm Blacken. Norman, who was recently on “Dancing with the Stars,” even auctioned off a live dance. The event raised more than $25,000.
The team begins its final week of organized team activities Monday and wraps up Thursday. It returns for veteran minicamp June 12-14, then gets a final summer break before training camp begins July 26 in Richmond.
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