I wrote this when Alex Smith announced his retirement:
“Smith can do whatever he wants in retirement. But selfishly, I hope Matt Nagy reaches out to the quarterback he coached from 2013-17 and allows him to speak to this Bears team (and possibly, whichever quarterback they ultimately land on after the dust settles on Draft weekend).”
Four months (and one very important draft pick) later, it seems as if I’ve spoken something into existence:
Alex Smith standing, watching Justin Fields with Matt Nagy at Bears camp, IN BEARS GEAR.
— Jay Williams CFP®, CIMA®, AIF® (@_401Jay) August 11, 2021
Really cool to see quarterback Alex Smith on the field for #Bears as an observer at practice. That guy is a warrior and can surely teach Justin Fields some of the intricacies of the offense.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) August 11, 2021
Inviting Alex Smith to Bears camp cuts in so many ways. All of which are positive, mind you.
As David Kaplan points out, Smith can teach Justin Fields some of the tricks of the trade when it comes to the offense. But it can be more than just that. Smith has a unique perspective on life in the NFL because of his career arc. A top overall pick who looked like a failed prospect, only to rejuvenate his career in San Francisco. A solid starter who lost his starting gig to a younger player, only to pivot and find new life in Kansas City. Playing at a Pro Bowl level for Andy Reid, tutoring Patrick Mahomes, and then cashing in his big pay day with Washington. And while that didn’t have the most storybook ending, the perseverance he showed in his return to football after a gruesome injury provides a teachable moment for all football players.
But also … get him around Justin Fields early and often.
And kudos to Matt Nagy. His summertime guests for training camp this year have now included Doug Pederson, Alex Smith, and Dan Marino! Pulling out all the stops and inviting an A-block of celebrity guests is one way to bring new life to Bears Camp.