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Sheldon Richardson: Alex Smith is a 'game manager'

Calling a quarterback a "game manager" is often taken as a dig. However, New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson gave us our umpteenth lesson that context is paramount.

You'll remember that the Jets have two quarterbacks who turn the ball over like they get paid by the blunder. So after studying Alex Smith in advance of Sunday's tussle at Arrowhead Stadium, Richardson offered this assessment of the Chiefs' quarterback:

"Game manager," Richardson said, per NJ.com. "Doesn't make mistakes. Protects the ball and lets his defense work for him. Manages the game. He's got a great running back (Jamaal Charles). He's just doing what he's supposed to do. Nine touchdowns to his tight ends, none to his wide receivers? Yeah, he's managing the game pretty well."

The "game manager" label has been one pinned to Smith's jersey since he was in San Francisco. In K.C. he doesn't have the weapons to stretch the field -- nor generally a desire to do so -- as he's averaging just 5.6 yards per pass attempt, the lowest in the NFL. Last week he averaged 2.0 yards through the air per attempt, with his deepest pass being 12 yards (completed).

Smith might not uncork the long ball often, but at least he's not throwing a bevy of picks trying to get deep -- Geno Smith, on the other hand threw three passes of 15-plus yards last week, all were intercepted.

Alex Smith might not have the wow factor, but he's been extremely solid this season -- especially behind a mediocre offensive line -- and made plays to win his team games.

Right now, the Jets would do just about anything for anything close to a game manager like Alex Smith.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the league at the midway point and previews Saints-Panthers. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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