Alex Smith didn't wear a Kansas City Royals baseball cap on the day he was formally introduced as the new Kansas City Chiefs quarterback. He didn't wear a San Francisco Giants cap, either, or any baseball cap. Instead, he wore a gray suit and white shirt -- and a Chiefs pin in his lapel. Like a grown-up.
"I'm ready for this," he said. "I'm ready because of what I've gone through."
The formal introduction this week was the first day of Smith's marriage to the Chiefs, following his quick divorce from the San Francisco 49ers. Both parties sounded infatuated with each other.
Smith targeted the Chiefs as soon as he realized he wouldn't be released, and hoped for a trade.
"There's no doubt this is where I wanted to be. It wasn't close," Smith said. "Even before I knew it was an option."
Andy Reid followed Smith's career closely, first when he was at Utah and then with the 49ers. Reid confirmed that he had put out feelers for Smith in the past.
"I would inquire about him periodically," Reid said. "Seemed we played him every year."
Yes, it did. Smith debuted in Philadelphia in 2005, going 0-for-1 in relief of Tim Rattay. He played the Eagles again in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011. His career statistics against Reid: a 1-4 record, 93-of-156 passing for 1070 yards, seven touchdowns, five interceptions and 11 sacks. It was against Reid's team in 2010 that Smith's hometown fans chanted for David Carr. It was a road victory against the Eagles in 2011 that signaled things had truly changed for the 49ers and Smith.
Reid, who applauded Smith's work ethic and leadership, saw every stage of his development.
"I knew he was someone I would want on my team," Reid said.
Reid also managed some hyperbole, much in the manner of Smith's former coach, the 49ers' Jim Harbaugh
"We're going to work on getting Alex into the Hall of Fame," he said, noting that Chiefs Hall of Famer Len Dawson was in the audience.
Smith merely smiled. He's heard sweet nothings before. Finally out of limbo, he was eager for his new playbook (adding to perhaps the greatest collection in NFL history).
And in case anyone was wondering, Reid made it perfectly clear.
"Alex is the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs."
This coach sounded like he meant it.
(Ann Killion is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @annkillion.)
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, shns.com.)