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“A lot of it just starts with his work ethic,” Reid said, “the time and preparation that he puts in. There are rules and regulations in the offseason on how many hours you can spend in the building, and I had to kick him out so he wouldn’t get put on secret-double probation before we even started.

“He just continued that as we’ve gone here,” Reid said. “How he practice sis another big part. He’s not joking around. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Each rep means something, and he wants to make sure he’s right on each rep, and all the guys around him are right. We do a lot of things with personnel, formations, motions and shifts, so you have to have enough gigabytes to handle it.”

Smith has proven that he can do that over the course of this season.

He’s thrown for a career-best 3,160 yards and 23 touchdowns with two regular-season games remaining, while only throwing six interceptions. He’s also run for a career-best 384 yards, second only to Charles for the most yards rushing on the team.

Those are just statistics, though. The only number that seems to mean much to Smith is 11 _ as in the Chiefs are 11-3 heading into Sunday’s game against Indianapolis.

That means a whole lot more than something as abstract as a quarterback rating.


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