There’s no one way to win a championship.
Having a quarterback helps. The Washington Redskins solved that problem this offseason, following up the abrupt conclusion of the Kirk Cousins era with a trade for veteran signal caller Alex Smith.
As established as Smith is, he can’t win alone. As much as it helps to have stability and competence at quarterback, a large determining factor behind those two qualities is the supporting cast around the quarterback. Aside from a select few who consistently elevate their teams, quarterbacks are, more or less, a reflection of the pieces around them. Every quarterback will struggle, relative to their typical production rate, if their weapons lack reliability and availability.
There are other factors that also go into a quarterback’s play. Proper coaching and scheming plays a large role, but this can be categorized into the “supporting cast” file. In the broadest sense, a quarterback’s supporting cast can be defined as all the weapons and all the resources that a given quarterback has at his disposal.
With this in mind, a question arises around Alex Smith’s arrival in D.C. Is his supporting cast in Washington, in its entirety, better than his supporting cast in Kansas City was in 2017? To some degree, this question won’t be adequately answered until well beyond the start of the 2018 season. But for now, we can compare the two rosters on paper, and draw tentative conclusions. Smith had a career year with his supporting cast in 2017. Will he see similar success in 2018?