After being drafted with the #1 overall pick in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers, Smith went from being a draft bust, to a playoff star, leading San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game in the 2011 season.
But when he suffered a concussion in the 10th game of last season, Smith was replaced by Colin Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
Even when Smith healthy, he was the odd man out, and welcomed a trade to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.
"I think every team in the NFL has positive expectations right now," Smith said after the first day of training camp. "Everybody has a fresh start, and it's a new beginning for everybody. It's what teams can put in the work, take the steps necessary to get better and start winning games."
Smith didn't win many games in his first five years in San Francisco, eventually losing his job to guys like Shaun Hill and J.T. O'Sullivan. But under head coach Jim Harbaugh, Smith saw a resurgence in his play, starting all 16 games in the 2011 season.
Last season, Smith led the 49ers to a 6-2-1, completing over 70 percent of his passes before suffering a concussion.
"This is a team game," Smith said. "We started winning games and it started changing things. Everybody knows that quarterbacks gets judged by wins and losses, and I think we got better as a team and I got better as well."
But when Smith was healthy again, Harbaugh chose Kaepernick, and Smith was looking to move on, albeit with the 2-14 Chiefs.
"I think this is an extremely hungry group," Smith said. "Expectations are high and that's a good thing. The fun part now is getting the pads on and get to the real football."
If there is one thing Smith knows, it's change. He played for seven offensive coordinators in San Francisco, so he is used to learning a new system.
"You just get to work," Smith said. "There's no secret. You just work, learn and study. There is no easy answer."
Smith just hopes his NFL career finishes as well as his college career did at Utah.