Thursday, March 14, 2013

Meet the New Kansas City Chiefs -starring- Alex Smith, Andy Reid & Co.

Meet the "new" Kansas City Chiefs — Alex Smith & Andy Reid

Kansas City Chiefs Having Great Offseason Under New Hierarchy
by Clifton Brown Sporting News

Next year, the Chiefs will not have the No. 1 pick in the draft. They’ll be better than that.

The Chiefs are having a splendid offseason, under their new hierarchy of general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid.

When the Chiefs quickly hired Reid after the Eagles fired him, I was not convinced it was a good move. Not for Reid, or for the Chiefs. Reid looked like he needed time to regroup and recharge after the Eagles imploded last season. Players were not responding to him like they used to. After 14 years with the Eagles, I thought Reid needed a break from the NFL grind.

Instead, maybe all Reid needed was a change of scenery. More will be revealed once the regular season begins. But the Chiefs are having a splendid offseason.

The big move was trading for the best quarterback available, Alex Smith. Now the Chiefs don’t have to draft a quarterback in a draft where no quarterbacks stand out.

At his introductory press conference Wednesday, Smith said he was attracted to the Chiefs partly because Reid was their head coach.

“From all the quarterbacks that I ever talked to, that have ever played for him, they have only had good things to say,” Smith said. “You look at this team, the pieces that are in place, from the outside looking in, you see the talent that’s here. You see the potential. It’s just a matter of getting that chemistry, the culture right.”

Dorsey and Reid are working hard to get things right. Over the first two days of free agency, the Chiefs’ momentum has continued with the signings of Donnie Avery, Mike DeVito, and Anthony Fasano. Not a lot of splash, but plenty of substance.

Keeping Dwayne Bowe was a big move for the Chiefs. (AP Photo)
Avery is a wide receiver coming off his best NFL season with the Colts with 60 catches for 781 yards. Fasano is a tight end that can work the middle of the field between Bowe and Avery. DeVito is a versatile defensive lineman who should help the Chiefs’ depth, if he does not start.

Prior to free agency, the Chiefs executed a solid game plan. They re-signed Dwayne Bowe, a talented receiver who would have been highly coveted as a free agent. The Chiefs kept left tackle Branden Albert by signing him to the franchise tag, and they still have the No. 1 pick, which means they will get a top player in the draft. Kansas City also bolstered its secondary prior to free agency, scooping up cornerback Dunta Robinson after he was released by the Atlanta Falcons.

The Chiefs look much better on paper than they did after Week 17, especially with Smith as their quarterback instead of Matt Cassel. It’s not like the Chiefs don’t have talent. They sent six players to the Pro Bowl last season – linebackers Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, and Derrick Johnson, safety Eric Berry, running back Jamaal Charles, and punter Dustin Colquitt.

Now it’s about putting that talent together. Both Reid and Smith know how quickly a terrible team can become a contender. When Reid took over in Philadelphia, the Eagles went from 5-11 in his first season in 1999, to the NFC championship game in 2001.

When Jim Harbaugh took over as the 49ers coach in 2011, they went from third place in the NFC West to the NFC championship game in one season. Smith’s career was resurrected, and he was playing superb football in 2012 before the talented Colin Kaepernick and a concussion took Smith’s job.

Reggie Bush is the "new"
Detroit Lions running back
Free agency can be deceptive. The Dolphins are making headlines for signing players, while the Ravens are making headlines for losing them. But it’s often the subtle moves that make the biggest difference.

The Chiefs are doing a lot of sensible things, and if they can follow up with a solid draft, they could be a surprise team in the AFC next season.

Smith was looking for a fresh start and found one in Kansas City. So has Reid. The Chiefs still have to decide what to do with the No. 1 pick - maybe an offensive linemen – like Luke Joeckel of Texas A&MM, or Eric Fisher of Central Michigan. However, it already looks like having the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft will be somebody else’s concern.

After hitting rock bottom in 2012, things are looking up for the Chiefs. — Sporting News

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