While the Denver Broncos dominate headlines with the Peyton Manning addition, the Chiefs continue to build a promising roster. Kansas City added several pieces, highlighted by the additions of cornerback Stanford Routt, running back Peyton Hillis, right tackle Eric Winston and tight end Kevin Boss.
I got a chance to catch up with Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli on Tuesday. Pioli is clearly pleased with the additions and how they continue to help his team move forward. Pioli is a student of how to build a winning roster and I think every move he makes is carefully considered and done in the scope of the big picture.
Multiple pro scouts told NFL Network’s Albert Breer, however, that despite the lofty numbers, Manning was showing signs of decline. He was 34 then, and is now 36.
“The falloff was significant on film,” one scout from an AFC rival team told Breer. “He showed stiffness and lost athletic traits. What made him so special was never his athletic ability or movement skills, but you could see it with his arm strength, too.”
The scout was specifically critical of Manning’s diminished velocity.
“His rotation was fine, his accuracy was fine,” said the scout. “But as far as the ball getting from Point A to Point B, and how much time he was giving defensive backs to drive on the football, there was enough there for concern.”
While Charles is being eased into action, free agent addition Peyton Hillis will receive an extended opportunity to work his way into Kansas City’s offensive plans for 2012.
“I think he’s going to be a complement (to Charles) because a couple of years ago when he was in Cleveland, he ran, he caught, he blocked,” Crennel said of Hillis, who turned in a career-season working with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll in 2010. “He kind of does it all. I think that his relationship with Daboll, where he had that kind of success. I think he feels good about it and how he is going to be used, so we’re going to use him in several different ways.”
Kansas City holds an extra seventh round pick as compensation for the 2010 trade that sent safety Jarrad Page to New England. It was announced on Monday that the Chiefs would receive no compensatory draft picks in 2012.
The Chiefs won a coin toss with Seattle at the NFL Scouting Combine last month for the rights to the 11th overall pick, but will flip-flop between the 11th and 12th picks moving forward through each round.