Jan 14, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey (left), chairman Clark Hunt (middle) and coach Andy Reid pose for photos during the press conference at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs' Dorsey & Reid Are In A Lose-Lose Situation...Unless They Win

Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid preside over a Chiefs Kingdom that is as unstable and divided as perhaps any other time in the last two decades. Matters became even more complicated yesterday when the news broke that the team has decided to hitch its wagon to 49ers QB Alex Smith, for the foreseeable future.

The 2012 season was all about change, as far as Chiefs fans were concerned. The KC faithful wanted a new QB, a new coach and a new GM.

And they got them.

Yet, among a fan base that protested so aggressively for change in 2012, going so far as to fly banners over Arrowhead Stadium before games, no amount of change seems to be good enough.

As editor of this site, I interact with dozens of Chiefs fans on a daily basis, whether it be in the comments of our posts, on our Facebook page or through our Twitter account. In the recent weeks since the arrival of  Dorsey and Reid, I’ve noticed that Chiefs fans seem to still be feeling a great deal of discontent.

Just weeks ago, all KC fans seemed to want was for former GM Scott Pioli to be fired and for incumbent starting QB Matt Cassel to be sent out of town. The once patient and supportive fans, many of whom proudly wrote or stated the words “in Pioli we trust” in 2009 and 2010, turned on the new regime in 2012 when it became clear that their trust was misguided.

Unlike in 2009, when long-time GM Carl Peterson and bumbling head coach Herm Edwards were ousted from Kansas City, Chiefs fans haven’t been as quick to cozy up to Dorsey and Reid as they were to Pioli and Haley. Peterson had been a fixture in Kansas City for so long that any replacement was likely to be given a hero’s welcome. So when Scott Pioli came riding into town, his Super Bowl rings glistening in the sunlight, the smooth-talking GM from New England was able to interject a fair amount of propaganda into the minds of his new subjects.

Pioli quickly injected buzzwords and slogans into the Chiefs blogosphere and radio airwaves by repeating his mantras over and over and by making a few well-position contacts in the media. By 2012, you would have been hard-pressed to find a fan that hadn’t heard the words “right 53″ and “process” and “substance over sizzle” from either Pioli himself or their fellow fans.

I even wrote a column about the seemingly blind Scott Pioli following in May of 2011.

It was called “In Pioli We Trust: A Ridiculous Notion.”

Look, there is nothing wrong with trust. There is nothing wrong with initially deferring to the expertise of the guys getting paid to make the decisions. There is nothing wrong with being passionate and hoping that every move your GM makes is the right one. Fan is short for fanatic. This website is called Arrowhead ADDICT. We get it.

But to go around muttering “In Pioli We Trust” after every move the man makes is not only short sighted but it closes one off to any sort of useful critical thinking. Attacking another fan and questioning their devotion to their favorite team because they dared question the organization’s moves is the same kind of childish bullying you’d expect to find at your local junior high.

Chiefs Nation has come a long way since 2011. The pendulum has swung so far in the other direct that it appears nothing will satisfy Chiefs fans.

In fact, the fans seem so split on what they think the new regime should do to fix the 2014 mess Pioli and last year’s head coach Romeo Crennel left behind, that if left in the hands of the masses, the QB for the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs would be:


We like to look at things from every angle on Arrowhead Addict. It’s been a tradition on this site since the beginning to explore different viewpoints and scenarios. This offseason, however, while some of our suggested scenarios are more popular than others, there doesn’t seem to be a single solution that most fans agree on.

To illustrate this, I took to Twitter to ask the opinions of fans on a number of Chiefs-related topics. Keep in mind that I did this just hours before the Alex Smith trade was announced.

The Chiefs should draft Geno Smith #1.







Should the Chiefs trade for Alex Smith? As long as they don’t give up a pick higher than a 3rd?







Even for a third, it was clear that a fair portion of the folks I talked to were not sold on Alex Smith. So when the news broke that Smith had been acquired for what is believed to be a second-round selection and 2013 and what could turn into a second-round selection in 2014, there was a fair amount of outrage.

I then asked folks if they trusted Andy Reid and John Dorsey to make the right decision. Here are some of the responses I received.

Do you trust John Dorsey and Andy Reid to make the right decision, no matter what they decide?









Do you trust Dorsey and Reid as much as you trusted Pioli and Haley when they arrived?









Who do you want to be the starting QB of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013?









The group seemed to slightly favor Geno Smith, which is understandable. Chiefs fans have seen just about every scenario, save drafting a first round QB, fail miserably in Kansas City. They’ve seen a parade of former San Francisco QBs brought in, only to fail. They’ve seen a high-profile trade for Matt Cassel fail. Drafting a QB in the first round, just to draft a QB in the first round, isn’t guaranteed to pay off. While Chiefs fans are smart enough to realize that, much like when Pioli replaced Carl Peterson, I think things have been so bad that anything different automatically becomes more appealing.

As the comments above showed, nobody is running around saying “in Dorsey I trust.” The fans want to believe the men running their favorite team are going to do the right but years of failure seems to have tempered expectations.

When Scott Pioli traded a second-round selection for Matt Cassel and Mike “intangibles” Vrabel, the reaction in KC was mostly positive. There were murmurs of the “draft your own QB”  argument but for the most part, as I recall anyway, fans were excited about the possibility of acquiring a franchise QB in Cassel.

Dorsey and Reid aren’t like to be given the same level of fan patience that their predecessors enjoyed. Pioli and Cassel were able to turn in a 2-14 season in 2009 and they emerge relatively unscathed. I think this was, in large part, due to Pioli’s propaganda and the misguided trust of a frustrated fan base. Chiefs fans were sold a bill of goods by Pioli that they had to be patient while he “rebuilt” their team. They were asked to allow the “process” to run its course.

Well, when the process was complete, Pioli left the Chiefs exactly how he found them.


Just as Pioli and co. received their fair share of unearned trust, Reid and Dorsey are being served up a cold dish of apprehension from Chiefs fans who have eaten at this restaurant before.

I don’t envy the new regime. They were facing a lose/lose situation.

If they drafted a QB No. 1 and the QB busted, they would have look like fools for reaching for the position when all the experts (well most of them) the 2013 QB class just wasn’t very good.

If they pass on Geno Smith, which it is almost a certainty that they will, and he is drafted by the Raiders a couple picks later and Smith develops into a star, while the KC brass goes with an Alex Smith, they will be driven out of town faster than you can say “Romeo Crennel”

If they had tried to build their team around a second-round QB from a weak QB draft class and fail, they’ll be equally panned as if they had reached for the position at No. 1.

We don’t know exactly how the Alex Smith trade will work out in KC. We don’t know which team will draft Geno Smith and Matt Barkley and we don’t know what kind of careers they and the other QBs in this draft class, will have.

Chiefs fans were so divided on what they thought  Reid and Dorsey should do, there was going to be a sizable portion of them that were upset no matter what happened at the QB position.

I’ve seen plenty of angry tweets and comments calling the new regime a bunch of fools. I’ve also received messages from fans stating their support and trust of the new regime.

Now that Reid and Dorsey’s vision for the Chiefs is beginning to take shape, it is important for fans to take a lesson from the Scott Pioli era. Now isn’t the time  to throw Dorsey and Reid to the wolves based on the failures of the men that have come before them.

On the other hand, Chiefs fans have no choice but to demand that Dorsey and Reid earn the same level of trust that Pioli was given merely for showing up four years ago. Trust earned, not simply for doing something new, like selecting a QB in the first round, or through propaganda-laced catch phrases and buzzwords. Trust earned, not simply because they aren’t the Scott Pioli regime and because Alex Smith isn’t Matt Cassel.

They’ll have to earn their trust the old-fashioned way: by winning.

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Tags: Alex Smith Andy Reid John Dorsey Kansas City Chiefs

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