We are just nine weeks removed from the hiring of new General Manager John Dorsey and Head Coach Andy Reid. That means it’s taken me upwards of 63 days to figure out their road map for the new and vastly improved Chiefs. I may be slow but I make up for it in sheer cluelessness.
Dorsey and Reid have been on fire. Local and national sportswriters alike have consistently opined that the Chiefs are having one of the best offseasons of any of the thirty-two teams in the league. What’s even better is that our dynamic duo have added a fair amount of mystery into what we will do with the first pick in the draft, which can only add to our strategic advantage.
I think I’m on to you, John Dorsey and Andy Reid. Here’s my take on what has gone through their minds over these past nine weeks.
While all of us Addicts were clamoring for Geno Smith, Dorsey and Reid made a plan. They looked at every position on offense, defense and special teams and determined whether our 2012 starters had what it takes to reach the AFC title game in 2013.
They, like us, felt like Matt Cassel’s time was done. So what did Dorsey and Reid do? They identify the very best available quarterback, either in the NFL or in college, who is obtainable. And his name is Alex Smith.
Moving down the roster, Dorsey and Reid felt like Smith needed a consistent target to throw to, so they locked up Dwayne Bowe. Bowe is also the very best available wide receiver, in the NFL or college, who is obtainable. Dorsey and Reid then locked up Branden Albert, who is among the top 5 best left tackles in the NFL or in college who is obtainable. They did the same with Dustin Colquitt, the best punter on the planet.
Then Dorsey and Reid started filling key gaps. They re-signed Tyson Jackson, a decent defensive end against the run and signed Dunta Robinson, who is probably among the top ten obtainable cornerbacks right now. They also cut Eric Winston, who in their estimation, was simply not one of the best available right tackles in the NFL or college right now.
Their plan, in hindsight, is obvious and brilliant. In the pre-free agency period, Dorsey and Reid are filling every available current gap on the roster with the very best players they can re-sign or pick up. Why? So that when free agency begins, they can continue to plug major holes in the roster.
Dorsey and Reid filled a bunch of outstanding gaps when they signed Mike DeVito to play opposite Tyson Jackson, Chase Daniel as a backup quarterback, tight end Anthony Fasano and Donnie Avery, a speedy outside receiver.
Here comes the punchline. By filling critical gaps during the pre-free agency period and then during free agency, the Chiefs actually do not have any huge, glaring holes in their lineup. What does that mean? It means that Dorsey and Reid are able to truly pick the very best available players during the draft. They can look for the future hall of famers, as Dorsey recently put it. And it also means that the Chiefs can remain quite open to trade scenarios, which would be prohibitive if they had their sights absolutely set on one player because of a dire positional need.
If the top pick is Luke Joekel, fantastic. Let’s take him. If it’s Dee Milliner or Star Lotulelei, great, let’s take either of them. Dorsey and Reid can assess the best available talent without the bias that a desperate need introduces. When Dorsey said that he might draft Joeckel, he said he’d just put the five best players on the offensive line. There’s a kernel of wisdom in there. If you have the right players, you can adjust the system to meet your star personnel.
I’m more excited for the draft then I’ve ever been, and I think it’s because the Chiefs, for the first time, truly have the freedom to draft the very best available player and are not beholden to one pick. All of the work that Dorsey and Reid have done to fill gaps through re-signing players and picking up discarded ones is now going to pay off. This strategy also keeps the Chiefs in the trade market, because other teams cannot predict what the Chiefs will do.
What Dorsey and Reid have done this offseason is straight up strategic, with perfect execution thus far. What do you think about their approach, Addicts?!