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

Now I Get It: Dorsey and Reid’s Road Map for the Chiefs


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.

Pre-Free Agency

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.

Free Agency

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.

The Draft

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?!

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Pessimisticchiefsfan

    I agree that is what they are trying to do but with the cutting of Winston there is still a huge hole at tackle. Until we pick one up we are locked in on picking up one in the first round. I’m hoping to pick up a tackle then trade the first pick to the cards or bills then go best Ava the rest of the draft! Never had so much confidence in the chiefs management

    • Stacy D. Smith

      I was really disappointed with Winston being cut at the time, but he seems to be attracting little interest in free agency. I’m sure he’ll be signed at some point though.

  • Richard Comstock

    The JAGS are going to Geno’s pro day. This is HUGE news for us. That is EXACTLY what we needed to get a trade going. Any team that really wants GENO could be forced to trade with us. They could even have to pay top dollar. Just imagine if we could trade with the Bills or Cards..pick up a few extra picks and still land a great RT in the first round. I really see someone trading for GENO..the question is can they trade with the Jags or not.

    we just need another CB,ILB, and RT…from somewhere..i would be very happy if they were able to sign a good FA CB, and draft the RT/ILB in round 1/2 then get our QB in round 3. All the other picks will be to add depth (because we will have no holes!) We shall see!!

    • Altarium

      Jags are right behind us in the draft, so even if they are planning on grabbing Geno, I doubt they will trade up one spot to grab him when it’s quite clear the Chiefs aren’t drafting him. Plus, lots of teams go to lots of pro days, (heck, there were some people from Jacksonville at KSU’s Pro Day) so I’m not super inclined to believe that it’s entirely indicitive of draft plans. Our best chance for a trade is someone else with a top 10 draft pick who (come draft day) are still desperately hurting for a QB (Bills and Cards seem most likely), and need to ensure they get the QB they want before the Jags (provided the Jags are planning on drafting Geno).
      EDIT: I misread Richards post as saying Jags would want to trade to get Geno. Instead I pretty much just agree with him.

      • Richard Comstock

        ROFL…you missed the point and then tried to use my point against me in your post.

        What i meant was…If the Jags want Geno..anyone else who wants him will be forced to jump the Jags. Making our pick more valuable, that’s why i pointed out the bills and the cards in the post. Did you even read my post man?

        I was talking about ANOTHER team being able to trade Jacksonville for Geno. If Jacksonville wants Geno then the only viable option for them is Kansas City.

        • Altarium

          lol what can I say, haven’t had my morning coffee yet. Misunderstood what you were saying, so yeah I pretty much agree with exactly what you said!

          • Richard Comstock

            its all good my friend!!

            lets just hope that things pan out this way.I am waiting on the big news of our CB signing!!! should be today,they probably wanna get MC out first.

        • dominicscarlatti

          Although I think it will be difficult for the Raiders to pass on a DL, especially a DT, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they took Geno at #3, so that might also spur another team to want to trade with us to ensure picking ahead of Jax and Oakland.

          • Troy Utt

            Hillariously enough…one would not think the Raiders would have a need for Geno! Not with having a workout scheduled with the incomparable “Vince Young”! LOL!!! That’s just crazy talk…or Vince talking crazy, or both? Who cares? It’s the Faiders…

      • Jarad

        I’m pretty sure that Richard was implying that somebody would want to jump Jacksonville to get Geno so Jacksonville doesn’t take him.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        They will if there’s any concern that Buffalo might leapfrog them to get to Geno. My hope is that teams think the gap between Geno and Barkley, Wilson, and Bray is big and wide. They’ll be less likely to stand pat and take the next one off the board.

        • Richard Comstock

          MC JUST GOT CUT!!! schefters twitter

  • Stacy D. Smith

    This team still has three major needs (cornerback, inside linebacker, and right tackle). Each position requires a new starter. I suspect that the mystery player the Chiefs are courting plays one of those positions. Should the Chiefs sign him, we’ll have just one hole left to fill. I don’t mind the BPA strategy, but even with the current roster there should still be some consideration of positional need and overall value.

    • Richard Comstock

      I agree…we have a pretty big hole at RT too…even if we did like the guys on our Roster we need a new swing tackle in case someone goes down. The key is landing our CB in the FA…I hope your right about the mystery guy being a corner. As long as we get one of the three we should be in good shape in the draft.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I think a cornerback signing would be beneficial in one way and counterproductive in another. Having Sean Smith answers the cornerback question, but it also tips our draft hand. That’s one less position we could consider for the top pick. Makes offensive tackle look like a foregone conclusion. That makes it harder for us to trade out. I suppose it all depends on Geno Smith and what happens with his Pro Day though. If a team falls in love with him, we may have a shot still at trading down.

        • Richard Comstock

          Yeah I think (and could be wrong) That the Jags are going to want Geno. Making our pick the only way for any other team to have a chance at taking him. Lets hope he lights up his pro day! Life would be great if we can pick up a good pick in round 2 and still get our RT

          • Stacy D. Smith

            Buffalo cutting Fitzpatrick helped our situation out considerably. They’re definitely a player in that QB market now. Hopefully it’s Geno they want. The Bills put pressure on Jacksonville, Arizona, and Oakland.

          • Troy Utt

            Richard, I thought the new brass in Jax had stated they were giving QB (Gabbert?) one last year to see what happened / to prove himself!

        • berttheclock

          Funny thing about some Pro Days is the lack of concentration on other than the star player by scouts. At Luck’s Pro Day, it appears only the Seahawks happened to notice Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin being there with Luck. My wish list would be Tavon Austin, but, too many other needs.

    • Michael Shaw

      I personally think Donald Stephenson could handle RT considering what he did last year in relief for an injured Albert. I still want Dee Milliner with our #1, but I would NOT be upset with a trade down if we get a 2nd rounder back. I would love to see us trade down with Buffalo or Arizona and have us draft Chance Warmack in those positions. Because honestly if we don’t take Dee Milliner with our #1, I can guarantee you that he won’t get past Detroit!!! They need him worse than we do.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I’m not at all excited about Stephenson at right tackle. He’s not very strong at the point. I don’t think he upgrades the position at all. I hope that’s not the solution to the problem.

        • Troy Utt

          I agree with you here…my contention is DS still needs time in the weight room to keep defenders at bay, out & away from his body! That way they are not able to turn him into the play! Until this is achieved I do not view him as a starter, but only as a back-up / o-line depth!

    • Chris Tarrants

      Revis island moving to arrowhead drive? It would be awesome!!!!!

  • berttheclock

    I agree with your assessment about the beginnings of this talented new regime. Alex Smith will bring management to the offense, but, due to his conservative nature he will take sacks and have a great deal of throwaways while under pressure. His completion rate under pressure was almost 10 percentage points higher than Cassell’s, last season, according to ProFootballFocus. Some have taken exception to my calling our previous O-lines porous. What I mean by porous is the amount of pressures on a QB, hurries, sacks and hits. Cassell, when, pressured had a very high rate of interceptions. Smith’s INTs were lower as he threw more passes away.
    But, Al Davis used to say in order to go to the playoffs, you had to build your team to win your division. So, you have to examine the best way to win your division. As Denver is the best and has had outstanding FAcy signing in the past two days, they have become stronger. However, in order to beat PM, it is not done with just adding quality defensive backs to the mix. PM had the best protection in the league as he was only pressured 20 percent of the time. Excellent blocking and a gift ol calling audibles to keep defenses off balance. However, he had no TDs when he was pressured. The key to stopping him is pressure meaning Improve the Pass Rush. You let PM go to his 2nd or 3rd options and he will kill you. Plus, their run blocking has just improved with adding Vasquez to the offensive line. It looks as though with DeVito our run defense will be better, but, unless the Chiefs can add another pass rusher, it will be a long season trying to win the division.

    • chiefridgy

      Did you just quote Al Davis?

      • berttheclock

        There was a time when he was right. Just because he stayed at the helm far too long and set back the Raiders for years (Fortunately, for us) does not negate what his early thoughts about pro footall happened to be.

        • chiefridgy

          True true.

        • dominicscarlatti

          Gosh, I loved the 70′s, except for the relative performances of the Chiefs and Raiders…

    • berttheclock

      BTW, my comments about Alex Smith were not meant to knock him as I believe he is a great pickup, but, the facts do show his propensity to take the safe route, so, hold the boos in the fall when he does show RG3 or Geno styles of play.

    • Michael Shaw

      Bert, I don’t believe the errant throws or sacks Cassel or Quinn took were the fault of the offensive line. An NFL quarterback should never have the ball in his hands, unless he is running of course, more than 5 seconds after the snap. So, again, I maintain that our QB’s horrible play was a result of horrible QB’s. I personally thought Quinn would come in and do better. The Quinn we say in the Carolina game is the guy I thought we would see the minute he stepped on the field. He made good decisions and moved the ball down the field and then every game after that I am not sure what the heck happened. It was like two totally different guys with the same name under center. He wasn’t perfect in the Carolina game, but he was definitely better than Cassel would have been. And I understand the Al Davis quote. He USED to have a great mind for the game, damn him, but he stayed in charge of that team WAY TOO LONG, thankfully for us. I think Jerry Jones has hit that status with the Cowboys.

  • ladner morse

    Excellent piece Miles! It’s now obvious that the third string QB for the Chiefs WON’T be Geno Smith. Your article is filled with home runs… er… touchdowns! Way to go. Loved it.

    • Michael Shaw

      HA HA! It is about to be baseball season so the reference works!!

  • PunjabiPete

    I know, right? Good write up. It kinda stings to lose Dorsey (If you know anything about football and playing on the defensive line, or at least more than lame buzzwords you hear regurgitated by OTHER morons who know nothing, he really is a good player) but Reid and Dorsey have gotten A+’s from me, but more than that, they got some of my money. I’m going to a couple games this season based on what’s happened so far, I’m too excited NOT to spend my money supporting what they’ve done.

    Would I have liked it if they had gone with Geno Smith? Of course, and now that they have no glaring holes who’s to say they DON’T go with him? But Alex Smith is a big name QB and the rest of the signings, on paper at least, look fantastic and like they had a plan before they got off the plane for negotiations for THEIR jobs here in KC… I love it.

    • berttheclock

      Must have been the money difference. So many have commented about Dorsey’s talent being negated by playing in a 3-4, when, his strength appeared to be in a 4-3, yet, he is going to a 3-4 team.

      • Michael Shaw

        I believe the 49ers play a really hybrid 3-4 that allows them to use 4 down linemen more often than ours might. Plus, they just went to a Super Bowl and are likely going back, unless Tony’s Falcons can upset them, so I think he would have taken a 2 million dollar contract from them for the chance to get a ring. Wouldn’t it just suck for him if they had to play US in the SB. I seriously doubt that will happen, but that would be freaking hilarious if it did.

    • Michael Shaw

      Pete, I agree he was a good DL for us. Not the pass rusher he was in college, but he adapted well to what he was asked to do and he did a decent job stopping the run most games.

  • Jarad

    Most fans including myself want (at least) the 2nd CB to be picked up in FA. And if the Chiefs take the OT with the first overall pic or top 10 (via trade), what options do yall see in rounds 2-3 that would be a good fit for the Chiefs ILB opposite DJ. Would you prefer a big thumper, or someone more like A Brown from Kstate, who is a little undersized but very athletic and better in coverage??

  • Steve Tharp

    My dream scenario is for the Chiefs to swap our #1 pick with Buffalo (Geno Smith) and gain their #2 Rookie and #4 Rookie. With the #8 overall pick we can take either Joeckel, Fisher, Lane Johnson or Milliner and with the #2 Rookie obtained from Buffalo, package it with the #4 or late #3 (Bradon Carr compensation) to move up and get Tavon Austin.

    • Michael Shaw

      #2 and #4 Rookie??? I am assuming you meant round there? As for your trade scenarios I think that is doable except for trading the late #3. Teams are not allowed to trade those compensation picks (or so I am told), so they would have to trade away or swap the #1 3rd rounder to move up for Tavon. I would not doubt if the team that gets Geno also pulls the trigger on getting Tavon as well.

      • Steve Tharp

        I meant 2nd and 4th Round rookies. And if we can’t trade the late #3 comp pick then it can be our #4 or Buffalo’s #4 pick. Austin will probably go somewhere between #20 and #32. I think we need a gamebreaker at the WR position on the outside

        • Jason Seibel

          You’re not allowed to trade comp picks. But I like where your head’s at.

  • Richard Comstock

    MC JUST GOT CUT!!!

  • dominicscarlatti

    On another note, Cassel has just been released by the Chiefs. 5.9 million off the cap.

  • Chris Tarrants

    Cassel cut, give it a few minutes and we will here that the chiefs trade the number 1 pick to the jets for their 9 overall and their second round with Revis moving to Kansas city, we still get a top ten player, recoup our 2nd rounder and the best cover corner in the league