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

The House That Clark Built

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Clark Hunt has been characterized as everything but a caring owner concerned with building a winning NFL franchise. Hunt was named Chairman of the Board of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2005. Since then, the Chiefs have a combined record of 48-80. It’s tough to stare a .375 win percentage in the face and make a reasonable argument that the Chiefs are the “No. 1 priority” Hunt said they would be when he took over. So why should the new regime inspire any confidence? I’m glad you asked.

Here’s what general manager John Dorsey had to say, in a post-Draft press conference, about the Chiefs’ sixth round pick fullback Braden Wilson (Kansas State):

He fits the type of person that Andy wants as a fullback. The way Andy described the fullback position to me, how he wanted that filled, I thought it fit his makeup very well.

This suggests that Reid and Dorsey had pre-Draft conversations about the kind of players he’s looking for. It’s probably also safe to assume that Dorsey was open to suggestion. By a show of hands, who thinks former GM Scott Pioli did this with either Todd Haley or Romeo Crennel?

Bueller?…Bueller?…Bueller?

The relationship that Reid and Dorsey seem to share, in the nascent stages of the new administration, is refreshing. It also brings to mind the new organizational structure that Clark Hunt put into place back in late-December. Here’s what he had to say after the Chiefs relieved head coach Romeo Crennel of duty:

You have the structures where the coach answers to the owner, and the general manager answers to the coach. You have the structure we’ve had, where the general manager answers to the owner, and the coach to the general manager. And there are a number of teams that do it as we’re going to do it, as a dual, with the coach answering to me and the general manager answering to me.

What better way to ensure accountability than to have both Reid and Dorsey answering to the owner for their own individual responsibilities? I think such a structure encourages compatibility. That’s something that was sorely lacking in the failed Pioli administration. I never sensed any real solidarity in that group.  I can’t imagine Reid having a Tyler Palko moment to spite John Dorsey.

My early impression of the Reid-Dorsey marriage gives me hope that irreconcilable differences won’t the be roadblock to success. I won’t make any bold predictions here, but I’m persuaded that this administration will succeed (or fail) on the merits of its football philosophies, and nothing else. There’s still the matter of identifying the right football players to help turn the franchise around, but I’m encouraged by the aforementioned Dorsey quote about Wilson. I believe he will make it a point to equip Reid with everything he needs to effectively run his schemes. We’ll have to wait and see how well they ultimately work, but I’m excited that Dorsey won’t stand in Reid’s way.

Q. What happens when the general manager can’t scapegoat the head coach for multiple losing seasons?

A. He has to do his job and either sink or swim as the team’s hunter-gatherer.

Q. What happens when the head coach’s handpicked players don’t succeed in his system?

A. He has to own his failure to either install successful systems or effectively use the talent he’s been given. 

There’s nowhere for Andy Reid and John Dorsey to hide. Their best bet is to have one common goal – to field the best football team possible. If the two of them can extract the best elements from their previous stops, they’ll have an excellent shot at turning things around and having long-term success in Kansas City. If they can’t, our apathetic owner might have to pull the car over and separate them…from the organization. I suggest you two play nice.

Until next time, Addicts!

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