Chiefs Design: Solid Judgement And The Work Ethic


These guys have the right mentality.

When they come to work they come “to work.”

And… I’ve appreciated that from day one.

I wouldn’t expect that to change.

~ Andy Reid

Sunday, September 9, 2013


I will make it no secret that I believe Andy Reid is “the” major building block for this team. Teams are made of people. We forget that sometimes. We only see them as coaches, players or GMs. What makes a team are the leaders who lead them and the values they bring to their job place.

Values like solid judgement and the work ethic.

I used to think the successful teams in the league got that way by pure happenstance or that the football God’s smiled their way. When I look at last year’s team and compare it this year’s squad, I can see that it’s solid judgement and a work ethic that have made the difference.

When I think back to Clark Hunt releasing Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli and bringing in Andy Reid and John Dorsey I have often thought it was a matter of serendipity.  Serendipity because the Chiefs had just finished with a 2-14 record while Reid’s Eagles went 4-12, leaving the Chiefs a country without a leader and Reid a leader in search of a country to run.

In Sunday’s convincing win over the Jaguars, it was hard not to notice the progress that players like Tyson Jackson, Donnie Avery, Jeff Allen, Rodney Hudson, Justin Houston and Dontari Poe and almost the whole defense had made since last year. I could see that the place the Chiefs have arrived at… was far less because of the coincidence of Reid and the Chiefs being available at the same moment in time and far more for other, more meaningful, reasons.

I recall, it was early in training camp. I believe it was the first practice following the first preseason game. That’s when coach Reid was questioned about how the practice went and he said something like, “Not so good, I think the players were tired following the game. We’ll have to come back and get after it again tomorrow.” Why is that important? Because Andy Reid is an honest man and he tells his players truthfully how he feels even when it’s not what they want to hear. And that breeds trust. But it also speaks to his value system: the value of… hard work, by working hard.

When you hear Andy Reid say we had a good practice and they really got after it today… he means it. You can rely on him to tell you if the team isn’t where he wants them to be, effort wise. The truth is, he’s said that a lot this preseason and THAT is the most meaningful reason these Chiefs have grown.

It was Colin Powell who said, A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

That’s who your new Chiefs have become and who they will continue becoming.

Tom Brady may have “just so happened” to turn out to be one of the best QBs in the history of the league even though he was selected in the 6th round of the draft. The Indianapolis Colt may “just so happened” to have ended up drafting first in the year that Andrew Luck was coming out of college because Peyton Manning had multiple neck surgeries the previous year.

Have you ever heard anyone say… ever… that Tom Brady or Peyton Manning didn’t work hard?

The point is, happenstance and serendipity may be able to place you at a point in time but it’s not what creates the real “team” progress.

So, what does that mean to “create real team progress?”

Will Rogers once said, Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

Andy Reid and John Dorsey have learned from their mistakes and that brings authentic “experience” to the table. It was so apparent that the Chiefs had grown by leaps and bounds on Sunday for these reasons: solid judgement and the work ethic. Specifically: Reid and Dorsey’s solid judgement and the team’s work ethic (which Reid and Dorsey also have lots of, like a bad flu that won’t go away).

That can be evidenced by their willingness to bring in 7 new players the very weekend before the new season begins. They’ve left no stone unturned (BTW… they’ve also made three roster moves this week).

In his post game comments on Sunday Andy Reid admitted that Special Teams were not up to par because of the influx of new blood. More honesty.

It can also be seen in the players dedication and willingness to work together. To buy in.

These Chiefs have been getting better everyday. In past seasons, coaches used to “preach” getting better everyday but this season the players talk about it and embody it.

These Chiefs have heart and hustle and it comes from their hard work as well as the good decisions management has made.

The game on Sunday is a testament to everything that’s happened this offseason from Clark’s first moves to the obvious game preparations that helped deliver this win.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the Chiefs become winners for years now. I know one game does not a season make. However, watching them not get down after getting behind 2-0 was another positive sign.

While the offense needs to work on being consistent in 3rd down situations, the number of other positives in this game outweigh any negatives that one can cite.

I look forward the offense getting more time to gel but the top to bottom organizational contributions point to the real reasons for this success.

These Chiefs have made me proud to be a Chiefs fan all over again and that has everything to do with, their solid judgement and their work ethic.

So Addicts, anything impressive to you about the Chiefs on Sunday?

Next Chiefs Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep12:00Tennessee TitansBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: KC Chiefs

  • Clint Moran

    Well said. I feel the same way, and it all started with Clark hunt’s aggressive offseason moves. It rejuvenated my passion for this team and I’m sure I’m not alone. The payoff is what we all witnessed Sunday. The veterans on this team are tired of losing as Hali stated, and the rookies seem like they are willing to work hard and contribute. The true test will be next Sunday where they get an opportunity to play a quality opponent and see how the hard work pays off. Good read!

    • elly violette

      This Sunday might be a better test for the Chiefs but I was so impressed with their overall progress. It was great to see. Really.

      • ladner morse

        I think a bigger test may come the next week in Philly. If you saw the first half of the Washington-Philly game… you may have felt what I felt…. that you were watching the future of the NFL. That was incredible. With the way the game ended it raises questions about whether or not any group of players can keep up that pace for a whole game while also being effective doing it. We’ll see… but it will also be interesting if the Chiefs also go hurry up in that game… as well as the Cowboys game.

        • elly violette

          : I think for now… the Chiefs better focus on the Cowboys. Period!

          • RepOurChiefs

            Agreed elly..tunnel vision indeed.

          • ladner morse

            Oh, I’m sure they are!!!!

  • Jason Seibel

    Laddie, I love reading your stuff. It’s football, but it’s so much more thought provoking than most of the other stuff around. Great read for my Wednesday morning!

    • ladner morse

      Thanks Jason. I have come to enjoy your stuff quite a bit too. Appreciate it.

      • berttheclock

        BTW, Laddie, as you live in Dallas, did you see the 10 photos of the Chiefs in the article telling fans of the Cowboys what they should know about the Chiefs? It was up, yesterday. Included is Photo Number Seven which shows Gabbert going into a fetal tuck awaiting a hit from Poe, who happens to look about twice his size.
        Now, next time, do try to work Proust into your excellent column. Or Balzac

        • ladner morse

          Yes. I saw it. It was nice that the DMN gave the Chiefs that much credit because I thought it was a fairly bland representation of the Chiefs. They did the pick-n-choose topics based on hot topics in Dallas. For instance, no one thinks much of Jerry Jones attention, or lack thereof, to the Dallas OL this off season so… any story they can produce to say the team should be in “watch-out” mode along the front… gives credence to an already weary storyline in Big D.

          By the Way… I think Big D’s defense and the Chiefs defense will be the true story on game day. Both are filled with talent but I give the thumbs up to KC because Poe is a player on the rise while the middle of the Dallas D-line is in decline. Runs up the middle in the 2nd half may tell a big difference.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    For the first time since Dick Vermeil, I feel like this football team is in good hands.

    • ladner morse

      I’d have to agree with you on that. In fact… it might be a good post to compare the two. The big difference is… Vermeil could cry at the drop of a red flag.

      • RepOurChiefs

        Ha! Indeed…and you could tell his players played their hearts out for him for it.

    • elly violette

      I agree with u Stacy!

  • Joe Myers .
    Ok so espn thinks kc will get thrashed any predictions for this sunday ???

    • elly violette

      espn doesn’t know anything about the 2013 Chiefs. I say Chiefs over Cowboys by 10.

      • ladner morse

        Very bold of you. I say Chiefs by 4.

        • BWrangler

          I’ll split ya both and say Chiefs by 7.

    • RepOurChiefs

      24-10 Chiefs..I dont see this Def giving up points like the giants did. They are coming to the SEA OF RED,remember.

      • KCMikeG

        And no way our offense turns the ball over six times.

        • RepOurChiefs

          Exactly…its a new day and this is the game for them to stand up and be noticed. It gets really real sunday for the nfl universe.

    • berttheclock

      Is that the same ESPN guy who “predicted” a month ago that the Redskins would stomp the Eagles 41 to Zip?

    • KCMikeG

      Homer Alert – He lives in Dallas. He is comparing what Romo did to Philly when Reid was HC. That has nothing to do with our defense. He also overlooks that the Boys D gave up 31 points while getting six turnovers – how many points would they have yielded if the NYG could have held onto the ball – 50? The offense only scored 22 points with their defense giving them the ball twice inside the NYG 20 and once at midfield on top of scoring twice. Romo and Dez Bryant are both hurting already and the pain will only increase. Romo is one of the most mistake prone QB’s ever and with the pressure Sutton will unleash he will be sacked and turnover the ball multiple times. That will be all our offense needs to seal the deal. Chiefs 28-17.

      • ladner morse

        Excellent breakdown and unless the Chiefs defense gives up 22 points and the offense coughs the ball up six times (none of which “should” happen on Sunday in Arrowhead)… then I see no reason for the good guys to lose to the cowgirls.

        BTW… I hope Chiefs fans will keep in mind that “long, lost Chief Brandon Carr” said on one Dallas radio and TV show after another, once he signed there, that he has “dreamed his whole life of playing for the Cowboys” and then went on in each case to name all his favorite all time players who were of course — ALL COWBOYS FROM THE PAST! I just don’t know how he put up with wearing red and gold for so many years!

        • KCMikeG

          Thanks! Are you coming to the game?

          • ladner morse

            Nope. My house nearly burned down a few weeks ago so i have to be in town. I may be up for one of the games in Oct. Sure wish i was going to be in K.C. because it looks like no matter where I watch the game… I’ve had a couple offers… I will be surrounded by Cowboy fans. Even if the Chiefs win… lose. But……. I am looking forward to big K.C. victory!!!!!

            Go Chiefs!!!!

          • KCMikeG

            So sorry to hear of the fire. Hope everyone is ok. I believe we are going to surprise the league this week. Best of luck with the renovation. If you have any questions about roofing I’m your guy. Go Chiefs!!

  • elly violette

    I think the biggest difference in any of the players was Dontari Poe. He always seemed to be pushing the other teams center into their backfield and they also couldn’t run up the middle. If he keeps going this way he will be an all-star. I know Justin had a very good game but I think Poe has shown the most progress since last December.

    • berttheclock

      Mr Meester spent a great part of his time on the field trying to protect his keester from hitting the QB. BTW, Meester happens to be a 14 year veteran playing center.

      • ladner morse

        While I think the Dontari Poe-Travis Frederick match-up will be interesting to watch Mr. P should come out on top many times this game… especially if the Guard the Cowboys choose to double Poe with is Mackenzey Bernadeau, If you watched the Cowboys/Giants game on Sunday evening you would have thought you were watching a high school Guard play for the Cowboys. Man… Bernadeau would be the perfect right side match for… you guessed it… Barry Richardson, for the all-time worst linemen in the history of history. And you should understand I only speak those words with great reverence.

  • berttheclock

    Seven late roster moves for pickups. Three moves since. This is how John Schneider and Pete Carroll rebuilt the Seahawks. Multiple roster moves with very few positions safe enough to put a down on any property within the Emerald City.

  • Joe Myers

    I don’t see the chiefs keeping this close I think thier going to run away with this in the second half . We won’t turn it over 6 times l. Dallas is walking into a lions den . I think alex will have one of his better games his year I think he loves to play for us and we will show our support when he scores his first td I’m going to get the alex smith chant going !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ladner morse

      Yep… I think it’s important for Alex to have a good day and if he does I fully expect him to “feel the love” Arrowhead style. However, I see no reason that JC can’t have a big day. If that happens the men in red should win in a walk.

      • Joe Myers

        My thoughts exactly . The confidence is oozing with this team homefield advantage will be big for thies guys . I’d like to see alex sustain a few long drives and I think we will !!!

  • Twaters

    Well said! Does anyone else have a completely different feel about this team this year? Or is it still the emotion of actually winning a game? I think Arrowhead will indeed turn into one of the toughest places to play in the NFL again, and I think it will start Sunday. A quick start should get this team firing on all cylinders! As always….GO CHIEFS GO!!!!

    • ladner morse

      Nice post.
      The only thing that “might” change my mind would be a 35 to 6 blowout with the Cows on top. I thinks it’s crazy to think that would happen though. I wrote this summer, long before ex-Chief Brain Waters signed there, that I believe Dallas has the worst offensive line in all of football (and maybe a few college teams have better). With or without Waters their OL is holier than the Pope on Christmas… they just keep on giving and giving and giving…. Romo is the Cowboy who should be on Dancing with the Stars which may end up being a much more appropriate title for this game once Sunday’s contest is over because Hali and Houston should filet-a-rib or two of Romo on their own.

      Although I think the Chiefs D will be the superior unit on the Field Sunday my big question is how the Chiefs offense will do against a Cows defense which is not bad either. Although the Chiefs Special Teams should once again return to being “special” remember they just traded for Edgar Jones who has all the inside secrets to how the Chiefs Special Teams got special.

  • Danny W

    Yeah the honesty is pretty refreshing. Some of the stuff Haley would let dribble from his mouth was just laughable.
    I don’t know if we have all the tools yet to make us winners in this league but I think we’re close. I think Reid and Dorsey know that or they wouldn’t have come here. The retooling right before we open is bizarre but it’s of little importance. One thing is for sure. I do have a bit of hope, were in years past I already new we were going to suck. It was like being a Jags fan this year.

    • ladner morse

      “Retooling” could perhaps be the subtitle for the book on these two, Reid and Dorsey. It represents the ever-constant evaluating that Dorsey and staff is doing which is also freeing to Reid who was also doing all the evaluating in Philly. Now… we get the best of both worlds. So, when it comes to next year’s draft when there may be a QB on the board and a top level Free Safety too… you can bet they’ll jump on the FS even though many Chiefs fans have longed for a QBOTF for eons and eons.

      • Danny W

        So I’m taking it you definitely think these two have hitched their wagons solely to Alex Smith? Our we in trouble at the free safety spot? As always thanks for replying.

        • ladner morse

          Danny, it’s not so much that R&D have permanently “hitched” their wagon to his but they are riding along together for a few years. Based on what we’ve seen… you can expect them to take the best player available (on their board) in the draft no matter what. Does it matter if Alex Smith makes the Pro Bowl this year? No. If they think a QB is the best pick, you bet they’ll take him. However, their are still enough weaker positions (let’s not call them “holes” anymore) on this team that they will certainly continue to scour the waiver wires, practice squads, free agent pool and the draft… to make the team better.

          I don’t think the FS position is so much a position of concern… because there is depth there… as it is a position that could use an all-star. So could ILB.

          Then this D could be elite. but, who knows for sure… maybe it is now.