At the beginning of the season — September 6, 48 hours from opening Sunday kickoff to be exact –I posted a letter to the Kansas City Chiefs. You can go back and read that piece if you like — I’m still pretty proud of it to this day — or I can summarize it for you here.
Essentially, I thanked the Chiefs for their hard work and told them things I would like them to do in this upcoming season. Now that season is over — some would say sadly — I would like to follow up that letter with this one, recapping the season.
Dear Kansas City Chiefs,
It was a helluva season, wasn’t it? Not even the most optomistic fan could have dreamed that you would start 9-0 and finish 11-5 with a playoff game. Let’s face it, we all knew this team was talented, but that was one huge turnaround from last year’s 2-14 debacle.
Alex Smith, thank you. Thank you for proving to Chiefs Kingdom that you are the quarterback you were brought here to be. Yes, you started slow in the first half of the season. Names like “game manager” and “Captain Checkdown” seemed to sprout up whenever your name was mentioned. However, heading into the final games of the season, you proved everybody that you were anything but a game manager. The way you were slinging that ball in the games against the Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers and the playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts…it was awesome. And let’s talk about that Colts game.
Let’s talk about the fact that you lost your star running back six plays into the game. Let’s talk about the fact that you lost your No. 2 wide receiver in the first half. Let’s talk about the fact that your second string running back broke his leg in the second half and you were playing with a guy who barely saw the field. Let’s talk about that and still mention that you threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns. I think you did everything you could to win that game. The team lost, but you had the game of your life.
I look forward to what you’re going to do going forward with this team. I attribute your slow start to getting familiar with the system and your new teammates. Coming into next season, you’ll have that out of the way and can just get to work. Thank you, Alex Smith. I’m glad you’re a Chief.
Jamaal Charles, thank you. You, sir, are something else. Everyone in Chiefs Kingdom knew you were awesome and in my earlier letter to you I said you could be an MVP caliber player on this team. That’s exactly what you were this season. If a guy named Peyton Manning wasn’t playing this year, you would hoist that MVP trophy without a doubt. 1200 yards rushing? Over 600 yards receiving? 19 total touchdowns? 19? You’re an animal. I absolutely loved watching you play and in the playoff game, the visual of you heading to the sideline with a concussion broke my heart.
I know next season you’ll be back better than ever. For the first time in your career, you have a quarterback who can lead your team to victory. With you and Alex running this show, the potential of this team is without limits. Get some rest, get better and we all look forward to seeing #25 on the field in just eight short months.
Dwayne Bowe. Oh…Dwayne Bowe. At the beginning of the season you predicted a lot of things. You predicted “Bombs over Baghdad.” You predicted you would lead the league in receptions and touchdowns. You got paid and then you kind of disappeared. Now, I don’t blame that act completely on you. In a new system, you were getting used to your quarterback as much as he was to you. Towards the end of the season, you seemed to really develop a connection with him and that helped…a lot. You need to keep that going. You and Alex Smith need to hang out over the spring and summer. You should be having barbeques together and going to the movies together. Have you ever seen Matt Stafford and Megatron? They are BFF’s and that’s what you guys need to be. You need to know what he’s thinking before he does and vice versa. Then, and only then, will your predictions from this season come true. And lay off the weed man…
To the offensive line I’ll say you had some ups and downs. Sadly, some of you won’t be on this team next year. This isn’t the place for me to say who I think should stay and go, but we all know the reality is that some of you will be with a different team. That’s the business of this league. Your head coach said that he would play the “best five linemen” and I think we all know why they are. If you’re leaving, good luck. If you’re staying, you need to get better. Hold those pass rushers off just a bit longer for your quarterback. Open those holes a bit wider for your running back. Always get better.
To Tamba Hali, Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers. You three are Pro-Bowlers. Some would say you’re slightly over rated. I don’t agree with that, but I think you should all look yourselves in the mirror and think long and hard about yourselves and your teammates. You are three of the highest paid players on the team. Is having that fat contract, but handicapping your team from signing more talent worth not winning a playoff game? The Chiefs have a lot of needs going into the off season and not a lot of cash to make those needs a reality. You should think long and hard about restructuring your deals for the good of the team. The millions don’t mean anything if you’re not winning. Think about that.
Justin Houston, you are a monster and you’re only getting better. This team will rely on you moving forward to be that dominant force on the outside pass rush. Continue to get better. Work your skills and come back next year and break that sack record we all thought you were going to break at the beginning of this year.
Head coach Andy Reid, thank you. You were the right guy at the right time and if you don’t win the “Coach of the Year” it will be a travesty. You took this team from its worst possible time and turned them into something special. And you’re only getting started. A couple of requests: don’t fire Bob Sutton because he had some success in the beginning of the season. Bring a “Brad Childress” type guy to help him make adjustments because that seemed to be his weakness. Get these guys ready, because next year one and done in the playoffs won’t be good enough.
General manager John Dorsey, thank you for you’ve done. From finding the “Beard” and Marcus Cooper and Ron Parker to all the moves you continued to make, keep it up. This will be your first draft firmly in control. Please really look at what this team needs and make it happen. Re-sign Alex Smith and open up some cap space with the other players.
In all Chiefs, thanks for the ride. My blood pressure was up and down and the end was heartbreaking, but it was awesome. I love this team and I love watching you play.
See you in August.
Assistant Editor, Arrowhead Addict