It didn’t take long but, it took forever. It was the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen but, it wasn’t pretty.
The 2014 Chiefs have left many of their fans dazed and confused and yes, puzzled about who they truly are. So, many of us are so used to the club not succeeding… that the end of this season has many wondering… are we more like 2012 or 2013?
What fans of the Kansas City Chiefs everywhere should understand is… the new era Chiefs are… relentless.
As soon as Clark Hunt named Andy Reid the new head coach the team began to transform at a record setting pace. The 2-12 to 11-5 change in record equalled the best improvement of any organization in the history of the league.
On the last day of 2012, Clark Hunt said,
“I want our fans to know that I will do everything I can to provide them with a dramatically better team – both next season and in the seasons to come – and our entire organization appreciates their support.”
Did you hear that? “Everything I can do”… “next seasons and in seasons to come.” Is there anything about that which may sound… well… relentless to you?
The new era attitude began that very day with the new Mr. Hunt.
Hunt had also made it clear in earlier statements that he was “embarrassed.” The kind of “public” embarrassment that the Chiefs went through in 2012 is the springboard for what we’re seeing now out at One Arrowhead Way.
This new dogged approach to running the Chiefs is a part of the personalities which Mr. Hunt choose to run the organization. In his piece called “Nowhere to go But Down for Dorsey, Nowhere to But Up for the Chiefs,” Nicolas Alan Clayton said of Dorsey,
“Perhaps most impressive was the way that Dorsey’s constant but methodical churning of the bottom of the roster turned out gems.”
“Constant but methodical churning” not only tells you where the Chiefs have been for the past year but where they’re going now.
If you’ve ever had the privilege of working for a boss who is attempting to constantly make things better you’d know it’s sometimes not a comfortable environment to work in. However, feeling comfortable is something the Chiefs should never feel. Not anyone in the organization. GM John Dorsey epitomizes this approach and if they gave out a “bulldog” of the year Dorsey would win it hands down.
However, John Dorsey is not the only “relentless” dog in this race.
I recall when Andy Reid was fired in Philly, how many national media types kept pressing the idea that he needed to take some time away from the game. Reid was without a job exactly four days. Does that sound like the actions of a man who has given up on his own personal dream to win the big one.
No. In fact, Reid seems rejuvenated since coming over from te Eagles. Happier even. And driven for sure.
And that kind of dedication rubbed off on this core group of players.
The results? No more losing culture!
I haven’t heard anyone… not nationally or locally… talk about the losing culture in Kansas City since the first few games of 2013. That’s because it just doesn’t exist any more. Now, everyone “expects” the Chiefs to advance further than they did. Everyone sees they have the talent to do that too.
People were a bit in shock when the Chiefs had 7 Pro Bowl players following the 2012 season and no one thought they’d have 9 this year. That only happens when the external performances on the field match internal expectations.
Now, many are predicting the Chiefs take a step backwards next season because their schedule is more difficult and it will be tough to re-sign all of their own players.
However, the Chiefs are improving at an unprecedented and unrelenting pace. If the Chiefs have progressed this much in the first year of their new leadership… why would some people think the Chiefs will falter going forward? That, would seem to be based upon an old way of thinking about the Chiefs and those old ways don’t apply any more.
Prior to three seasons ago, Andy Reid’s Philly roster was unfairly typified by QB Vince Young as the “Dream Team” of the NFL. Consequently, after a couple of losing seasons, Reid’s services were no longer needed… especially because the expectations were so incredibly high.
Andy Reid’s quest for a championships was uncompromising then, and he appears to be more intent than ever.
The two players in this league that symbolize “relentlessness” more than any others are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
Their single-mindedness, not only at the line of scrimmage but on and off the field, are unparalleled.
Now, being relentless doesn’t always get you Super Bowl victories. Andy Reid has but one Super Bowl appearance and Peyton Manning has but one ring. However, it’s that relentlessness that gets you there in the first place.
On the day of the Chiefs loss in Indy, Dwayne Bowe tweeted,
Tough loss. We played our hearts out. Gotta a lot to build from.
So, the Chiefs are on the right track. What more can we ask for as Kansas City Chiefs fans? If you had a chance to sit down with Clark Hunt today, what would you say? I don’t know anyone who would want to the Chiefs to think about doing anything other than… staying the course.
One thing you can be sure of is… no one is writing articles anymore saying, “The Kansas City Chiefs Might Have the Worst Workplace in America.” Remember that one from January of 2012? No? Good. That how good this past year has been… this Chiefs regime has made you forget the past. Well, at least partially.
I know… sounds like I’m stumping for George Bush… I mean Reid and Dorsey. Well, why wouldn’t I? Not Bush… but Reid & Dorsey for sure! The course they’re on is filled with promise and I can’t wait to see what comes next for our new dynamic duo.
The following quote by Steve Garvey (ex-baseball player) personifies everyone left in the Chiefs organization now.
“You must be passionate, you must dedicate yourself, and you must be relentless in the pursuit of your goals. If you do, you will be successful.”
If you’ve been disappointed about the Chiefs final outcome this year… and you should be… you should also be incredibly encouraged. Andy Reid was constantly knocking on the door in the playoffs and he has the Chiefs doing the same now. John Dorsey was constantly helping to improve the Green Bay Packer’s roster and is still doing the same thing now, only for the Chiefs.
Nine days after the loss to the Colts, Chiefs Insider Reid Ferrin of KCChifs.com asked John Dorsey, “How long is the transition process, going from reviewing 2013 to focusing on what’s ahead in 2014?” and Dorsey responded,
“It happens automatically, because that’s the way that I’m wired and that’s the way everybody in the personnel department is wired (and) the way the coaching staff is wired (and) now it’s time for us to begin to create a framework and a foundation of that plan.”
“Wired.” Yea, that sounds right. Dorsey was constantly moving this year… like an electrical current. So, “wired” is a great word for he and his staffers.
I’ve heard many fans calling for the defensive coordinator’s (Bob Sutton) head. If you go back to the days of Herm Edwards there has not been a time in which the OC and the DC have remained the same for two years in a row. While fans have a right to be upset with the final outcome this year, it’s also a good idea to express some patience for the process that should continue to yield progress on both sides of the football. The current regime has earned that right by the progress they did make this year — which was significant.
Tamba Hali recognized the significance of that progress by tying his own Pro Bowl berth to the performance of the whole defense when he tweeted,
“This honor is an acknowledgment of our team and the group effort we put in.”
For Andy Reid, the relentlessness is in making sure the details are taken care of. Earlier this month, Albert Breer of NFL.com wrote a piece called, “Andy Reid’s Attention to Details Fuels Kansas City Chiefs’ Revival” and shared the following story,
“(Reid)… halted the team’s brisk early morning practice when he saw his left tackle’s (Branden Albert) technique slip, promptly lining up to demonstrate where Indianapolis Colts defensive end Cory Redding might be in Saturday’s AFC wild-card matchup…. (Reid) stopped practice and taught me on a coaching point,” Albert explained. “He told me how to block the play, and then I executed the play during practice. He does things like that. He wants guys to be on point. You gotta appreciate that. And I want to make sure the play he taught me to do, that I’m doing it right.”
It’s worth noting that Andy Reid’s approach allows him to stop practice… even one for a playoff game… instruct his star LT and not have his LT express any kind of embarrassment. It’s the “way” Reid deals with people and they love him for it.
That’s probably why Branden Albert tweeted,
“It’s a honor to fight with a great bunch of guys! Although I don’t know what the offseason brings I hope this wasn’t my last game as a CHIEF”
That was the evening of January 4th, just hours after the Chiefs depressing loss to the Colts.
The relentlessness is contagious.
In a tweet less than one week after the Indy loss, Jamaal Charles was ready to go again. Charles tweeted this one out,
“Cant wait till the season get here again.. I’m so ready!!!!”
On December 17th, following a big 56-31 victory over the Oakland Raiders, Clark Hunt spoke about the special group he’s assembled in the front office. He was asked, “Yourself, team president Mark Donovan, Andy Reid and John Dorsey, you guys have what seems to be a very tight-knit group?” In response, Hunt said,
“It sure is. The entire group in that locker room, whether we’re talking about the players, the coaching staff, the front office, they’re all very tight and they work extremely well together. One of the special things about this win today was, it was a team victory; the offense contributed, the defense contributed and special teams contributed. That’s really the same way it is with the entire Chiefs organization; we all work together for a common goal and I’m so happy that we were able to take one of those steps today, clinching the playoff spot.”
Then Hunt revealed perhaps his most important message,
“…all I can say is, we’re not done yet.”
This is a different Clark Hunt than in year’s past. When interviewed you can hear the increased energy in his voice and you can see it on his face. It’s a shift… and an important one that Chiefs fans everywhere should celebrate. That’s where it all begins… with the owner… and Clark Hunt is a changed man. One who is determined, focused and unrelenting to reach his goals.
- Andy Reid, 101 Committee’s Coach of the Year
- John Dorsey, Pro Football Writer’s Executive of the Year
- Jamaal Charles, Pro Bowl Captain and considered in league MVP conversations
- Chris Ballard declines Tampa Bay interview for GM
- David Culley targeted for Jim Caldwell’s new staff in Detroit
- Nine Pro Bowl Players including newbies LT Branden Albert, CB Brandon Flowers and KR Dexter McCluster
- 11-5 record
The accomplishments from “Reid and Dorsey Year One” have been remarkable. No one predicted such heights. Their approach may be determined… but not predetermined… so remember what Clark Hunt said just one month ago,
“We’re not done yet.”
Hallelujah and like JC… I wish a new season was starting tomorrow!
Alright Addict fans… what’s exciting you these days?